Thursday, December 22, 2011

Trade Marks: Asterios Polyp

It is incredible to see what creators like David Mazzucchelli are trying to do with the art form. This feels like something a Saul Bellow or Richard Ford would create if they knew how to draw (my apologies to those gents if they do, indeed, draw well). This is the story of a rudderless man, reflecting on his life, or lack thereof. The balance between struggle between intellectual superiority and happiness is front and centre. Our hero is morally ambiguous at best, but we identify with him enough that the pathos is palpable. I must admit that there is a depth here that I may have missed. If I had more background in architecture and/or Greek mythology I may have gotten more out of it. In any case, the layers make it ripe for a revisit. My main complaint is at there is a certain emotional flatness to the characters in the story, although it may all be tied to the downside of apathy. It is a beautifully designed book, but I was quite happy to find it for half price. Solid stuff - just short of a masterpiece. Trade Mark: A-

1 comment:

Four-Color Kid said...

I envy you to have snatched this book at half-price. I keep hearing good things about it, and I love Mazzuchelli's work, but I have yet to find it at an affordable price.