The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘puppets’

Germaine, or the Master Puppeteer

March 20, 2015 | by

“And what is the advantage your puppets would have over living dancers?”

“The advantage? First of all a negative one, my friend: it would never be guilty of affectation. For affectation is seen, as you know, when the soul, or moving force, appears at some point other than the center of gravity of the movement. Because the operator controls with his wire or thread only this center, the attached limbs are just what they should be … lifeless, pure pendulums, governed only by the law of gravity. This is an excellent quality. You’ll look for it in vain in most of our dancers.”

—Heinrich von Kleist, “On the Marionette Theatre”

Besides being World Poetry Day, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, World Down Syndrome Day, Truant’s Day (in Poland), Harmony Day (Australia), and the Anglican Commemoration of Thomas Cranmer, tomorrow (March 21) is World Puppetry Day. Read More »

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The City and the Pillar

September 4, 2014 | by

sock-monkey-complete-500x500

The vaguely familiar sock monkey.

There are lots of interesting things to see right now at the New-York Historical Society: a delightful exhibit on Ludwig Bemelmans’s New York, a look at the role of cotton in the Northern war effort, a moving show called “ ‘I Live. Send Help.’ 100 Years of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.” All of these are worth seeing. None of them is what I want to discuss right now.

Swinging through the gift shop post-visit, my eye fell upon a sock monkey–making kit. This is not in itself so noteworthy; the gift shop contains an enticing selection of educational toys for young nerds, including a “My First Tatting” kit, a loom, and a mobcap. What was interesting, rather, was the image of the finished sock monkey displayed on the label. He looked vaguely familiar.

It took me a long time to realize the resemblance. It came to me hours later, in fact, when I was in the basement laundry room of my apartment building, cleaning the lint trap of the dryer: Read More »