Books and cats: I do not speak of books about cats but of books with cats, among whom I have chosen four titles.
Cats in an identity crisis. Three stories, two cats and ninety cartouches (Salani) is a collaboration of Serena Vitale – teacher of Russian language and literature, publishing consultant, literary critic, translator, writer – and Vladimír Novák – Bohemian painter, is considered a classic of Czech painting –, human couple who lives with a feline couple, Nina and Yorick. One day Vladimir discovers that Serena, smoker, hides the written intimidation of cigarette packets with anonymous yellow post-it, and turns them into art. On scraps of paper tucked between cellophane and cardboard so begin to appear in dozens of miniature with feline theme: Nina turns into Marie Antoinette, moth, singer or heroin, or simply as a cat, but in Matisse or Seurat style; Yorick instead becomes Ignatius of Loyola, Sitting Bull, Spiderman, or turns into ghost and dream. Serena decides to completed the pictures with three stories, and stopped smoking. An enjoyable tribute to the mysterious feline nature.
At the opposite is a volume illustrated by Edward Gorey, Categor y. Gorey (1925-2000) has many readers around the world and is celebrated for his sinister and mysterious humor. Appearing for the first time in the United States in 1973, Categor y collects fifty cartoons originally created as an accompaniment to a limited edition of the book Amphigorey. In each one there is a cat in striped shirt and surrealist setting, with the consecutive numbers inserted in a creative way. For gourmets.
Finally, two ideas for East lovers.
The hilarious Zen for Cats is written by a famous American humorist, Henry Beard, and illustrated by Ron Barrett, cartoonist and illustrator for children. Zen sayings and practices are sometimes reinterpreted with a feline perspective, sometimes reported almost faithfully “felinized” by images. An example for all:
If you meet the Buddha
on a path of
garden, bite him.
More meditative is The Cat and the Tao, collection of thoughts of ancient wisdom illustrated with delicate watercolors by the Chinese painter Kwong Kuen Shan; quotes are directly translated from the original Chinese and in harmony with the combined images, each of which is accompanied by one or more “seals”. Introspective and poetic, to browse in relaxation.