Book Reviews & Essays on Literature

The White Road – Journey Into an Obsession, by Edmund de Waal

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The White Road

In this book famous British artist and maker of porcelain, Edmund de Waal, tells the story of porcelain in five stages or origins, Jingdezhen, China; Versailles, France; Dresden, Germany; Plymouth, UK; and Dachau, Germany. It is an amazing story, and quite an eye-opener. The secret of pure white porcelain creation was an obsession for many around the world for centuries, the cause of espionage, skullduggery, battles, enslavement and madness. De Waal describes white porcelain objects using many creative visual devices so as to allow the reader to grasp the distinctions between types of porcelain, but white being white, he eventually, and surprisingly, resorts to using musical terms. Probably only a truly passionate and dedicated artist, like De Waal, could actually hear porcelain. The book opens the door to an esoteric world, revealing to the reader how scientifically complicated to make, highly prized and beautiful, porcelain is and has always been. (Continue reading the long review here…)

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