Thursday, November 19, 2020

“Tick-tack-toe on your apple”

Frank Cornish and Art.

Robertson Davies, What’s Bred in the Bone (1985).

I’ve known of teachers like that, the kind who can never allow a student to exceed their own knowledge or ability. Miss McGladdery doesn’t even know that she doesn’t know the terms hatching and crosshatching. Hatch, from the Middle French hacher, “to chop, slice up, incise with fine lines.”

Hatching and crosshatching make me think right away of R. Crumb and Bill Griffith. See, for instance, today’s Zippy.

Griffith’s graphic memoir Invisible Ink: My Mother’s Secret Love Affair with a Famous Cartoonist (2015) includes this excerpt from Lawrence Lariar’s Cartooning for Everybody  (1941):

Cross-hatching is rapidly disappearing from the comic business. There is a small demand for the cross-hatch system in certain comic strips, but the more modern comic artists forgot about the cross-hatch long ago.
Not To which Crumb and Griffith say “Oh yeah?”

What’s Bred in the Bone is the second novel of The Cornish Trilogy. Academia, art, astrology, family secrets, fortune-telling, Gnosticism, hatching and cross-hatching, E.T.A. Hoffman, intelligence gathering, King Arthur, murder, opera, Romanticism, stringed-instrument repair, theology: it’s fiction with something for everyone. Totally great. And I still have several hundred pages to go.

Related reading
All OCA Robertson Davies posts (Pinboard) : A review of Invisible Ink

comments: 4

MK said...

I read Davis a long time ago, and I really liked him. But I later found his (almost dogmatic) adherence to Jungian psycho-analysis rather grating (it's a "Toronto thing" that also affects Northrop Frye and more recently the perhaps unjustly reviled Peterson).

Michael Leddy said...

I’ve watched some clips from interviews, and RD does seem a pretty dogmatic fellow.

MK said...

Dogmatism is one thing (and can even be endearing at times), but dogmatic adherence to Jung is quite another, as you can see in the work of Peterson. It reminds me too much of pre-1945 German views.

Michael Leddy said...

I think I so much enjoy Davies’s capacity for narrative invention that I look past the Jung and the Tarot. That stuff just leaves me cold, as do dogmas and systems generally.