A friend alerted me to a noteworthy publishing offering next month: The Best of Hieronymus Bosch.
I want this. To add to my collection of books about Bosch’s zany art work.
Hats off to the copywriter of this launch. Samples of his or her work:
FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE COMPLETE WORKS OF MEDIEVAL PAINTER HIERONYMUS BOSCH HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED IN A LAVISH BOOK. SEE A DEVIL ON ICE SKATES, MYSTICAL VISIONS OF RELIGIOUS ECSTASY, AND NAKED LADIES WITH BLUEBERRIES FOR HEADS.
More than 400 years before LSD was even invented, the Netherlandish artist Hieronymus Bosch created some of history’s trippiest paintings. His scenes feature such grotesqueries as devils on ice skates; hare-headed demons; knights being eaten alive by dog-lizard hybrids; and a pig in a nun’s habit kissing a naked man.
And, probably my favorite:
He makes Salvador Dali look like Norman Rockwell.
It really says something about our culture when a guy who’s been dead for 500 years is repackaged as a “Best of.” It makes me think that the target audience for this is not that far removed from the target audience for, say, The Best of Paul McCartney & Wings.
While I have great admiration for that copywriting, I can’t help noting that this edition can’t be both comprehensive — as it claims to be — and a “best of.” These things are antithetical. “Best” refers to the upper echelon of achievement; “comprehensive” tells us that everything is included.
Let me tell you, it’s pure hell hearing every word for its actual meaning. But, as they say, live by the sword, die by the sword.