The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

January 2, 2017

January 2, 1962

Kurt Seligmann, (July 20, 1900 to January 2, 1962,) was an artist and author of books like The Mirror of Magic: 250 illustrations (1948) and same year, The History of Magic: a catalogue of sorcery, witchcraft, and the occult.  Finding himself in America when the war began, he worked to help other surrealists get off the continent.

This native of Basel reflected his interests in his paintings. In The Mirror of Magic, we learn that the devil produces good when treated justly by saintly or good men. The example is a bridge the devil builds across a space that humans could not accomplish. The devil gets the first thing that crosses. And this may be a cat, rather than a person. I am paraphrasing his words, though I have Seligmann's sense accurately.

His imagery often shows contorted and beset figures. Seligmann is labeled a surrealist artist. In my opinion the art does not transcend a kind of literalism which is merely pretentious. There is currently a revival of interest in Kurt Seligmann.

No comments: