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Saturday, February 07, 2009

We are all Axolotls?

Have you read Julio Cortazar? Should we read him? Should and if you her me him they was reading him and she he they we wrote about it? (As yet another car full of girls pulls up out front).

He's an amazing writer, pomo, deep, continually setting the reader up for the surprise that then spins into levels of depth. We clue in he's setting up reverberations from the start, from syntactic to narrative and then to a wonderful blend. If you've ever seen the movie Blowup and you've wondered why the guy spends so much time walking and driving around and then you decided this was in part the true point of the story, then you'll begin to get Cortazar. Lit classes go nuts on Axolotl and there's plenty to read on the net. I want to briefly talk about Blowup.

I first saw it as a movie, directed by Michelangelo Antonioni; originally hailed as a masterpiece, IMDB now says few will defend it but they cater to teenager pulp. The film is strange and wonderful. It lingers for years after seeing it, and that's a sign of a great film. The movie is not strictly based on the story but it does capture the ennui and introspection that runs through the story. Seriously, check it out. The story is gorgeous too, parts of it are on the net, but why read half when you could read all of it. As mentioned Cortazar's stories often start out without the narrative thread, or with one thread spins to another. You'll be doing yourself a disservice to read only part. Then here's something to broaden the fun...check out Keren Cytter's film on Ubu Web titled Les Ruissellements du Diable (2008). It's her take on the same story, you can watch it on line. She does a good job visually capturing a spark of his writing.

In my own world I'm still going through the galleys. It's funny having one's head back in a book completed months ago, for the most part when one wants to move forward to a new voice and idea. In response I've been gathering, sponge mind, hours at the library writing short, partial ideas, researching and reading as much as possible with no defined goal. I want things to germinate and be generative. And I'm working hard on the next body of paintings that has to be shown in a month, which is exhausting in its own way. Less brain burn, perhaps, but the concentration is the same.