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The Mysteries of Harris Burdick Hardcover – September 24, 1984
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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From Publishers Weekly
A new portfolio edition offers the artwork from Chris Van Allsburg's The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, originally published in 1984, in loose oversized sheets. The enigmatic black-and-white drawings are each accompanied by a title and brief caption: for example, a picture of a nun placidly sitting in a chair floating in a cathedral is labeled "THE SEVEN CHAIRS: The fifth one ended up in France." The portfolio also includes a 15th drawing, discovered under circumstances as mysterious as the original set. A new Internet site, set to launch on October 28, will encourage the use of the pictures to seed creative writing assignments.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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This book is a collection of Images, with the back story being that an author had showed up to a publishing house with a portfolio of Images each based upon stories that he had written. After a promising first meeting the author (Harris Burdick) said to come back the next day with his stories, and the rest of images. He never returned. The collection are the only images and the titles of the books that may or may not have ever existed.
This book is a great source of inspiration when the creative juices are not quite flowing, and is a perfect source of inspiration.
"The Mysteries of Harris Burdick" is no exception. Here are 14 unrelated pictures with 14 unrelated titles and attention grabbing sentences. One shows a pirate ship, another a house rocketing off into space, and still another a woman falling asleep reading a book that has suddenly become alive.
A recent edition has come out with short stories attached by the author as well as other writers like Louis Sachar and Stephen King, but I think the portfolio edition should satisfy all your inspirational story crafting needs. This book is great grist for the mind mill. It will have you thinking and guessing what next long after the final page is turned.
So whether you're a creative writer or a teacher at any level of writing or even art (I know all my teachers and friends just couldn't get enough of this) you'll want to check this book out. Also, be sure to buy the portfolio edition which includes an extra 15th drawing tying it to one of the others in the collection.
Again, great stories come from the molten core of the imagination, and great pictures to supplement them and get the mind going are always welcome.
Happy writing and good luck!
discover this book was in keeping with Van Allsburg's earlier work, with a twist. I must say it required a couple of readings, cover to cover, at first. Each illustration compelled the reader to study it and puzzle over the caption. What exactly was this book about? How did one story connect to the next? The answers did not come readily. Who was this Harris Burdick? What was it about the illustrations that kept drawing me back? Was it the mysterious orbs in the young boys room, the bump under the rug, the ocean liner pushing into the canal? "Another Place, Another Time," said it best, "If there was an answer, he'd find it there." Clear as...? Not sure, but the entertainment value remains. Read this book, then read it again.
Come to your own conclusions.
First off, don't skip the introduction - it's the central point of the book and sets the tone for what's to come. Text-wise, there is a title and short sentence for each of the very strange pictures, and sometimes they seem completely unrelated. That's where the fun starts.
There are so many ways to use this book in the classroom. I'm planning a hushed dramatic reading of the introduction, followed by a flashlight-only exhibit of pictures and some background music to write by for my students this week as a break from the dreaded and stressful annual state test. I can't wait to go write, myself, about "The Seven Chairs" and why the nun is floating in the chapel. Or maybe the glowing pumpkin in "Just Dessert". Or perhaps....
Most recent customer reviews
The imagery is provoking, each picture comes with a title and caption for emphasis.Read more