A line isn't just a line. Lines do not exist in reality. And out of a world of millions of options...a line is ultimately placed where the artist chooses. It's a creative process, one that doesn't aim at representing reality per se, but one that wants to tell it. As a writer selects each word he will use, Robinson's lines are not randomly placed; the one at the center of the composition, right where the eye falls first has gone through the same decision making process as the one at the edge...Well, you get the idea.
This year New York City celebrates its 400th anniversary of English explorer Henry Hudson's arrival on the shores of the river named after him. In New York 400: A Visual History of America's Greatest City (Running Press), the Museum of the City of New York (oh boy, in New York there are museums for everything) has collected a bunch of, uh, stuff commemorating and annotating four centuries of history, including essays illuminating that history. Not surprisingly, Mayor Bloomberg opines, "The history of New York is in many ways the history of America," and seems to suggest all Americans are New Yorkers. Historian Mike Wallace's take is measured, observing N.Y.C. as a "crucible of culture high and low." It's a sumptuous 500-page tome for those who like this kind of thing.