The Secondary Colors

The Secondary Colors

by Alexander Theroux
     
 

Alexander Theroux, with these essays on the secondary colors - orange, purple, and green - continues to explore by way of literature, music, art, poetry, linguistics, sports, religion, food, science, botany, movies, fable, anecdote, and no end of satire and strong opinion the innumerable facets of each color, which, like the magic of his writing, scintillate like… See more details below

Overview

Alexander Theroux, with these essays on the secondary colors - orange, purple, and green - continues to explore by way of literature, music, art, poetry, linguistics, sports, religion, food, science, botany, movies, fable, anecdote, and no end of satire and strong opinion the innumerable facets of each color, which, like the magic of his writing, scintillate like perfect diamonds. A new and avidly awaited collection, The Secondary Colors is an exposition of marvels that follows his witty, encyclopedic, and endlessly fascinating book on the primary colors. In the perfection of its language, looping the factual to the fabulous, this dazzling work, at once a meditation and a mythic celebration, madly delights in the information on which it also depends, like a duck drinking the water on which it also floats. Theroux is scholar and showman both, uncannily able to teach and to please in a prose so striking and of such measureless intensity and wayward poetic enchantment that every page, transfigured with a singing grace, reflects the bounty of riches gathered from a thousand fronts to make each color live, in the very same way, according to the proverb born of an old belief: It takes an entire village to raise a child.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Novelist Theroux's intoxicating essays on orange, purple and green-one essay per color-comprise a logical sequel to his popular The Primary Colors. In "Orange" he veers from Chaucer's Chaunticleer to Halloween to Al Jolson's joyous shout "Velveeta!" Each color calls forth a multitude of associations drawn from daily life, art, literature, myth, history, music, science, film, cuisine, religion, until each hue seemingly defines an arc encompassing the whole world. "Purple" stimulates Theroux to imaginative leaps as he contemplates the color of sanctity, wit, devotion, vanity, majesty, truth. The essay on green hops from baseball slugger Ted Williams's eyes to poet Anne Sexton's "Suicide Note" as Theroux plumbs "the ambiguous color of life and death." What might have been a random assortment of trivia becomes in Theroux's palette an education of the senses and emotions, a magical tour of the visible landscape, an exploratory adventure of continual discovery and enchantment. (Apr.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Written in the same style as The Primary Colors (LJ 8/94), this volume contains three lengthy essays-one per color-featuring the complementary hues. Reflecting Theroux's wide-ranging intellectual, cultural, and popular interests, the essays attempt to elicit tones of orange, purple, and green using snippets of poetry and literature, foreign-language words and phrases, and references to symbols, food, films, sports, cosmetics, artworks, the environment, and everyday objects. Thus, orange is loud, rhymes with nothing in English, is marmalade, Halloween, Wheaties boxes, a side effect of hepatitis, Agent Orange, and fire; purple "is the irresistibly deep and beckoning color of leather, heather, feathers, sagebrush, winter slush, Tibetan mush, age, sage, shade, grapeade, a forest glade, mince pies, winter skies..."; and green is nature, monsters, renewal, slime, poison, envy, the Grinch, and the Jolly Green Giant. These are merely verbose, rambling lists that fail in their purpose. An optional purchase.-Joan Levin, MLS, Chicago

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805053265
Publisher:
Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
03/28/1997
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.64(w) x 7.32(h) x 6.10(d)

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