Friday, April 16, 2010

signals / man son / colony / celadon

this is what i read these days:

- How to Escape from a Leper Colony by Tiphanie Yanique. the book was featured in Daily s-Press (here), and Graywolf Press was so nice and mailed a copy. the stories are powerful, and hard to describe. magic realism meeting postcolonial narrative meets life. here's a taste:

"Why we here?"
"Because we lepers."
I nodded. "But why here-here?" I spread my arms wide to mean the world.
Lazaro shrugged. "You don't listen to the priest on Sunday?"
"I never understand what he does say."
"We here becaues God want somebody to know him."
"Like a friend?"
"Like when someone know you it make you real. Like the tree that fall in the forest when nobody is around. God had want to be heard."

- Man Son 1969 - this one is connected to the exhibition i visited end or March, the one that focused on Charles Manson and the RAF terrorists. it includes eassys, interviews, reflections, illustrated by the works of art that were on display. it's as intense as the exhibition, in a different way, adding another layer to it. the pages that still remain with me are the interview with Charles Manson (in prison), the essay from the sister of one of the terrorists (written recently), and an analysis of the pop culture systematics that also apply to the Manson group and the RAF. here the exhibition blog note: into the dark.

- Signal to Noise by Neil Gaiman + McKean. a graphic novel of the different kind. i just looked for a review, here is one that captures it partly "it's intellectual, slow moving and dense." - it's also much more. it crosses from graphic novel into visual art. and it crosses into the metaphyiscal zone of writing about writing. and this is what Neil Gaiman's webpage says about it:

"Originally serialized in The Face, Signal to Noise is the story of a film director dying of cancer. His life's crowning achievement, his greatest film, would have told the story of a European village as the last hour of 999 A.D. approached -- the midnight that the villagers were convinced would bring with it Armageddon. Now that story will never be told. But he's still working it out in his head, making a film that no one will ever see. No one but us. Signal to Noise is a poignant story, rich in humanity, depth, and communications theory."

one parallel i found fascinating and scary in the Escape-quote and the 2 reads: they are all about the urge to be heard, and the counterparting urge to listen to someone who knows the answers, someone who has seen the light, and might illuminate ones own world, too.

and 2 more titles, not direclty included in the collage:

- Celadon by Desirina Boskovich - this is from the StorySouth list of notable stories, one of the stories that was selected by more than 1 judge. again, a story that defies categories. started it, then printed it, then read it in one go. it's up here: Celadon.

- Capote (film): and also connecting to the theme of exploring the creation of a story (as in Signal to Noise) - and the theme of cruel murder (ManSon) - is a film i watched this week: "Capote" - the story of Truman Capote and his book "In Cold Blood". Truman Capote is included in the Man Son book, too, he interviewed Robert Beausoleil, who belonged to the Manson group (and probably was the starting point of their chain of violence). i never read In Cold Blood. i thought about ordering it for the island time, but i guess Man Son and the Capote film might be enough cold blood for a while. .

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