Interview: Jules Feiffer on “Bernard and Huey.”

Posted on June 14, 2018 at 8:00 am

It was truly an honor to get a chance to interview Jules Feiffer, who wrote the critically acclaimed “Carnal Knowledge,” a movie that was the subject of a Supreme Court case about whether it was obscene (they ruled that it was not). He also illustrated one of my favorite books, The Phantom Tollbooth, wrote a book about the history of comics, and many, many other books for children and adults. His latest movie is Bernard and Huey, based on a script he wrote thirty years ago.

The full interview is on The Credits. Here’s an excerpt:

Is the conquest more important than the sex for Bernard and Huey?

Conquest is major with Huey, but he also loves sex, and giving pleasure to women. Once it’s over, he’s indifferent, and wants them out of the way. This point was made more openly in Carnal Knowledge, where it’s clear that heterosexual men didn’t like women, they liked women’s bodies. And once the sex was over, and the cigarettes smoked, they wanted the girl gone, so they could go out with the guys (their real relationships), and talk about how, and with whom, they scored. Bernard would love a real relationship. He’s just too screwed up to maintain one.

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Maps of Enchanted Places

Posted on February 11, 2012 at 8:00 am

The Awl has a wonderful illustrated story by Victoria Johnson featuring maps of the imaginary worlds of children’s literature.  The maps of The Phantom Tollbooth, The Princess Bride, Winnie the Pooh, The Wizard of Oz, The Hobbit, and more are as inviting as the stories that take place there.  And when the publisher and author neglect to include a map, sometimes the fans will supply their own.  Johnson points to some fan maps of the land in The Hunger Games.

I love this description of the map in The Princess Bride.  (If you are a fan of the movie and have not read the book — full title The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure — please give it a try.)  Johnson writes:

 

The map is a doozy—jammed full of details, landmarks, labels, and with no perspective whatsoever. I mean, the Sun is on this map. The trees are the same size as the ships.

As a map: The map is deliberately evoking the feel of a Medieval illuminated manuscript, as this is an exaggerated version of how many maps looked around the times of princesses and feudal castles. Though examples of these kingdom-level maps are abundant and accessible, I’d like to particularly draw your attention to collection of sixteenth-century maps of Jerusalem, made available by The Jewish National University Library. The gallery beautifully illustrates the diversity to be found in this type of region-specific map. While none of them include the Sun, like Goldman’s map, they often use multiple perspectives to show the mapped lands.

 

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