Kiki de Montparnasse

20130625-194929.jpg

This graphic biography is fantastic. It’s well-researched and the story of how Alice Prin became the Queen of Montparnasse in Paris in the the 1920s is shown and told beautifully. The French model, nightclub singer and painter, whose face and body were immortalised in works by, among others, Fernand L├ęger, Maurice Utrillo and Man Ray, with whom she had a long and complex relationship. While Kiki’s story is populated with artists and notoriety, the grittier side of her story is unfolded here too. While I love graphic novels, I sometimes think they’re over too quickly but this one kept me going for the best part of a week.

Here’s a short introductory video on the book.

The Great Gatsby

Current media is awash with all that’s Gatsby-related. We’ve studied the novel with Form V this year. It’s a novel that, although short, is packed with elusive insights (something that Luhrman’s film, although admirable, completely fails to capture).

If you’re a Gatsby enthusiast then it’s worth looking at Sarah Churchwell’s new Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby

So, to get back to basics, here’s the opening page of Fitzgerald’s original manuscript and that unforgettable opening line, ‘In my younger and more vulnerable years…’

20130612-102651.jpg