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Poets Ranked by Beard Weight: The Commemorative Edition Paperback – October 5, 2011
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"Everything that can be known about beards and much that can't." --The London Weekly Gazette
"Indispensable. A bible for the bearded!" --Wisps and Tufts
"Underwood's revolutionary syntheses lift the science of pogonology to hitherto undreamed of heights!" --Beards Illustrated
"A work of startling acuity, insight and originality. A breakthrough at the furthest frontiers of scientific progress." --Harrington's
"A comprehensive guide for the man about town and a must-have for every gentleman of cultivated taste. Underwood has done it again!" --Suave
About the Author
Upton Uxbridge Underwood (1881-1937), was a deipnosophist, clubman, and literary miscellanist with a special interest in tonsorial subjects. His masterpiece, The Language of the Beard, an epicurean treat confected for the delectation of fellow bon vivants, vaunts the premise that the texture, contours, and growth patterns of a man's beard indicate personality traits, aptitudes, and strengths and weaknesses of character.
Gilbert Alter-Gilbert is a critic, translator, and literary historian whose recent publications include the grim anthology Life and Limb and an English-language edition of Vicente Huidobro's Manifestos Manifest. An "experimental classicist", Alter-Gilbert is an inveterate practitioner of fictive history, a genre pioneered by such illustrious forebears as Marcel Schwob and Raymond Roussel.
Jack Passion is an American rock musician, author, entrepreneur, and folk hero. He is also the reigning World Beard and Mustache Champion in the Full Beard Natural category. Passion is the author of The Facial Hair Handbook. He is reputed to live in either San Francisco or Walnut Creek, California.
Mahendra Singh is an artist and illustrator. His projects include illustrating the Melville House edition of The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll. He lives in Montréal, Quebec.
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Top Customer Reviews
Hilarious theories of beard science and goofy beard cosmology are somehow plausibly articulated. The imaginative illustrations are superb. The text is never high-handed but it leaves the reader with the sense of being adroitly posed between the apocryphal and the actual. Whether it's seen as parody, science or pseudoscience, this one-of-a-kind exegesis is filled with gentle amusements.
A side-splitting romp through rarefied realms of "pogonology" and "barbometrics", the whole package is phantasmagoria of beard mania and a glorious salute to all things whiskered.
The book is a gas! An endlessly entertaining gem.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude for your painstaking research into the life and ideas of Upton Uxbridge Underwood--a man so remarkable, so mysterious, and so mellifluously named. Few things are nobler than rescuing some literary oddity from the abyss of history: it is a great and chivalrous deed deserving of the highest praise--and you have rescued not just one but many such oddities, assembling them with exceeding care into a single convenient volume which must delight and astound the literary historian. This latter, as he leafs through the pages of Poets Ranked by Beard Weight, becomes the equivalent of a Columbus, discovering a continent whose existence he never suspected, venturing into a world previously unknown.
As for me: I am just relieved to at last have a psychological explanation of Underwood's troubling beard-obsession, this thanks to your discovery of Cecil Asquith Feverfew's illuminating biography, a work so long lost it was rumored to be nonexistent and came to be sneeringly referred to, in certain scholarly circles, as "the phantom reference."
What Underwood either refused to consider or failed to recognize is that the bearded face is actually in some manner more obscene than the whiskerless one; and for this reason the beard is not the satisfactory veil-substitute his rashness celebrated. Indeed, the serious and distressing problem of facial nudity is one which the beard does not solve but, on the contrary, compounds. Underwood was granted a revelation of the solution, (the veil), but blind to the significance of what he had seen, he neglected it in favor of a wild fancy which, nurtured in the hothouse of his unbalanced head, soon acquired the dimensions of a pathological disorder. The problem of facial nudity can only be solved through the rigid enforcement of a law requiring, sub poena mortis, that all women go veiled and all men vizored--but it necessitated more pragmatism than Underwood possessed to arrive at this conclusion.
The lifework of Underwood, like that of so many men of genius, was no more than a mad dash in the wrong direction, the tragic pursuit of a chimera mistaken for truth.
Admittedly, readers with soul patches lurking limply beneath their nether lips may find these magnificent specimens dispiriting. But the rest of us can rejoice!