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The Secondary Colors

The Secondary Colors

by Alexander Theroux

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
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

Product Details

Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
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6.64(w) x 7.32(h) x 6.10(d)

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