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Lynd Ward: Six Novels in Woodcuts (Library of America, Nos. 210 & 211) Hardcover – October 14, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1598530827 ISBN-10: 1598530828 Edition: Slp

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Frequently Bought Together

Lynd Ward: Six Novels in Woodcuts (Library of America, Nos. 210 & 211) + The City: A Vision in Woodcuts (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) + Passionate Journey: A Vision in Woodcuts (Dover Fine Art, History of Art)
Price for all three: $59.80

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1408 pages
  • Publisher: Library of America; Slp edition (October 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598530828
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598530827
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This two-volume boxed set collects the six woodcut novels, each composed of a single wordless image per page, that Ward created in the 1920s–30s, from the first, oddly apostrophied Gods’ Man to the triumphantly bleak, dissertation-worthy Depression tale Vertigo. In his entertaining and perceptive introduction, Spiegelman attests that Ward “is one of only a handful of artists anywhere who ever made a ‘graphic novel’ until the day before yesterday,” and it is indeed likely that acolytes of comics and visual narrative will be the most rewarded by this collection. Ward’s work is dense with the stark symbolism of an expressionist and predominantly concerned with the nature of art, on one hand, and the prevailing social and labor issues of the day, on the other; the miscues he makes in clapping these two hands together are often as revealing as his successes. Elegant, harsh, ambitious, flawed, and deeply fascinating—if not for the themes Ward explored, then certainly for the painstaking channels he carved into a new medium. --Ian Chipman

About the Author

Art Spiegelman is a cartoonist who first came to attention in the early 1980s as editor of the magazine Raw. His books include the Pulitzer Prize-winning Holocaust story Maus, Maus II, and In the Shadow of No Towers. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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It's a pleasure to read again.
oldtaku
In addition, it is quality work, stories worth seeing/reading.
CT photo rookie
Some of Wards visual perspectives are very interesting.
Oliver Stanton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 99 people found the following review helpful By oldtaku on October 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is possibly the first American graphic novel. You can argue that comic strips like Little Nemo created more graphically and textually ambitious stories earlier, but as far as I know in my limited knowledge this is the first 'comic' intended to be read as a single volume in standalone format. Or six of them.

There are six woodcut illustrated stories, completely devoid of words. If you're familiar with KMFDM covers you know how powerful this can be. First, realize that the negative space is just as important as the positive space. Only the right pages of the book are used, and often only 1/3 of the right page depending on the aspect ratio of the print. But this the right choice - forcing your eyes to scan would be counterproductive. These are powerful, completely wordless fables which rely on the power of stark monochrome. Which means...

You need to read this twice. The first time skip the introductions and the artist's comments on his works at the end of the book. Spiegelman is a smart man, but he reads things into the narrative that do not entirely match my interpretation, and I think my opinions are just as justified as his on re-reading. That's part of the raw power of such a stark wordless medium. For now just look at each page long enough to comprehend what is going on, then turn the page. Dive in. Do not dissect the art or think too hard about anything right now. You can absorb the atmosphere, such as when the sun is dark and when it's light, or when the prints are red and black, but don't think too long. At this point you will realize that using only the right pages was the correct presentation - this demands a flow of consciousness and scanning would disrupt that.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Oliver Stanton on January 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This set has all six novels, which were very difficult and costly to find before it's publication. It also includes commentaries by Ward about each novel. Each print is on one page with the facing page blank making it very easy to concentrate on the composition of the print. Some of Wards visual perspectives are very interesting. The stories are haunting.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jared Christopher McCann on April 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book you will read again and again if you love the Depression era. I've sometimes found myself contemplating these woodcuts for long periods. You will continue to find different meaning in them each time, as well as appreciation for an almost unknown genre of novel. Quite worth the money and the time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Porgy on December 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
These 6 novels comprise one of the most amazing and enduring works of literary effort in American cultural history. I use the word literary, though there is not a word in them, because Ward's incredible drawings evoke from the reader whatever ties to literature and literary metaphor the reader brings to these books. The intricate composition of the drawings - the foreshortening, the dramatic light coupled with faces and figures of his characters burning with obsession or destiny - all of it is simply breathtaking. The story telling in the novels is both unhurried and yet because of the George Grosz quality of the drawings is also menacing. The stories of the novels have the flavor of myth and almost every character suffers a kind of retributive predestination. Both the stories and the drawings though are thrilling. Like the reviewer above, I too wished the publishers had crafted the books so that the pages could have been laid flat to better enjoy the drawings. But this is a small quibble. Hopefully with this publishing event by the non profit org who publishes these books - Library of America - more people will become acquainted with the extraordinary work of Lynd Ward
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By gargantua on December 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
-to have this reissue of Ward's books I remember from my pre-comic book days. I have an original copy of Gods Man as well as several books that Ward illustrated, including Frankenstein and A Book of Hours, I agree with others that the size of the reprints are too small, and was sorry to see that the one red print seems to be missing from Mad Man's Drum. Nevertheless. this boxed set is wonderful for me to have and treasure, and a bargain, to boot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. Leed on March 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a collection of six graphic novels by Lynd Ward, a master of the wood block illustration. The interesting thing about these books is that even it consists entirely of illustrations, it is clearly possible to understand the story and feel the emotions of the characters. I found the illustrations in this set compare very favorably to the ones in hard to find original Ward books. Library of America has done a great service by republishing Ward's works and it is well worth the read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CT photo rookie on March 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Anyone interest in Graphic novel, or in stories through visuals must get this collection. It is a peek into the beginnings of this genre of art/literature. In addition, it is quality work, stories worth seeing/reading. As an English teacher I find graphic novels a integral vehicle to interest the reluctant reader and a way to expand the interpretation skills of my honor students.
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