The book is considered the rarest of Sendak’s published work — so rare that it’s practically impossible for even art historians to get their eyes on a copy for scholarly work. To commemorate the 86th birthday of Maurice Sendak (previously), Maria Popova (previously) has published scans of illustrations Sendak did for an ultra-ultra-rare edition of William Blake's Songs of Innocence.
The Delian Mode (Kara Blake, 2009) - A 25-minute documentary about composer and pioneering electronic musician Delia Derbyshire, perhaps most familiar to Mefites for writing the theme song for "Doctor Who".
Combining famous historical paintings with images of 21st century technology, Art X Smart has transported them into another time. [more inside]
William Blake has been held in solitary confinement at Elmira Correctional Facility in New York State for nearly 26 years, after he murdered a Sheriff's Deputy and wounded another in a failed escape attempt back in 1987. Sentenced to 77 years to life, he will be eligible for parole in 2064. But Blake has no chance of ever leaving prison alive, and almost no chance of ever leaving solitary — a fate he considers "a sentence worse than death." (Via) [more inside]
"This volume stands alone as the only Sendak picture book—that is, a book he both wrote and illustrated—that isn’t designed for children. Not coincidentally, the Blake-inflected illustrations for a 1996 edition of Melville’s “Pierre,” which is certainly not kiddie stuff, bear a similarity to the look of “My Brother’s Book.” It seems that Sendak had an even more specific audience in mind for this one: Kushner told me that Sendak made this book for those adults who had grown up with his stories." Avi Steinberg on Maurice Sendak's My Brother's Book, in The New Yorker. [more inside]
The Book of Job, as illustrated by William Blake, in high resolution. He was 68 when he finished it in 1826, but died the following year before he could finish giving Dante's "Inferno" the same treatment. (Complete Blake Archive.)
The Da Vinci Cup Think of it as a gathering of tribes... There's a lot of ritual involved. It's probably the biggest single unifying event that our species can muster. Forget the Olympics. Not even close. Poor poor China. Keeping the romans entertained since BC.
Brian Eno is the godfather of electronica, the inventor of ambient music, and producer of the best work by bands like the Talking Heads and U2. Tchad Blake has helmed the mixing board for Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Soul Coughing and the Bad Plus, to name just a few. Paul Simon is one of the most recognized names in pop music both for his work with Art Garfunkel and for his fusion of American pop music with African and South American music. Surprise is the the album they collaborated on, the new Paul Simon record featuring Eno's signature sonic landscapes all over it, and the entire lovely thing, complete with liner notes, is available to listen to on Simon's website.
William Blake's Grave. Museums and galleries only have a few weeks left to save William Blake’s long-lost watercolour illustrations accompanying Robert Blair’s poem “The Grave”, before they are dispersed at auction in New York on 2 May.
The Old Man vs. The Comeback Kid. On Wednesday evening at 7pm EST Andre Agassi will face James Blake in the US Open Quarterfinals. At 35, this will be Agassi's 20th appearance at the US Open. Although he's been persistently dodging plans for retirement this may possibly be the last time Agassi graces Arthur Ashe court. James Blake's story is different. At 25, he's spent the past year and a half recovering from a neck fracture, the death of his father and an illness in which he temporarily lost feeling in his face and suffered from blurry vision. He will also be the first black man to reach the quarterfinals in the US open in 23 years. Will this match-up be a passing of the torch to a younger generation of US men's tennis players or will experience prevail over youth? Regardless, this may be one of the most anticipated matches at the US Open since Agassi faced Pete Sampras in the 2002 final.
The writing isn't the only great thing about Roald Dahl's books. There's also his fantastic illustrator, the perfectly-matched Quentin Blake. He's best known for illustrating such Dahl books as Matilda, The BFG, and The Witches. A comprehensive bibliography can be found here, his books in print can be ordered here, and, if you can afford it, buy some prints.
Sir Peter Blake, one of the greatest sailors of recent times, killed by pirates in the Amazon. This is shocking news to the sailing community.