R. Crumb: Literature, Autobiography, and the Quest for Self

21,000+ Reviews
Bookshop.org has the highest-rated customer service of any bookstore in the world
Product Details
University Press of Mississippi
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.6 inches | 0.85 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate
About the Author
David Stephen Calonne is senior lecturer in the Department of English Language and Literature at Eastern Michigan University. He is author of several works, including William Saroyan: My Real Work Is Being; The Spiritual Imagination of the Beats; Diane di Prima: Visionary Poetics and the Hidden Religions; and biographies of Charles Bukowski and Henry Miller. Calonne is also editor of five volumes of uncollected Bukowski stories and essays as well as Conversations with Gary Snyder and Conversations with Allen Ginsberg, both published by University Press of Mississippi.
Excepting a few obscure studies and essays, no one has pursued this otherwise obvious avenue of research into both comics and Crumb. Calonne has done excellent work gathering up the proliferate allusions throughout Crumb's oeuvre, and he has made outstanding observations on Crumb's drawing style and changes over the decades. R. Crumb: Literature, Autobiography, and the Quest for Self is extensive, evocative, and invaluable.--D. K. Holm, editor of R. Crumb: Conversations
R. Crumb is a fascinating analysis. Calonne does an excellent job of constructing and supporting his thesis: that Robert Crumb was deeply influenced by certain artists and ideas and that it is possible to see those ideas reflected in his comics. Those interested in comics studies would be well served to consider how Calonne is able to deftly blend an analysis of Crumb's art style and his influences.--Dan Newland "The Comic Book Yeti"
[R. Crumb: Literature, Autobiography and the Quest for Self] is engagingly written in a conversational and dynamic style. Moreover, Calonne's knowledge of literary history and cultural/political movements of the twentieth century is impressive. The book is cleverly organized according to Crumb's philosophical affinities with existentialist and countercultural thinkers: Kerouac, Sartre, Kafka, Phillip K. Dick, and so on. [. . .] In its generous exploration of the connections between Crumb's political beliefs, artistic influences, and spiritual yearnings, this book evoked what fascinated me about Crumb when I first encountered his work: how the raw honesty and poignancy of his expressionistic drawings and autobiographical stories felt so much more authentic than the highly mediated mainstream comics of most magazines and newspapers. [. . .] For example, the second chapter, 'Jelly Roll Morton, Charley Patton: Blues, Voodoo, and the Devil, ' is a fascinating exploration of both the visual and narrative facets of Crumb's celebration of early blues singers and voodoo folk culture.--Kerry D. Soper, Brigham Young University "Studies in American Humor"
Calonne focuses primarily on Crumb's intellectual and stylistic influences and how these affected his work and evolution as an artist. The influences are wide-ranging and include the Beat movement, early jazz and blues, and the authors Philip K. Dick, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Franz Kafka. The work culminates with a discussion of Crumb's provocative, illustrated version of the book of Genesis (2009). A common thread throughout the book is Crumb's ongoing fascination with diverse traditions like Zen Buddhism, Gnosticism, and existentialism, traditions that emphasize the development of the inner self. Calonne's book will be accessible even to someone unfamiliar with Crumb, and it includes numerous illustrations.--B. A. Robinson, Rollins College "CHOICE"
R. Crumb: Literature, Autobiography, and the Quest for Self succeeds as a compelling discussion not only of the energy and thought that Robert Crumb invests in his own life and work, but also of the comics medium itself as a legitimate avenue for the narrative and contemplative expression of philosophical, psychological, cultural, and spiritual matters.--Jesse Matlock "ImageText"