10 September 2018

The Dustiest Bookcase: I is for Irwin

Short pieces on books I've always meant to review (but haven't).
They're in storage as we build our new home.
Patience, please.

Kak, The Copper Eskimo
Vilhjalmur Stefanson and Violet Irwin
New York: Macmillan, 1924
253 pages

Yes, I is for Irwin... and not for Stefansson. My reason for buying this book has everything to do with her and nothing to do with him. To be honest, I'm not much interested in Kak, the Copper Eskimo – I bought it because I saw it. The Violet Irwin book I really want to read is her first novel, The Human Desire (Boston: Small, Maynard, 1913). I've never come across a copy and have never read a review. All I know about The Human Desire comes from advertisements for the 1919 Hollywood adaptation.

Silent films took great liberties with source material. I don't know how faithful Hollywood's 1919 Human Desire was to Irwin's novel, but I'm interested in finding out.

The McGill Daily
10 October 1919
I've seen dozens of films at The Imperial – my favourites being The King of Comedy and After Hours – sadly, I was seven decades too late for Human Desire.

Fun fact: Kak, the Copper Eskimo was never adopted by Hollywood, but it was translated into Yiddish: Ḳeḳ - der ḳleyner esḳimos (Ṿilne : Naye yidishe shul, 1939). The only copy of which I know is held in New York at the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research.

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