Wednesday, May 25, 2011
#145 / Tree Of Codes
At the New Yorker Festival last summer, I heard about a new book by Jonathan Safran Foer. One of Foer's favorite books, he reported, is The Street of Crocodiles, whose author is Bruno Schulz. Foer has made a new story, Tree of Codes, by "cutting away" at The Street of Crocodiles. How he did that is illustrated here. If you click on each image, it will enlarge, so you can "get the picture."
Serendipity has put a copy of the Tree of Codes in my hands. It took me a time to understand how to read it. You must lift each die-cut page away from the rest, and look only at the language on that lifted page. If you try to read the book flat, as in a normal book, the words run together in a nonsensical way. For quite some time, I believed that I had received a faulty edition. With patience, the story will emerge.
It is a story of a Mother, a Father, a son, and the City. It is a story of the end of our world, and how that world exists. It offers a map, that tree of codes, to guide us in the uncharted streets.
The construction chosen for Tree of Codes suggests that there are new possibilities in every reality, and new stories in all the old ones.
I recommend the book.
I recommend that thought!