Num mundo dominado pela destruição, a guerra e o pânico, um protagonista sem nome vagueia por uma paisagem surreal, mas familiar, em demanda de uma estranha jovem mulher de cabelos prateados. Nesta busca insistente e obsessiva, atravessa mares e planícies geladas, ruínas de cidades saqueadas, lutando contra o tempo numa missão que tem tanto de real quanto de imaginário: salvar esta «rapariga de vidro» antes que o mundo conhecido se encerre no interior de uma muralha de gelo.
Leitura excelente que pode ser quase, mas quase resumida a este fragmento;
As minhas ideias estavam confusas. De uma forma muito peculiar, a irrealidade do mundo exterior parecia ser uma extensão do meu perturbado estado de espírito.
A história surreal confunde o leitor e faz-lo questionar o percepcionado. Lindo; realmente lindo.
Tradução de Maria do Carmo Figueira
The Villa Palagonia is a patrician villa in Bagheria, 15 km from Palermo, in Sicily, southern Italy. The villa itself, built from 1715 by the architect Tommaso Napoli with the help of Agatino Daidone, is one of the earliest examples of Sicilian Baroque. However, its popularity comes mainly from the statues of monsters with human faces that decorate its garden and its wall, and earned it the nickname of “The Villa of Monsters” (Villa dei Mostri).
This series of grotesques, created from 1749 by Francesco Ferdinando II Gravina, Prince of Palagonia, aroused the curiosity of the travellers of the Grand Tour during the 18th and 19th centuries, for instance Henry Swinburne, Patrick Brydone, John Soane, Goethe, the Count de Borde, the artist Jean-Pierre Houël or Alexandre Dumas, prior to fascinate surrealists like André Breton or contemporary authors such as Giovanni Macchia and Dominique Fernandez, or the painter Renato Guttuso.
Sobre a sua visita a este Palácio Goethe no seu “Viagem a Itália” tem umas opiniões interessantes. Transcrevo algumas considerações:
Durante todo o dia de hoje ocupámo-nos dos absurdos do príncipe de Palagónia (…) e seria uma grande honra querer atribuir-lhe uma centelha que seja de imaginação.
O aspecto repugnante destes abortos produzidos pelos mais ordinários canteiros é ainda potenciado pelo facto de eles serem feitos dos mais soltos tufos de calcário conquífero;
Mas, para vos transmitir todos os elementos da loucura do principe de Palagónia, fazemos seguir o seu inventário.
Imaginem-se agora todas estas figuras produzidas em massa, geradas sem sentido nem razão, agrupadas sem objectivos nem critérios, imaginem-se estas peanhas, estes pedestais e estas disformidades numa sequência sem fim, e poderá ter-se uma ideia da sensação desagradável que se apossa de qualquer um que passa pelo flagelo destes desvarios.
Seria preciso um caderno, só para descrever a capela. É o cúmulo de toda esta loucura (…)
O novo arco de história de Tony CHU, a série best-seller do New York Times, aproxima-nos rapidamente do final da série (serão 12 volumes), com a sua combinação improvável (e um pouco parva, seremos os primeiros a admiti-lo) de detectives, bandidos, canibais, clarividentes, cozinheiros e homens biónicos.
Outro volume delirante, absurdo, surreal, cómico – poderosamente alucinante.
Com argumento de John Layman e arte de Rob Guillory Tony Chu continua a ser da melhor banda desenhada que ando a ler.
Por PoYo! tenho de fazer render o peixe e ir lendo devagar os últimos dois volumes.
In a simplistic and sympathetic way I could say that the stories of “Blacker Against the Deep Dark” by Alexander Zelenyj become a surreal extension of our day-to-day experiences – they delve into the interior emotions of its readers. But is it just that? That would be nice, even attentive I would say, by the author, but Alexander Zelenyj does not miss the opportunity to creep, with a refreshing originality, under and under our skin.
In a non-simplistic way the book doesn’t use many psychedelic special effects, but blows our head up. An in-depth and provoking book, fantastic!
Ontem vi um homem gordo. Realmente gordo. Orgulhosamente gordo. Esse gordo passeava-se com um cão esquálido preso a uma elegante correia. O contraste era tanto surrealista como anedótico. Imaginem um gigante Stay Puft de braço dado com uma ressequida girafa Geoffrey vítima da falência da Toys”R”Us.
Lido os Contos de S. Petersburgo de Nikolai Gogol, oferecido no Natal pelo meu filho.
Este livro é composto pelos contos:
- Nevksy Prospekt
- O Diário de um Louco
- O Nariz
- O Coche
- O retrato
- O capote
Nos contos são narradas situações tão estranhas, surreais, que não fazem qualquer sentido (o que acho por demais divertido). Cheias de personagens hilariantes que por motivos vários acabam por viver situações absurdas, as histórias fornecem ao mesmo tempo uma leitura divertida e um questionamento sobre a percepção do que é a nossa realidade.
