mercredi 16 avril 2008

Richard Grossman

En attendant de découvrir bientôt en Lot49 le livre de Richard Grossman intitulé The Alphabet Man, un petit aperçu du troisième volet de sa monstrueuse trilogie – descriptif, donc, de Breeze Avenue

"Breeze Avenue can best be described as a massive, highly integrated cyberspatial literary form that disgorges music, architecture, art, dance, theater, video and a large variety of books in prose and verse. Sections of the work draw upon information from geology, screenwriting, software development, Vedic, Greek, Egyptian, Chinese and Hebrew studies, astronomy, politics, urban development, graphic and product design, meteorology, metaphysics, linguistics, literary and social theory, material science, musical instrumentation and composition, computer animation, cryptology, deaf theater, sleep theory, mathematics, choreography, photography, engineering, archaeology, business practice, zoology and lexicography. Documents are produced in Latin, Yiddish, Orkhon, Hebrew, Fraser, Sanskrit, Chinese, Hieroglyphs, American Sign Language, various original forms of symbolic notation, and English.

The complete work contains 48 “elements,” or distinct groups of texts. Its first manifestation will be as a one-volume 3,000,000-page book, available for reading at in early 2009. Once thoroughly vetted, Breeze Avenue will ultimately appear in printed form. Installed in a reading room in a location yet to be determined, the set will consist of 4,000 case-bound volumes, each consisting of 750 pages, that will be displayed on shelves surrounding a central reading area. The work will also be published in an abridged version that is one of the elements, a trilogy entitled American Letters, consisting of eight volumes totaling 6,000 pages.

All of the elements consist of integral sub-elements of various lengths. Some of these carry titles. For example, there are a number of individual essays that form an element called Tractates. One of Tractates’s sub-elements is entitled, “Branded for Life.” There are, as a rough estimate, 1,800,000 unique sub-elements.

The 48 elements adopt different approaches to expression and in some cases are constructed on technical principles from the past (as examples, ancient literatures, Japanese travelogues, Renaissance sonnetry and neo-classical verse essays). Others are based on sophisticated methods of computation, process and organization that are unique in their formulations and far removed from anything that has ever been written. will permit readers to interact with, purchase, and be included in the work. As currently planned, the only printed sets of Breeze Avenue will be the reading room copy, a proof copy, and five editions offered for sale as individual volumes. Additionally, seventeen books, and twelve forms of art and music, all derived from elements, will be available. Breeze Avenue is open-ended, and the work will alter over time.

Following are some of the elements of the work:

A 100-poem Shakespearean sonnet cycle transformed into eye charts;

A musical composition based on brain imagery;

A 500-poem pastoral;

A glossary of every humorous word in the English language, illustrated by Pierre Le-Tan. The product of fourteen years of reading dictionaries;

A prose-poem epic whose protagonist is a male prostitute who ascends to heaven and guides the sun through the sky;

A correspondence conducted in Mongolian;

A suburb of homes that squeeze their inhabitants through the movements of interior walls;

A musical performance on an instrument composed of automobiles moving in phalanx;

A video piece scrolling through the longest poem ever written, taking 85 years to complete;

A poem created by birds in an aviary;

A “torah ball,” inscribed with the Ten Commandments that will roll down a Colorado mountain in twenty million years, re-creating the Mount Sinai experience;

Artificial universes that embed religious canticles through the actual movement of stars;

A group of poems that are acted out in American Sign Language and then converted through this process into 8th century Chinese;

Poetry created on a Scrabble board;

The longest short story in the world;

365,000 photos of clouds, documenting the daylight history of a portion
of Minnesota sky over the period of a year;

An “Essay on Man,” in heroic couplets, a contemporary updating of Pope’s masterpiece;

A fable encoded in computer spam;

A trilogy modeled on The Divine Comedy;

A screen treatment for a full-length film, with critical glosses and diversions in Latin and Yiddish;

A book of poems about the humiliation, desperation and satisfactions of working at the highest levels of a corporation."

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