Sunday, October 31, 2010

proszę słonia

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"do as the elephants do - when they're unhappy, they just disappear." (à bout de souffle)

today, i was sitting around, contemplating elephants, and had a passing thought about polish children’s book author ludwik jerzy kern. my first elephant experience was in the form of one of his books, which was read to me when i was very small. in russian it was called listen up, elephant... and i still have the same old copy in my collection, as well as a german version, my elephant is called dominik (which has the same cover illustration as the original polish edition). the 1967 book is about the adventures of a boy named pini and his friend, a porcelain elephant.

i mention jerzy kern because as the thought of him drifted into my mind today, i absentmindedly looked him up and suddenly found that he had passed away yesterday, in krakow, at eighty-nine years old. goodbye, goodbye, and to every elephant that ever vanished: goodbye. you always seem like the last, but a new one comes ambling along when i least expect it.

4 comments:

Keia Kato-Berndt said...

this is a beautiful post. Old children's book illustrations are the best...

konvalia said...

I know this book so well;) there was also a cartoon on tv when I was little. ( I'm from Poland;)

yelena bryksenkova said...

i know you are! i was curious to see if you will recognize him and comment :)

Praha Papers said...

I have elephants on the brain too. Not sure exactly why. I miss going to Prague Zoo and seeing the elephants there -- will compensate by purchasing the Flensted mobile "Elephant Parade", a classic designed in the late 1970s by the Danish company. Love your travel sketchbook and congratulations on the Urban Outfitters canvas! Beautiful!

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