Todas as histórias estão assentes numa obsessiva – ideal – observação. Com uma lógica própria e com descrições quer cómicas, ou sinistras ou até comoventes temos textos estranhos, bizarros, satíricos – malucos!
Ler Gogol foi puro prazer.
Imagem “The Nose” by Ekaterina Boglovskaya
Uma distopia económica que convence.
O controlo dos governos pelas grandes companhias é já uma realidade. Em 84K temos apenas uma empresa, a Company, que controla tudo e todos.
Em 84K as mortes têm um preço. E como tal os mais ricos podem, desde que paguem o valor indemnizatório, cometer crimes sem o risco de serem punidos. Melhor a “punição” é paga em dinheiro. Quem não consegue pagar, não é, necessariamente, preso, vai antes para a linha de produção. É o capitalismo levado ao extremo.
Tudo tem preço: os crimes e a vida. 84K é uma história muito negra na qual uma luz de esperança, na figura de Theo Miller, rasga a negritude.
Theo Miller, um sujeito, aparentemente, normal, sem pretensões a nada de especial, apenas continuar a viver na sua anonimidade, surge como o vingador. É aquele que pretende mudar as coisas motivado pelo amor. O amor é o anjo da vingança – motor poderoso.
Claire North com o seu estilo narrativo peculiar cria histórias delirantes e esta apesar de negra entretém sem qualquer dificuldade. Claire North continua em 84K a convencer, mas não a brilhar.
Douglas Thompson stories are incredible in every possible way, a delight for the human mind.
In short, Douglas rocks!
I often try not to have any fixed style. Being a bit of a polymath, I am influenced by things in fields outside writing, for instance art and architecture. One of my favourite architects, John Lautner, tried to make every single building he did different, to have no style, to try instead to give form to the wishes of each client. The writing analogy would be to let the content of each novel generate the appropriate style to tell it in. That said, in Lautner’s work, the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright can sometimes be traced, likewise for me you’d probably find, if you looked hard, certain key writing influences like Wolfgang Borchert, Albert Camus, Ray Bradbury, J G Ballard, John Banville.2. What books have most influenced your life?
There are so many, and we tend to refer in these situations to ones that we found at early stages of our lives. Camus’ The Fall, Borchert’s The Man Outside, Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse 5, but there are later big moments like Ursula Le Guin’s The Dispossessed and odd ones like the painter Georgio de Chirico’s only novel Hebdomeros (in the Margaret Crossland translation)… which changed my life. Well, they all did, and many others, that’s the wonder of books.3. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Among the dead, Wolfgang Borchert. For the way he uses words like intense layered music or paint, for the tragedy, poignancy and honesty of his vision. I shan’t mention any among the living, that might be name-dropping and could embarrass the modest souls in question. And also, I’ve learned never to trust the opinion of one single person of our own work. Self-belief is the hardest quality, the hardest-won, for any writer. I steer clear of literary agents because I don’t believe in the process of standardization which they dedicate their lives to.4. What are your current projects?
I’m trying to give up writing. I finished a new 85,000 word novel just before Christmas which with any luck will be the last thing I ever write (though I can hear the voices of a dozen friends laughing in my ear to hear such a suggestion of the prolific Doug ever giving up!). I can’t tell you anything about that book in a public forum, for personal reasons, but I think it might be the best thing I’ve ever written. It may come out under a pseudonym, if at all. There’s also a book of my poetry will be published by the influential Red Squirrel Press in 2017, but unfortunately I can’t talk about that either. Terry Grimwood’s Exaggerated Press will be bringing out a major collection of my short stories later this year (31 in all), to be called ‘The Sleep Corporation’, which may be slightly controversial in that it will reveal a surprising pseudonym I’ve also been writing under.
In the meantime, these days I do occasional poems and digital paintings, which I print onto canvas. My first exhibition opens next week in Glasgow. Sometimes the paintings inspire the poems and sometimes vice versa. I’m trying to find and encourage other polymathic writers to try the same thing. It helps me to find inspiration from a wider range of sources, and to uncover areas of my own inner narrative which I might be hiding from. Follow your obsessions, as J G Ballard said, and sometimes that will take you across a busy motorway on all fours, but follow you must, wherever it takes you.5. How much research do you do?
It varies. For my latest manuscript, all I had to do was live. For my philosophical science fiction novel ‘Entanglement’ I had to read up about all the known exoplanets that might support life and what their atmospheres might look like. For my historical novel ‘The Brahan Seer’, I had to read quite a bit of Scottish history and visit dozens of locations around Scotland. But that was another obsession, something I’d been doing for a lifetime anyway, so not a chore. My fellow Glaswegian writer J David Simons has a theory about historical research that you should always do as little as possible and forget about it afterwards… meaning many a good book is spoiled by the writer feeling so proud of some research that they have to shove pages of it into the reader’s face. I think this comes back to a bigger strategic issue in writing for me: that you have to have something to say, and everything in your book should serve that message. I think there are two kinds of book in the world actually: those with something to say, and those with nothing to say (most bestsellers). When anyone calls me a stylist I wince, and think of hairdressing. The message is everything.6. Do you write full-time or part-time?
