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10 Writers' Unruly, Manly Manes

We were a little bit late in reading Jorian Polis Schutz’s analysis of manly manes in the last issue of Cabinet, titled “Barbers and Barbarians,” but we’re glad we did. Schultz writes, “The savage impulse must withstand the perennial opposition of forces for shortness — for there is always a national mythology of hair to grow out of and into.” This got us thinking about great writers’ hairstyles through time, from ancient Greek poets to the conceited French intellectuals of today. If hair doth make the man, then the following writers stand against the grain in these times, acting as iconoclastic reminders that one can still be manly (perhaps even more so) with an irrepressible hairdo. So let your hair down and enjoy the following modern scribes’ tangled tresses.

Neil Gaiman

In Gaiman’s 2009 picture book, Crazy Hair, he writes: “Prides of lions / Make their lair / Somewhere in my crazy hair.” Susan Henderson at LitPark even got the author to write a history of his hair on her website here. At one point, Gaiman recounts bleaching his hair as an ill-conceived adolescent stratagem to look like Billy Idol, admitting that it resulted in more of a ginger color. After taking extreme corrective measures, it ended up “raven black,” which we think was for the best.

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