Tuesday, April 03, 2007

the third bank of the river...

guimaraesrosa1

guimareesrosa2

jose guimaraes rosa's third bank of the river is a wonderful tale suggesting that there is generally more to a space than meets a logical eye. in the story, a father leaves his family to inhabit the center of a river - choosing not to live on the left bank or the right, but creating his own life space in between. i love the implications that a kind of directed perception can create a third space where once there were two (reminding me of the calvino story 'the baron in the trees' where the treetops become a new landscape to navigate above the old..).

the images above are from the end flaps of the dust jacket of an early edition of rosa's stories titled "the third bank of the river and other stories". i've been reading it slowly for the last few months, and every time i open the book, i tend to spend time with these little images - savoring them both before and after i read each one of the stories they are connected to. the jacket says "flaps adapted from the brazilian edition", so no idea who drew them.

for me, these two panels of little pictures have become another kind of third bank - a small space between the the cover and the text that continually demands attention even though it speaks in whispers. the images are not really telling stories as much as they are suggesting them - creating trajectories of wandering through how they connect and disconnect with the text before and after reading. they have become another space of the book that demands attention over and over again...

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10 Comments:

Blogger kclare said...

This is such a beautiful post! I love the way Rosa, Calvino, and even Walser create these worlds where the wondrous and everyday co-exist…and these “dimensions” or “spaces” that are both outside life and right in the middle of it…

I was trying to find this Walser story about the balloon that I love and was reminded of by the mention of Calvino’s story…but all the Walsers have seemed to disappear in this whirlwind of books that is my life right now…

6:53 AM  
Blogger sroden said...

oh, i'll have to look for that story as well. similarly the walsers along with everything else... totally disorganized here.....

8:00 AM  
Blogger Moon River said...

I've always been tempted and fascinated by the idea of 'more to a space than meets a logical eye', as a child i was building in my imaginative world these kind of detached hidden places that once entering them by secret path -where all enchanted and hidden by the rest of the world...then i grew up and these fantastic zone that co-exist with the rest of the world seemed to hide themselves from me as well, maybe if i "work" with my mind i can reenter them ....or else i can turn to the hidden cities of Calvino to be reminded of that...

loved yor entry!

1:52 PM  
Blogger sroden said...

indeed it seems so many great writers (and artists) have held on to these ideas from childhood and give them back to us in ways in which they trigger all those childhood feelings again. it's texts like this that have tended to send me down these paths of questioning and re-open my eyes to all the other worlds out there that we used to see but have somehow forgotten... i'm glad the post suggested such things. i'd really recommend rosa's tales...

7:16 PM  
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11:37 AM  
Blogger tiny banquet committee said...

Thanks for posting these amazing little images. Your remark about them "not really telling stories as much as they are suggesting them" brings to mind Raymond Roussel's Locus Solus, which is one of my favorite books. (So does the comment preceding this one, but in a very different way . . .).

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These images were made by a brazillian ilustrator called Poti Lazarotto, who designed many of the first book covers of Guimarães Rosa.

8:53 PM  
Blogger .f said...

I'm an Independent Researcher from San Diego, CA, and I've begun to publish my findings regarding the absence of João Guimarães Rosa in the English-speaking world at AMISSINGBOOK.COM
Here you will find Interviews with leading JGR scholars, Publishers, Translators, and Artists. Much more to come, and you can help!

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tiny comment: his name was joao, not jose :)

10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tinier: João.

10:45 PM  

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