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Passionate Journey: A Vision in Woodcuts Paperback – Dec 10 2007


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Passionate Journey: A Vision in Woodcuts + The City: A Vision in Woodcuts + The Sun, The Idea & Story Without Words: Three Graphic Novels
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (Dec 10 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486460185
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486460185
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.1 x 0.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #241,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Format: Hardcover
Like the Tarot, the images here are universal and transformative. They have the additional benefit of a wry sense of humor and subtle undercurrents of a humanist sensibility.
A must have for any searcher or thinker.
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By A Customer on April 30 1999
Format: Hardcover
When my sister gave me this book for my birthday, it was one of the greatest presents I ever received. I was inspired, comforted, and emboldened by Masereel's wordless tale of a questing spirit. Despite the fact that I've read it literally hundreds of times (almost every night when I was working in Calcutta), I always see something new in the subtle, highly expressive woodcuts. Besides the brilliance of his technique, the story Maserel tells is exciting, complex, hilarious and moving. A treaure I wouldn't trade for practically anything.
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By A Customer on Aug. 23 1998
Format: Hardcover
I do not agree with the reviewer that wrote the following lines concerning Masereel's work: "We can no longer flip through it with the passion and mounting excitement which Mann describes in his introduction. For us, such journeys seem to end very close to where they began." This commentator seems to arrive at this statement from an overly-pessimistic outlook. Perhaps it would be better to comment merely on the genius of the work rather than make broad socialogical/philosophical judgements which are not well grounded, (or rather which are grounded in the reviewer's own pessimism). I suggest weekend outings as a alternative to staying home and reading a novel.
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By A Customer on May 31 1996
Format: Hardcover
Frans Masereel made this "Novel in 165 Woodcuts" in 1919. With these 165 beautifully stark images, Masereel tells the story of a man's life - his love, his grief, his awe, his despair - without using a single word. "Passionate Journey" unfolds like a silent film; its attempt to communicate the reality of a lived life across boundaries of language (and literacy) gives it a quality of spiritual striving and - ultimately - transcendence. A small, luminous masterpiece.

"Look at these powerful black-and-white figures, their features etched in light and shadow. You will be captivated from beginning to end..." - Thomas Mann
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A beautiful biography -- Dec 17 2006
By wiredweird - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
-- or is it? Masereel's remarkable little book declines to explain itself.

These 165 expressive woodcuts present snapshots from the life of one man, or so we assume. He's not all that special - he's not a great hero, leader, or lover, though he's each at one point or another. He doesn't rise above or sink below anyone else, except in the usual ways. As with Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man," this book celebrates the ordinary. And, when seen in such detail, the ordinary becomes quite extraordinary.

The book opens with the un-named man's arrival by train. The crowd and surroundings excite him, as does the mechanism of the train itself. Then, he's off to his new life in the city. We see that life in an uneven, even surreal pace. Masereel's vivid, expressive images hopscotch through the years of his life. Sequences of unrelated images seem to compress years into just a few pages. Other times, long sequences examine individual stories in detail - the adoption of a daughter, his happiness in her, and her final illness and death may be the most moving. It's a life-changing event, and sets the anonymous man off on a lengthy voyage, perhaps to lose himself or to find himself again. He returns to the city life, and eventually retires. The imagery changes radically at this point. It suggests Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" and "Starry Night," and also hints at Van Gogh's death.

Or maybe not. The imagery speaks volumes, but speaks a different volume to each viewer - and will probably speak differently to me when I read it again. Although it's an illustrated story, it's not for children. It is for anyone who wants to see the grandparents of today's illustrated fiction, or who appreciates woodcut in itself. This Dover edition is a beautiful reproduction, with richly saturated blacks but paper opaque enough to keep each page from bleeding through. It's easy to enjoy - so go ahead, enjoy it.

//wiredweird
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Pure Inspiration April 30 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
When my sister gave me this book for my birthday, it was one of the greatest presents I ever received. I was inspired, comforted, and emboldened by Masereel's wordless tale of a questing spirit. Despite the fact that I've read it literally hundreds of times (almost every night when I was working in Calcutta), I always see something new in the subtle, highly expressive woodcuts. Besides the brilliance of his technique, the story Maserel tells is exciting, complex, hilarious and moving. A treaure I wouldn't trade for practically anything.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
a transcendant, wordless novel May 31 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Frans Masereel made this "Novel in 165 Woodcuts" in 1919. With these 165 beautifully stark images, Masereel tells the story of a man's life - his love, his grief, his awe, his despair - without using a single word. "Passionate Journey" unfolds like a silent film; its attempt to communicate the reality of a lived life across boundaries of language (and literacy) gives it a quality of spiritual striving and - ultimately - transcendence. A small, luminous masterpiece.

"Look at these powerful black-and-white figures, their features etched in light and shadow. You will be captivated from beginning to end..." - Thomas Mann
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Powerful Catalyst May 22 2000
By Todd Kuebler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Like the Tarot, the images here are universal and transformative. They have the additional benefit of a wry sense of humor and subtle undercurrents of a humanist sensibility.
A must have for any searcher or thinker.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The amazing graphic art of Frans Masereel - "Passionate Journey" and "The City" Jan. 28 2008
By H. B. Winslow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Passionate Journey" and "The City".
Both books of woodcuts are produced by Dover Books. The presentation of both is simple but the reproduction of the woodcuts is very good. These woodcuts are as fresh today as they must have been radical when first published in 1919 and 1925 respectively. These 'books without words' are fascinating in their portrayal of the human condition. "Passionate Journey" I believe to be a true work of art. One criticism of the editions is that they lack detailed information on Frans Masereel's life and times. I would liked to have much more on the impact of his work at the time and the context with regard to German Expressionism and the Weimar Republic. These books will hopefully introduce the work of Masereel to a much wider audience. They also represent reasonable value for money.

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