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img527 The Night Country is an interesting book with an interesting author, Loren Eiseley (1907-1977). Eiseley was a professor and educator, naturalist, anthropologist and philosopher whose books are still nearly all in print. The illustrations for this book The Night Country (1971) are by an excellent illustrator Leonard Everett Fisher, a master of the woodcut technique whose work we have covered in an earlier post. It is interesting to see an inexpensive softcover of this period illustrated with very simple woodcuts as opposed to other printing, like offset illustrations. The cover already shows us the effects of the wooden board just like the black and white illustrations do.

img528Interesting in my opinion, is the statement by Ray Bradbury one of the greatest American Science Fiction writers and author of the dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451.

img528Aimg529Loren Eiseley was way ahead of his time and his books are clearly expressing his views towards nature and the great human adventure without resulting to scientific mumbo jumbo as many authors now tend to do. I would put him in the same class of visionary writers as Lewis Mumford and Marshall McLuhan.

img533img530img531Predating the above book by one year is the book The Invisible Pyramid and again the book cover shows the limits but also the wonderful craftsmanship obtainable with the woodcut technique.

img534The illustrations are less densely printed and more dainty. They are by Walter Ferro (1925-2005) ,a good illustrator but in a completely different style from Everett Fisher. Ferro’s illustrations call perhaps for a different type of paper and would result better in color in my opinion. His work has been covered in several art magazines such as this issue here. His work was also exhibited in Europe.

img536img537img541BAgain a qualified opinion by Ray Bradbury, not a writer whose “opinions” could be bought.

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