Humans can be a disappointing lot. Most are interesting and individual when they're kids, but they tend to hit boring by the time they're thirty. By forty, they'll lost all trace of their former selves, and seem destined to be as narrow as their arteries are becoming.
There are exceptions, of course, and, if you're reading this, you're probably one of those.
I collect dolls. Yes, I'm a male in his late forties and I collect dolls. The boring humans I'm talking about ask me idiotic questions about my collecting. Even though they ask these questions, they don't really want to know why I do it. They want to, in fact, get me to admit that my collecting is some symptom of a troubled childhood or manifestation of deprived infancy.
No adult male would love dolls for anything other than a twisted, suspicious reason, would he?
Finally, a book lands that communicates exactly why I love dolls.
'Mandingo', a personal best friend and frequent visitor to this blog, recently found and gifted to me this incredible little book. Ironically, he found it in a second hand store, possibly alongside rows of creatures akin to those showcased in the book. I am eternally grateful to him for this discovery and his perceptive, intelligent choice to hand it my way.
The photographs within its modest jackets are by a supremely talented young lady named Linsday Brice. Like no other, she has captured the brittle, sad, complex, tragic, and emotionally ethereal nature of dolls. Her sensibility fills me with awe for her eye, and strings an umbilical cord of shared understanding between us.
If anybody cares to know why an adult male collects dolls, get this book. It's all in the photos.
If you're already of the faith, I'm sure you'll get it, anyway.
I feel great sympathy and empathy for old dolls and new. Their abandonment touches my heart and dislodges my tears.
These truly magical beings are less plastic than most humans.
It is for this reason alone that they should be saved and celebrated -- as Ms. Brice does in her outrageously beautiful photo-poetry.
Musician/Producer/Actress Kim Gordon contributes a heartfelt essay to this book, and describes Brice's dolls as "knowing, self-possessed beings". Her reference to Dare Wright's wonderful A Lonely Doll brought a smile to my face. Ms. Gordon gets it!
Also accompanying the photographs is Flannery O'Connors's 'Temple of the Holy Ghost', a shrewd choice.