March 14, 2012
SLIDESHOW: The battle of the beards continues
by Paul Oliver
The Battle of the Beards continues as the Star Tribune picks up yesterday’s glove and points out yet more overlooked beards. Add in a few reader suggestions and we were a little self-conscious about our list. After some thought we realized just how terrible our oversight was. So here we are one last time, trying to right these wrongs.
A reader’s choice addition to the beard-off, George MacDonald was an early master of the fantasy genre. While best known for “The Princess and the Goblin”, it was MacDonald’s “Phantastes” that led C.S. Lewis to remark that after reading the book “he knew he had crossed a great frontier.” Or was that after he had walked by MacDonald on the street… Look at that thing!
Miguel de Cervantes
Like Cervantes, Sigmund Freud is sporting a carefully trimmed affair. This makes one wonder though… It’s somewhat obsessively groomed, that beard. And what’s with posing with that cigar? No doubt it is clearly a manifestation of a deep… Never mind.
The neck beard is not for the Amish alone. The Telegraph’s beard collection celebrated (rightfully so) the charming neck-beard of Robert Browning, but certainly Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s goat-like visage has to be honored as well. A stubborn beard for a stubborn writer.
In 1913 Rabindranath Tagore became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize for literature and if not for Confucius he would have been the first Asian on this increasingly precious list. Picking the era of beard for the Indian poet was not easy. The trim, etched form of his youth? Or this mystical number from his venerable years? We hope you’ll agree.
While GRRM hordes his capital, he yet loses out in a beard comparison with Karl Marx. This broom-shaped number is nearly as prolific as the word-count in “Das Kapital.” Nearly.
Paul Oliver is the marketing manager of Melville House. Previously he was co-owner of Wolfgang Books in Philadelphia.