Monday, January 16, 2006

The Mezzotints (In A Nutshell)

"To make a Mezzotint of an afternoon like that was like working a jigsaw puzzle. It would take me days to whittle my prose poem down to the required length. Two hundred and fifty words was the maximum that could be printed. I used to write two or three thousand, then reach for the axe."
---- Henry Miller, Plexus (p.99)

I couldn't possibly profile the entire collection of Henry Miller's mezzotints in a single blog post, so count this as an overview.

Late in 1924, while Henry struggled with his newly-ventured Writer's Life--complete with the predictable lack of money--he tried his hand at self-publishing. The original idea, apparently, came from Henry's good friend Joe O'Reagan. Miller would write new material, but also draw upon his own stash of old letters and unpublished prose pieces, just as long as he printed one 250-word document a week. Each piece would be printed on coloured card stock, in quantities of 100 or more.

In Plexus, pages 97-100, Miller writes about the creation of the project and the efforts of Joe, Henry and June [who lived together during this period at 91 Remsen Street, pictured above left] to sell copies to friends and strangers in Greenwich Village and elsewhere in New York City. It was a tough sell; even friends "weren't very enthusiastic [... they] were dubious that I could keep it up for a year. They knew me well." June soon convinced Henry to allow her to put her name on the pieces and to sell them as her own. With her feminine charms, June was able to unload armfuls of the mezzotints, usually for all the wrong reasons.
In the Spring of 1935, Miller reported to Emil Schnellock that he'd created 35 mezzotint titles to date. Although one of these, A Bowery Phoenix would be published in Pearson's Monthly Review in February 1925, Miller's plan to sell subscriptions to the series was a failure. To make sure that his work was being read, Miller even resorted to sending copies to random people in the telephone book. Later in 1925, opening a speakeasy with June became a more reliable option for making ends meet, so the mezzotint project came to an end.

In 1927, an artist friend of Henry's named Hans Stengel thought he could illustrate the collection of mezzotints and get it published by Knopf or Liveright. Stengel's suicide shortly afterward put an end to that.

What exactly is a mezzotint? If you're that interested, take a look at this explanation, or this, or this. The finished look of a mezzotint is impressionistic in a way, very pixilated and grainy. Miller credits Whistler as the influence, though I don't know why, except maybe as an allusion to his impressionistic style. The metaphor being, I guess, that Miller is writing his own "impressions."

Roger Jackson has published, in a limited edition, reproduction of the mezzotints along with a history, in 1993's The Mezzotints. Antiqbook has a picture of this collection (which I've borrowed from for my posting). If you want to track one of these down for your own collection, keep the edition in mind, as some only contain eight reproductions, while others contain photocopies of every piece.

In the next week or so, I'll post a run-down of the individual mezzotint titles, and various anecdotes connected with some of them.

The picture of the mouth on the banner art is a cropped section of a mezzotint print done by artits Chuck Close. I chose it because it's a mezzotint and has a slight resemblance to the mouth of Henry Miller.


Blogger mmjiaxin said...

true religion jeans
adidas outlet
giuseppe zanotti outlet
wedding dresses uk
beats by dre
oakley sunglasses
tory burch sale
fred perry polo shirts
ugg boots uk
michael kors canada
barbour jackets
true religion jeans
ugg boots outlet,ugg outlet
louis vuitton handbags outlet
nike trainers
nike free uk
ray-ban sunglasses
canada goose outlet
vans shoes
true religion outlet uk

8:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ninest123 16.03
burberry outlet, longchamp outlet, burberry factory outlet, ray ban sunglasses, cheap oakley sunglasses, michael kors handbags, replica watches, louis vuitton outlet, ralph lauren outlet, uggs on sale, prada handbags, louis vuitton outlet online, uggs on sale, christian louboutin, nike free, nike air max, oakley sunglasses, nike air max, oakley sunglasses, ralph lauren polo, christian louboutin, ray ban sunglasses, nike outlet, tiffany jewelry, tiffany jewelry, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, longchamp bags, michael kors outlet online, louboutin shoes, louboutin uk, prada outlet, uggs outlet, uggs on sale, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, tory burch outlet, uggs outlet, gucci handbags, louis vuitton, longchamp outlet, cheap jordans, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton handbags, replica watches, oakley sunglasses, michael kors, louis vuitton outlet

10:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nike blazer pas cher, nike air max uk, polo ralph lauren uk, new balance, ralph lauren pas cher, michael kors, lululemon outlet, jordan pas cher, sac guess pas cher, nike free, burberry pas cher, michael kors uk, nike roshe run pas cher, hermes pas cher, coach outlet store online, coach purses, true religion outlet, replica handbags, north face uk, hogan sito ufficiale, timberland pas cher, north face pas cher, longchamp pas cher, true religion outlet, louboutin pas cher, polo lacoste pas cher, nike air max pas cher, nike air max, mulberry uk, hollister uk, ray ban uk, vanessa bruno pas cher, nike trainers uk, nike air force, lunette oakley pas cher, vans pas cher, michael kors, abercrombie and fitch UK, nike tn pas cher, longchamp soldes, lunette ray ban pas cher, converse, nike air max uk, nike free pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, true religion jeans, michael kors outlet online, nike roshe uk, true religion outlet

