old and new

Ever since I’ve had a look at this excerpt from the graphic novel Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli, I have been craving for more. Little by little I am getting more and more convinced by this rather new medium of telling a story. At first it struck me as a return to a primitive form of art like cave paintings that doesn’t allow the reader to participate in decoding the story as much as the written word does because it gives you a ready made picture, so you don’t have to create your own. With Asterios Polyp I think the act of reading is just as participatory as it would be for a simply written story, it’s just that instead of transforming words into pictures, you have to interpret encoded images and turn them into words in your mind.

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Back to the classics

Marcel Proust

This summer I went though another failed attempt at reading Proust, I guess it might be too late for me at this stage. The sensitive boy and his “maman”, the small town and the old gossipy bedridden aunt, the bourgeois morality, it was all so deja vu, like my disappointing real life trip to Paris. Maybe winter will be a better season for reading Proust…

Nathaniel Hawthorne

I’ve always wanted to read something else by Hawthorne besides the surprisingly complex Scarlet Letter and I finally did with the Blithedale Romance. Once I got started I just couldn’t put down this strange story inspired by a real life utopian experimental community, very similar to the “back to basics” eco communities flowering all over the world nowadays. The unreliable narrator, the surprising conclusion, the still so relevant themes, the issue of femininity, of art vs. the physical world are some of the reasons that made reading a delight. Once again I was reminded where authors like Paul Auster spring from. Next on the list: The House of the Seven Gables…

Fenimore Cooper

Part of the project of recovering childhood classics, I’m reading some Cooper. So far it’s quite a drag, but interesting at the same time…