Here’s what I’m going to do intermittently for some opening
posts of the new year.
It’s a series charts I created a number of years ago
and also my thoughts about Shep’s work in
refutation of a couple of essays by others.
It’s sort of an interrelated gallimaufry.
Regarding my EXCELSIOR, YOU FATHEAD! THE ART AND ENIGMA OF JEAN SHEPHERD, on occasion I encounter a comment that indicates that the person is not sure how I organized it. Some might think it’s disorganized.
Others find the methods and organization I used in the book to be appropriate to the subject–I’d like to think they’re right, especially the reviewer who commented that the book seems inspired by Shepherd’s style itself (it was not consciously). The book does have a specific organization from beginning to end, and to clue the reader in, the last paragraph of each chapter indicates how the next chapter is a logical continuation of the theme. I also explain in the book that there is a very loose chronology of the PARTS (The formative years from childhood through early radio years; followed by what I call “The Great Burgeoning” in New York; followed at the end by the finale–a back-and-forth summing up of life and art). Interspersed between some of the chronology are THEMATIC CHAPTERS that describe and reflect on Shep’s various creative endeavors as these seem to emerge from the rough chronology.
While working this out, I made a chart to help show myself (and then interested others) how all this goes together. The chart was done in a rather large format for ease of viewing–one that could not be scanned or imported into this blog in one piece, so here it is in two pieces. The originals of all my charts were only meant to be printed out on paper–not miniaturized into a blog and viewed on a screen. Remember that one can click on images in the post to significantly enlarge them for ease of reading (I hope!).
I’ve put together a number of charts over the years to help me get a better sense of Shepherd’s life and work. I’ll be posting them one at a time over the next month or so.
Either through my ignorance or the inbuilt limitations of this blog program, I can’t control some visual aspects. So one has to see in one’s mind, the single, continuous artwork broken here into the two-part chart above. Obviously the relative scale of the two is slightly different as it was imported here, and can’t be reconciled. It’s impossible for me to position images just where I want them–the program just resists my attempts at subtle adjustments. In fact, as I draft the post, the two halves show side by side, not one over the other. The title with Shep’s name, obviously should continue on the same level.
The various charts I’ve made, first for my eyes alone and my pleasure, then available to help explain some material to others, were all done about a decade ago in the Adobe Illustrator program and printed out on a large-format Epson 11″ x 17″ -capable-printer. As I no longer have the printer, I rely on old print-outs to scan and awkwardly import them here.
Creating the charts and somehow managing to post them–
all other parts of my enjoyment of working on Shep projects.
I just opened this post as though I were an average viewer and found that although the first half of the chart, when clicked opens larger (It has a blue outline when cursor is over it), the second part does not–I don’t know why this might be–damn computers! To enlarge, copy this part and paste into a word processing document–one can then enlarge that. Very annoying having to attempt to outwit an electronic servant! –eb