31/05/2013

ASCII!

Alain Robbe-Grillet
Ann Quin novel
Philippe Sollers novel
Robert Pinget novel
Italo Calvino, Six Memos for the Next Millenium, 1st edition dust jacket
As the adult incarnation of the archetypal nerdy kid, I've always enjoyed reading. Conversely, Edward didn't really read a book until sometime in his mid-teens. These days we seldom make it to the end of an email, baby food recipe, or some review for anti-wrinkle cream. It's hard to imagine we ever expressed an opinion on the future of the novel.

I recently took a pile of experimental 'ideas' novels along to the charity shop, though not before photographing their exceptional dust jackets. All bearing a kind of stylistic date-stamp, the first cover, Project for a Revolution in New York, is an excellent graphic example of ASCII.

Six Memos for the Next Millenium, Italo Calvino, title page

Six Memos for the Next Millennium differs in that it's not a novel, but comes highly recommended by hordes of those-in-the-know. All I remember is some mythological account of the creation of coral. (While Ovid's Perseus rests,  petrifying blood from the severed Medusa's head spills onto seaweed.) And why it sticks in my mind, I'm not quite sure. Maybe it's the arbitrary genesis of a strange and delicate beauty from such noxious horror, or just the idea of sleeping soundly by the shore.

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