10:31 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

new york jets jersey
ysl outlet online
jordan 11
valentino shoes
san francisco 49ers jerseys
nike free running
giuseppe zanotti shoes
valentino outlet
abercrombie outlet
buffalo bills jersey
air max 90
minnesota vikings jerseys
washington redskins jerseys
chicago blackhawks jerseys
cleveland cavaliers jersey
air jordan 11
mizuno running shoes
carolina panthers jersey
dallas cowboys jerseys
browns jerseys
eagles jerseys
jordan 4
seattle seahawks jersey
nike trainers uk
chicago blackhawks
lions jerseys
green bay packers jerseys
san diego chargers jerseys
pittsburgh steelers jersey
miami heat jersey
ed hardy tshirts
denver broncos jerseys
green bay packers jersey
cleveland browns jerseys
jordan 13

5:40 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

chicago bulls jerseys
supra shoes
minnesota vikings jerseys
new england patriots jersey
marc jacobs sale
san antonio spurs jersey
baltimore ravens jerseys
nike soccer shoes
nike outlet online
mac cosmetics
air jordan 4
tods outlet
supra shoes sale
washington redskins jersey
los angeles lakers jersey
indianapolis colts jerseys
new balance shoes
marc jacobs
miami dolphins jersey
jordan 11
cleveland cavaliers jersey
vans outlet
houston texans jersey
jacksonville jaguars jersey
air jordan 11
vans shoes
salomon shoes

1:20 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

canada goose outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
coach outlet
prada outlet
nike huarache
yeezy boost 350
canada goose jackets
oakley sunglasses
louis vuitton
ugg boots

1:52 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

rolex watches
coach factory outlet
pittsburgh steelers jerseys
air max sale
louis vuitton outlet
ray ban wayfarer
new york knicks jerseys
nhl jerseys
coach outlet online
ugg australia

11:01 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

nike huarache
michael kors outlet
lions jerseys
longchamp le pliage
michael kors handbags
cheap nike shoes sale
golden state warriors jerseys
reebok shoes

8:52 pm  
Blogger raybanoutlet001 said...

michael kors handbags
michael kors outlet online
nike blazer pas cher
arizona cardinals jerseys
nike huarache
redskins jerseys
boston celtics
rolex replica
indianapolis colts jerseys
oakland raiders jerseys

2:26 am  
Blogger raybanoutlet001 said...

instyler max 2
eagles jerseys
nike tn pas cher
cheap michael kors handbags
ralph lauren outlet online
lebron james shoes
canada goose jackets
louis vuitton sacs
tennessee titans jersey
philadelphia eagles jerseys

9:20 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

led shoes
tory burch shoes
fitflops clearance
lacoste online shop
led shoes for kids
hogan outlet
yeezy boost 350
harden shoes
adidas online shop
pandora charms

1:01 am  
Blogger John said...

coach factory outlet online
christian louboutin sale
swarovski crystals
ralph lauren sale clearance uk
adidas store
michael kors handbags
coach factory outlet
coach factory outlet online
true religion outlet online
oakley vault

5:57 am  
Blogger fangyaoting said...

20170719 junda
longchamp outlet
cheap oakley sunglasses
lacoste polo
fitflops uk
cheap oakley sunglasses
polo outlet stores
cheap jordan shoes
nike roshe run
michael kors outlet clearance
ralph lauren outlet

9:24 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

nike dunks shoes
ferragamo belt
nike air force
michael kors factory outlet
new england patriots jersey
michael kors handbags
lebron james shoes
curry 3 shoes
kobe 11
nike polo shirts

9:37 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

jordan shoes
minnesota vikings jerseys
ralph lauren outlet
ray ban sunglasses
michael kors outlet
ugg outlet
ugg outlet
louboutin shoes
pandora outlet
fitflops shoes

9:16 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

polo ralph lauren
asics running shoe
ugg boots outlet
longchamp pas cher
mont blanc pens
mulberry handbags sale
salomon outlet
cheap oakley sunglasses
michael kors outlet
cheap michael kors handbags

12:08 am  
Blogger Clipping path Help Zone said...










6:04 am  
Blogger jeje said...

louboutin shoes
nfl jerseys
skechers shoes
off white outlet
off white jordan 1
ralph lauren uk
coach outlet
converse trainers
christian louboutin shoes
mlb shop

9:25 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...


ugg outlet clearance
lacoste polo
ecco shoes
jordan shoes
canada goose outlet
christian louboutin outlet
off white outlet
champion sportswear
adidas outlet
supreme clothing

10:24 pm  
Blogger yanmaneee said...

gucci belts
moncler outlet
kyrie 4 shoes
ralph lauren uk
yeezy shoes
yeezy boost
louboutin outlet
zx flux
birkin bag
yeezy boost 350

11:00 pm  
Blogger yanmaneee said...

yeezy boost 350 v2
nike shox
curry shoes
golden goose outlet
yeezy boost 700
kobe byrant shoes
off white hoodie
yeezy shoes

10:10 am  
Blogger Jay Keygreer said...

Fast Glass Crack Replacement
Liberal KS Exterminator
Investor Friendly Contracting
Contracting Near Me
Buy My House

3:23 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home