Imagining Hopper

The lining of our souls
” What are they thinking? Why are they there?” Perhaps no figures evoke those questions more often than the thought-haunted spectres created by the great American realist painter Edward Hopper (1883-1968). Whether sitting forlornly in a New York City automat or mulling solitarily in the side-aisle of one of its Broadway theaters or—most famously—staring over a cup of coffee in a near-empty diner, Hopper’s subjects have their stories, melancholy stories one is usually inclined to guess.

Rolando Perez
’s imagination has been so taken by Hopper that he has just published The Lining of Our Souls: Excursions into Selected Paintings of Edward Hopper (Cool Grove). Assistant Professor Perez, a Hunter College librarian and bibliographer, has created this collection of a dozen prose poems, each “based upon” one of Hopper’s characteristic paintings and drawings.

The title Perez has chosen can be explained by quoting the last paragraph of his prose poem devoted to Hopper’s “Hotel Room,” painted in 1931 and now in the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid: “She won’t sleep tonight. She will remain as she is… suitcases unpacked. She will return in the morning… to what? And then? The letter will never change. The end. What changes is the lining of our souls.”

Offering a foreword to the book is leading Hopper scholar Gail Levin, a professor of art history at Baruch College and author of Edward Hopper: An Intimate Biography.

Perez is a native of Cuba and the author of another volume based on the work of an artist, Bruno Schulz, who was also a noted writer and died in a Nazi concentration camp in 1942. Perez’s work will be included in the forthcoming Norton Anthology of Latino Literature

Contents October 2002

From High School Dropout to Surgeon General – Thanks to BCC

Extending the Lifespan of Learning

The Bronx: A Thriving River Runs Through It

Chancellor's Message: Celebrating CUNY Poets

Two Bills for CUNY Signed by Governor

Colleges Set Out Welcome Mats For First “CUNY Week” Outreach

New Technology: Two Conferences

Celebrating the Pleasures of Literature

The Public and Private Lives of Eleanor Roosevelt

Capturing the Life of a Complex General

TV Boot Camp Gives Students Taste of “60 Minutes” Magic

Big Cats' Novels Change America

Imagining Hopper

New Stars in Faculty Firmament

John Jay Law Enforcement News Honored for Articles on 9/11

Preserving the History of the Puerto Rican Diaspora

Vigils, Bells, Art, Eloquence—and Silence: Campuses Observe September 11

Three WTC Workers from City Tech Receive Scholarships

Future Holds New Home, New Master’s for CUNY’s School of Architecture

N.J. State Human Resources Executive Comes to CUNY

Hostos Goes Electronic on the Grand Concourse

New Shuttle Service Eases Lehman Commute

Leap in Fall Enrollment

CUNY Board Adopts State Early Retirement Plan