Archive for September 22nd, 2014

Allan Fish will be undergoing an operation tomorrow morning for the small malignant tumor that has responded very well to previous chemotherapy.  Because of the early detection and localized nature of the tumor, Allan is fully expected to make a complete recovery, but will be on the sidelines until around February.  It has been a very trying time for Allan, his dear mum and aunt, but the successful end to this stress and fear is drawing to a close.  Here at WitD we all send our very best wishes to our longtime friend.    -Sam


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by Mike Norton

In early twentieth century Vienna, a washed up concert pianist, Stefan Brand (Louis Jordan), emerges from the rain soaked streets into his apartment, after confirming a duel the next morning that would undoubtedly end in his death, to find a letter waiting for him. The first lines of the letter, read in voiceover by Joan Fontaine, state simply and grimly- “By the time you read this letter, I may already be dead”. Fontaine plays the titular woman sending the letter, Lisa, and her narration sets in motion the main plot of the film, told in flashback from Lisa’s point of view. What follows is an epic melodrama bursting at the seams with emotion, expressed evocatively by director Max Ophüls’ camera poetry and the complex screenplay from Howard Koch, based off the novella of the same name written by Stefan Zweig. It is one of the most acutely and devastatingly felt American romantic films of all time.

We first meet Lisa as a teenager in Vienna when a dashing new tenant moves into her apartment complex. It’s Stefan Brand, a successful and talented concert pianist, and Lisa quickly becomes entranced by the man, despite never coming into direct contact with him. She listens yearningly to his playing of the piano, which she describes in her voice over as the “happiest hours of my life”. If melodrama is a genre based on bottled up emotion, than Lisa represents the perfect melodrama heroine. Her passion for Stefan starts off innocently enough, but when her family moves to Lintz and sets her up to marry a sweet, if dull, Army Lieutenant, she flees back to Vienna to be with the man who she truly loves, even if he still doesn’t know she exists. (more…)

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Lucille, the gang and I will classmate and artist extraordinaire Frane Lessac and his her husband the renowned author Mark Greenwood at Brooklyn Book Festival.


With world famous author illustrator Brian Collier in Brooklyn


Florence and Wendell Minor, author and artist extraordinaires with Jeremy and new fantastic book SEQUOIA

by Sam Juliano

One of the most hectic weekends on record for Lucille, the kids and I has resulted in a very brief Monday Morning Diary.  I am in fact trying to scratch together a short report of what we did, but will just put down a brief re-cap.  We attended two book festivals on Friday and Saturday, seeing a few of the same author-illustrators at both, though each was different in that one was exclusively for children’s books, while the other was for all types of books.  The Children’s Book Festival on Saturday was held in Princeton, New Jersey – it was the ninth annual- and it featured over a hundred writers and artists, some dual under white tents with colored designations on the courtyard outside the Princeton Library.  Numerous high-profiles figures in children’s literature were there, including Wendell and Florence Minor, Brian Floca, Peter Brown, David Collier, Edward Hemingway, Sophie Blackall, Jennifer Berne, Anne Rockwell,  and others.  Special shows and readings were done under the large demonstration tent.

The Brooklyn Book Festival, one of the largest in the world, was held on both Saturday and Sunday, though the childrens’ events were held on Sunday, when we were able to attend.  Unlike Saturday, when we only had Jeremy with us, we had the entire brood for Brooklyn.  We were absolutely thrilled to meet my old classmate at Cliffside Park High School, Frane Lessac and her husband Mark Greenwood, who performed a dramatic reading of their sublime 2012 picture book DRUMMER BOY OF JOHN JOHN.  We also got to see the young illustrator Evan Turk, (GRANDFATHER GANDHI) who will be appearing at my school tomorrow with author Bethany Hegedus to do several shows on their book to 4th through 8th graders.  We got to see Brian Floca again for the second consecutive day, and take in his fabulous reading and drawing show on his Caldecott Medal winning LOCOMOTIVE.  Again we chatted with Bryan Collier at his tent, and bought two of his John Lennon drawings for Lucille and my Lennon fanatic son Danny. (more…)

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