by Maria Kalman
I know this book has been around for a while.
It was on my wish list for years before I bought it.
I just always found myself doubting;
to buy or not to buy?
If, like me, you’re into visual journals, buy!
It’s hard to describe why the book is so great.
It seems easier to say what this book is NOT.
It’s NOT a visual journal in the sense that
it’s a chronological account of life,
sharing those wee moments of the day.
And yet, on the other hand, it IS exactly that.
Kalman becomes personal in an almost abstract way.
The reason I didn’t buy this book sooner,
– unfamiliar at the time with her columns for the NY Times –
is because when I looked inside on Amazon,
I felt the book was a bit ’empty’,
containing so few words, so few images.
And indeed, it’s not a wordy or crammed book
which really is a wonderful jam-packed account of big and small events in her day-to-day life;
hours of reading material!
Kalman offers none of this.
And YET I spent hours reading Kalman’s Principles.
Kalman’s Principles is not as in-your-face as the facsimile editon of Kurt Cobain’s journals either.
That book is a MUST HAVE for journal collectors as well.
Even if you don’t like Nirvana
(Except for appreciating some gems they made, I’m not a fan either.)
Cobains journals are a very intimate look into a man’s life.
A very sensitive and clever man.
Online book sellers refer mostly to Cobain’s plans for Nirvana and fame,
but I read more of the man himself in there.
The journals gave me an appreciation for Cobain in retrospect.
His entries are bold, frank and in-your-face.
Unlike Kalman’s Principles of Uncertainty.
On the other hand,
Kalman sometimes invites the reader into her mind.
She never explains anything,
she just lets us drift on the meanderings of her own thoughts and observations.
And somehow, that feels incredibly intimate
– in a good way.
For those who want to see more of Kalman’s work,
the New York times hosts a blog with her visual column,
a gorgeous preview of the book,
for the Principles is a compilation of those.