Ah, the things you find in your local Goodwill. Like this, for example—a Farsi (I only speak English and Latin so I can’t be sure) translation of Dick Bruna’s Snow White, which was originally published in 1966 by Follet. This version was published by Tehran-based Padideh, I’m not sure when but if we were to judge a book by its (ragged) cover and condition, I’m guessing it’s from around the same time.
Anyway, when it comes to the oeuvre of the Man Behind Miffy, language is secondary—Bruna’s simple lines, pared-down shapes and primary colors communicate the story line quite nicely without it.
That’s what I especially love about his Snow White—the bleak, slightly convoluted fairy tale is distilled to its essence: happy princess, frowny queen, the huntsman, sad princess, the dwarves’ cottage, the surprised dwarves, happy princess and happy dwarves, very frowny queen, the apple offered, the glass coffin, the prince, the end!
I’ve been reading up on the beatific Bruna, now in his 80s and apparently still leading an idyllic life of bicycles and cafes in Utrecht, and it seems he cites Matisse as his major artistic influence, which I kind of get, but you can be sure I’ll be thinking about it when I hit the Matisse exhibit (hopefully!) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art next month.
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