Part-time, and No-time if I can manage it. I only work at the day job 3 days a week, but my first 2 novels were written while in full-time employment, so I don’t believe that these vast amounts of time are actually necessary, or indeed healthy, for good writing. Write in the margins of your life, since ultimately that very life is your subject-matter and inspiration, metaphorically or literally.7. Where do your ideas come from?
Life. Every day, the ongoing drama of the world and my own occasionally tormented place within it. The stupidity of human beings (myself included)… that’s always a rich source! I reckon we probably shouldn’t look for ideas, but think like artists. Sketch a hedgerow, a tree, see what comes of it. Draw out the mysterious hidden thread inside yourself and follow it and see where it leads. Use metaphor. Turn your pain into beauty whenever you can. But I wonder if I should answer this more simply. Philosophical conversations in pubs with friends often crystallize ideas, as does listening to song lyrics and looking through books on brilliant artists like Dorothea Tanning, that sort of thing.8. How can readers discover more about you and you work?
My blog is a good place to start: https://douglasthompson.wordpress.com
And my old original website is still up: http://www.glasgowsurrealist.com/douglas
where you can read some of my earlier short stories from books like Ultrameta which are still occasionally finding new readers and making people’s head hurt.
Uma brincadeira em papel que decidi depois colorir.
“Songs for the Lost” was one of the best books I have read recently. Alexander Zelenyj has a complex and visionary writing and what I can say is how the book touched me for its beauty, for its insanity, for its soul, for its melancholy.
Alexander Zelenyj is a singular writer whose words beautifully crafted, with a sustained rhythm, still carries an effect, after placing the book on the shelf; he loves, clearly, pushing buttons in our brain.
Yes and no, I suppose. Yes, in that I think someone could recognize my writing no matter what genre or type of story it is. No, in that I actively enjoy writing in a variety of styles running the gamut from very verbose to more streamlined and minimalist.2. What books have most influenced your life?
The dark fantasy short stories of Robert E. Howard, which was the first fiction I fell absolutely in love with as a child and without which I likely wouldn’t be doing the kind of writing I do today; early Ray Bradbury, so dark and poetic; Harlan Ellison, who showed me the limitless potential of fiction. And far too many more to list!3. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I would say Robert E. Howard, because it was in his writing that I first saw (although I didn’t realize it at the time) a seamless merging of genres. It was in his sword and sorcery stories that I first found a merging of the fantastical with realism with horror to create a very grim and believable world. Reading an REH story – especially his dark fantasy and historical fiction – I’ve always felt that anything can happen. There’s limitless potential in that kind of a story, and it’s been drawing me back into Howard’s clutches time and again since childhood.4. What are your current projects?
I recently finished work on two manuscripts – one is a collection of magical realism-influenced literary short fiction, the other a novel much in the same vein. I’m really excited about them – I think it’s my strongest writing yet, and a lot different from my last couple of books. The prose style is a little more refined, the surreal motifs are woven into the gritty, realistic backdrop more subtly.
Also, I’m a good ways into another collection that’s a little more in line with the type of material of Songs For The Lost, very slipstream in style and pulling in influences from a lot of different genres. I’m also finishing up work on an expanded version of my first novel, Black Sunshine, scheduled for re-issue later in the year as a collaborative release from Fourth Horseman Press and Eibonvale Press, which will mark the book’s 10th anniversary.5. How much research do you do?
I read a lot of non-fiction, and I find that this often inspires me to write fiction with certain backdrops and so forth, so in a way I’m always doing research because I’m constantly reading and learning things that often find their way into my fiction writing.6. Do you write full-time or part-time?
I’ve made a habit of writing every day for several hours, without fail. I’ve been doing that for years so at this point it’s very natural to me. It’s like breathing, I don’t really have to think about it, it just happens as part of my regular day to day life.7. Where do your ideas come from?
I have no idea, other than to say they come, in some form or other, from my love of stories. I’ve always loved telling stories, and being told stories, whether in the form of a book, a song, another person telling me a story from their life. Often when I sit down to write I want to convey a certain mood or atmosphere that I’m feeling particularly strongly, and I go from there, with everything else falling naturally into place from there on in.8. How can readers discover more about you and you work?
By visiting either my website – alexanderzelenyj.com – or the websites of my publishers, Eibonvale Press – eibonvalepress.co.uk – and Fourth Horseman Press – fourthhorsemanpress.com. Or by reading one of my books!