The Principles of Uncertainty

The Principles of Uncertainty

Book - 2007
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The Principles of Uncertainty is an irresistible invitation to experience life through the psyche of Maira Kalman, one of this country's most beloved artists. The result is a book that is part personal narrative, part documentary, part travelogue, part chapbook, and all Kalman. Her brilliant, whimsical paintings, ideas, and images--which initially appear random--ultimately form an intricately interconnected worldview, an idiosyncratic inner monologue. Kalman contends with some existential questions--What is identity? What is happiness? Why do we fight wars? And then, of course, death, love, and candy (not necessarily in that order).--From publisher's description.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2007
ISBN: 9781594201349
Branch Call Number: 741.6092 KAL
Characteristics: 325p. : chiefly col. ill. ; 24 cm


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Aug 03, 2016

In this humorous, illustrated memoir of sorts, Maira Kalman intertwines the minutia of her life (pages dedicated to her empty box collection, candy collection, and unusual hats) with philosophical questions about LIFE and HUMANITY. The effect is quirky and thought-provoking, rather than pretentious.

WVMLStaffPicks Jan 27, 2015

Leafing through The Principles of Uncertainty is akin to visiting an art opening with the artist, meandering through New York City observing fashion, architecture and ephemera with a local, discussing human nature with an astute observer and reading snippets of philosophical musing over a diarist’s shoulder. This compilation of text, photographs and paintings documenting Maira Kalman’s life is delightful.

lasmith55 Nov 08, 2014

really enjoyed the visual diary format and the quirky artistry too.

iRead26 Jul 16, 2014

Lovely artwork. Pretty light on philosophy/politics but what is shared is poignant and interesting.

JCLMELODYK Jun 20, 2013

Maria Kalman is one of my favorite illustrators, known for her work for the New Yorker. Her writing is at times both humorous and endearing. You will never forget the rules of grammar once you've read The Elements of Style as illustrated by Kalman. Two thumbs up on all her work.

Dec 30, 2010

Delightful and insidiously deep book. The illustrations speak more than the spare text, but the text in its spareness doesn't overwhelm.

Jul 27, 2010

This book is just about perfect to me. I read it twice the same night, and had to buy my own copy. Since then I've introduced it to two friends so far who also bought their own copies. I appreciated Kalman's loving eye and hearing/seeing her ways of getting through what breaks her heart.

Feb 01, 2010

Maira Kalman is one of my favorite artists. Follow her work in the New York Times for a fix of eye candy between books.

Jan 26, 2010

I adore this book. It is written in a stream of consciousness style, which is a style that I don't always enjoy, but it is so delightfully illustrated that you feel as though you are in the author/illustrator's head. It's a great place to be, even with the melancholy that exists there. I imagine she would be a wonderful person to spend time with and you feel like you have after reading this book.

Dec 05, 2009

This has to be one of the quirkiest books I have ever read. But, oh the colour! Filled with random thoughts and wonderful illustrations. After a glass of wine, it made infinitely more sense and I desperately had to travel to Paris. Or, maybe that was 2 glasses.


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Aug 03, 2016

“We could speak about the meaning of life vis-a-vis non-consequential/deontological theories, apodictic transformation schemata, the incoherence of exemplification, metaphysical realism, Cartesian interactive dualism, revised non reductive dualism, postmodernist grammatology and dicey dichotomies. But we would still be left with Nietzsche's preposterous mustache which instills great anguish and skepticism in the brain, which leads (as it did in his case) to utter madness. I suggest we go to Paris instead. ”

Aug 03, 2016

“My dream is to walk around the world. A smallish backpack, all essentials neatly in place. A camera. A notebook. A traveling paint set. A hat. Good shoes. A nice pleated (green?) skirt for the occasional seaside hotel afternoon dance.”


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