Admirable Artists, Bountiful Books, Necessary Nature, Wonderful Writing

“Jonathon Livingstone Seagull”

The spiritual seagull

Recently I had the opportunity to read this oldie-but-goodie again. A short read, it’s a little snapshot of pure inspiration. There is an equal amount of photography (by Russell Munson) in it as there is text (by Richard Bach), and the photos amplify the story beautifully. It’s been a long time since I first read this book, and it was sheer joy to soar upwards – in body and spirit – with Jonathon again.

I have two copies on my bookshelf, and it is delightful that in the hardcover – in the section describing one particular sequence of aerial acrobatics the gull was attempting to master – a series of photographs is printed on tissue paper … the result is that on any one tissue page, there are ‘shadows’ of the gulls from the other tissue pages, giving the impression that one bird truly is in motion … and I am witnessing the full glory of his upward and downward flight, tumbling and turning, twisting and diving, soaring high and plunging low. This simple publication technique brings to life a key part of the book: a particularly difficult set of poses which flow into one continuous movement. (I’ve read this book multiple times: guess I’ve always read a paperback, as this is the first time I’ve struck the tissue paper technique.)

So it is with this over-fifty-year-old book: it is as fresh and accessible today as when it was first published in 1970. I’m sure this seagull with spirit will captivate many generations to come.

1 thought on ““Jonathon Livingstone Seagull””

  1. Agree! Brilliant study of an exceptional seagull amongst the mob – and perhaps the meaning of life… (it’s not 42 after all…). 😌


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