A COLLECTION by Zoran Zivkovic
CATEGORY Speculative / Surreal / Supernatural
PUBLICATION DATE 2009
COVER ART Luis Rodrigues
ABOUT THE BOOK
THE WRITER Where does all the writing come from? Is it divine inspiration, a bolt of lightning that reveals a whole new work in a single glimpse, or a unique gift granted by demonic forces to penetrate the darkness and see beyond it? Two fundamental principles of the most noble of all arts are in the permanent collision, surrounded by the contagious environment of the authors' vanity, envy, malice.
THE BOOK The Book is not quite a novel, although almost half of it takes the form of a narrative, neither is it an essay, although quite a lot of what is said in it adopts that style. It is actually closest to that rare type or "para-genre" of satirical prose embodied in the exemplary In Praise of Folly by the famous humanist from Rotterdam. Instead of the "Folly," of human manias and absurdities, here, in a similar kind of double-talk, the books themselves "speak," those monuments to our intelligence, ambitions and self-importance, and they primarily "speak" by making an analogy between man's fate and that of books-to man's detriment, of course.
THE READER In this suite of eight stories, the three ages of womanyouth, midlife and senescenceengage in a complex and fruitful dance. A young Miss Tamara is lured by a series of postcards concealed in library books. A middle-aged Miss Tamara discovers that her new reading glasses turn the pages blank. An afternoon's reading is disturbed by the realisation that all books have turned fatally toxic. A mysterious phone call leads to a book which blinds its readers but also to romance. Woven through these seemingly simple narratives are deep themes of youth and ageing, memory and loss, solitude and companionship, and the relationship between the physical and the mental life. Above all this is a book about reading: its pleasures, rituals, essential preciousness. Reading as an obsession which can not only isolate, but also lead to discovery and love.