Sunday, March 13, 2011

Aurorarama by Jean-Christophe Valtat

Valtat’s Aurorarama is a sui generic creation filled with bizarre and loopy humor, dreamlike images, and a playful skewering of literature and history. A combination of its dreamy style, Valtat’s use of English (he is French writing in English for the first time), complex plot and a large cast renders much of this hard to follow and to be honest a little incomprehensible, but push through and it will be mostly worth it. Lots of stuff gets pulled together here, Pynchon( Against the Day seems a spiritual reference and there is an underground mail service in the style of Crying of Lot 49), steampunk, late 19th and early 20th century pulp(especially dealing with anarchists), the tales of Wells and Verne, Guy Maddin weirdness(check out the trailer), and tales of polar explorers, is thrown together into a nutty whole.
P.S. This book is absolutely beautiful as an art object.

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