Saturday, March 24

Deciphering the Tree of Codes

I Googled Jonathan Safran Foer today.  I don't exactly know what I was looking for.  Maybe a new twinkle light of possibility. 

What I found blew me away.  How had I missed it?  Under "Novels", beside those two greats, Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, quietly sat Tree of Codes.  I frantically clicked on the link.   

Bruno Schulz' book, The Street of Crocodiles, a 1934 collection of short stories, is Jonathan Safran Foer's favourite book.  (Seems like already we have something to read!)  Taking this book, he cut out words and passages to create from the remaining phrases an entirely new story.  It is a sculpture of writing.

Every publisher dear Jonathan approached turned him down with claims that "the book you want to make cannot be made".  Reading that, I felt so sad.  A beautiful, beautiful idea, deemed an impossibility - made a possibility by a little publishing house in Belgium.  

Now, booklovers, just to icing-powder your sugar-rushed pounding hearts, here is a little video on the process of making the book itself.  This process, presented so lovingly, seems like such a beautiful, authentic thing.  I really hope you enjoy it.  

Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer: Making Of from Visual Editions on Vimeo.

Immediately and madly in love at first sight, I tried to order it from the Book Depository, but it seems they are out of stock.  However, Amazon and Angus & Robertson definitely do stock copies.  Even without the sweetness of this idea, I am excited by the fact that there is something by Jonathan Safran Foer left to read!  

The little twinkle light I was unconsciously searching for when I jumped on Google this afternoon, I found.  He has set a new level of possibility for me as a writer, a reader, and a person.

For a interview with Jonathan on this topic follow the link:
It is very worthwhile reading.  His answers to the questions really epitomise for me what it is to be a reader and a writer.  He is so incredibly human.  I feel like he speaks for me, expressing the true beauty and humanity of the book.  

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