babel

babel

babel (after Michael Joyce’s “Was,” 2006), 2006
Mixed media on paper
80″ x 264″
Private collection, Canada

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babel is based on Michael Joyce’s novella “Was”

From Amazon.com:

“Was” is half-poem, half-narrative, a nomadic history whose main character is the fleetingness of information itself. The novel’s title figure, the word “was,” marks that instant of utterance outside the present; neither past nor future but rather the interstitial space of any telling. Like Ariel in flight, was takes place before you can say “‘come’ and ‘go,’” slipping away before you can “breathe twice and cry ‘so, so.’” The nomadic lovers here, as any lovers, attempt to linger in the afterglow of what was, but it slips away like mist. Story begets story as if without author, events gathering into one another, as much memory as dream, their locales literally moving across the face of the globe. Continent to continent, from hemisphere to hemisphere, synaptic episodes strobe across the earth’s surface like thunderstorms seen from a satellite. Yet in these brief flashes a memorable and deeply moving procession of characters passes in vignette: lovers and children, parents and refugees, sailors, missionaries, clowns, mourners, forlorn warriors, sweet singers. “Was” is a brilliant new work by the author of afternoon, a story which the “New York Times” calls “the granddaddy of hypertext fictions” and the “Toronto Globe” and “Mail” describes as being “to the hypertext interactive novel what the Gutenberg Bible is to publishing.”

Press:

Tatiani G. Rapatzikou, “Language Amplifications and Visualisations in Michael Joyce’s was and Alexandra Grant’s babel,” Synthesis, issue 6. http://synthesis.enl.uoa.gr/journal/tatiani-rapatzikou.html