Monday, April 26, 2021
Thursday, April 15, 2021
'Under the thumb of Sweetwater Communism'. A preliminary drawing of a key scene in my upcoming book, which is set in an imaginary Holland under a communist regime in 1913. The joke of course is that my country is very, very bourgeois and anything remotely resembling a communist takeover has always been out of the question. If there is anything collectivistic about the Dutch, it's the struggle against the seatide and a Protestant work ethic. I imagine it as a toned-down, jovial kind of surveillance state, based on those values.
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Saturday, April 10, 2021
Saturday, April 03, 2021
The cover of a new sketchbook (No 81). Done with mostly white ink on fake leather. Like always, kept in a raw state for the sake of spontaneity. The male character's name F. Caroussel refers to Raymond Roussel, whose Locus Solus is one of the most bizarre books I have read. There was a Dutch translation of it in the mid-1990s. It must have been a real tour de force to translate from the original french. What I am thinking of now won't be a too obvious pastiche or tribute, but I am delighted with the fact that Locus Solus happens to have been written in 1913, the 'magical' year my recent books take place in.
Roussel was a true eccentric. Heir to a fortune, he could devote his life to writing. He deviced a system based on homonyms (he was french, after all) which led to very strange fiction. Locus Solus is basicly a tour past a series of inventions, demonstrated by their creator, Martial Canterel. These included a stage play of zombies re-enacting key scenes from their past lives and a crane laying out a mosaic of human teeth. Heady stuff from 1913! Roussel also managed the theatre plays of his books, which flopped mercilesly. The world was not ready. The premiere of Locus Solus in The Hague attracted only one visitor - who got his money back.
While money was not an issue, the lack of recognition was. Roussel grew weirder, isolated himself from the world and died young. You may not know that he was also the man who gave the world the caravan, as he preferred to travel in an exact replica of his living room on wheels.