Philip K. Dick’s Eye in the Sky (1957)

Philip K. Dick’s Eye in the Sky (1957)

The picnic in Dick’s Eye in the Sky is characteristic of his style of mixing shifting planes of reality and illusion, laced with sardonic humor. The picnic takes when the real world collides accidentally with an alternate world it’s the result of an...
Paul Theroux’s O-Zone (1986)

Paul Theroux’s O-Zone (1986)

The New Year’s Eve picnic in Theroux’s O-Zone is a (very long) environmental sci-fi/melodrama. The year is 2036, and eight picnickers have gathered in the O-Zone or Outer Zone. This vast ecological disaster area was once Arkansas and Missouri sucking...

Billy Collin’s “Picnic Lightning” (1997)

Billy Collins’ “Picnic Lightning” is a tender meditation on the poet’s mortality. It’s always imminent, like lightning at a picnic, but not fearful. Aware that the phrase “picnic lightning” is from Nabokov’s Lolita,...
P.H. Newby’s The Picnic at Sakkara (1955)

P.H. Newby’s The Picnic at Sakkara (1955)

Newby’s Picnic At Sakkara is a comic novel set during political and international turmoil in Egypt.   At the time of Newby’s action around 1946-47, the British are still in control of the Suez Canal, the Farouk regime was wobbling, and Egyptian nationalism led by the...
John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids (1951)

John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids (1951)

Bill Masen and Josella Platon have survived the vicious triffids, mutant plants with a taste for human flesh and blood. Exhausted and desperate for safety, they are stranded in a ruined landscape of Southampton. Wistfully, they are waiting to escape to Isle of Wight,...
Martin Amis’ Dead Babies (1975)

Martin Amis’ Dead Babies (1975)

Appleseed Rectory in Amis’ Dead Babies alludes to Lindsay’s Appleyard College in Picnic at Hanging Rock. Like Lindsay’s picnic, Amis’ is a disaster. Though none of his Appleseeders dies, they are as the title suggests figuratively “dead babies.” The...
Larry Rivers’ Picnics (1985-1990)

Larry Rivers’ Picnics (1985-1990)

Rivers’ appreciation of Fernand Léger is expressed in two paintings, Picnic (1985) and The Pleasant Picnic (1990). Picnic closely follows Léger’s  La Partie de Champagne (The Country Outing)  (1952/53), showing a congenial group at the edge of a river or...
William Klein’s Fashion Models at a Picnic (1958)

William Klein’s Fashion Models at a Picnic (1958)

When Aaron Schuman asked Klein if he dreamed  in black and white, Klein shot back, “In black and white, of course.” But his photograph Tatiana + Marie Rose + Camels, Morocco, he had it both ways.  Featured Image:  William Klein. Tatiana + Marie Rose + Camels, Morocco,...

Fred Cress’ An Outing (1996)

Cress’ An Outing defies expectation. No one that I know has managed to project such a cantankerous couple on the grass. Cress is surely squinting at Manet’s Déjeuner sur l’herbe. Maybe? Not happy! See Fred Cress. An Outing (1996)