Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Ecology of the Novel - traces etc

(Venezia 1939/tim atherton)

A couple of days ago I came across an interesting essay about my own work - traces, Peripheral Vision and Immersive Landscapes.

"...Atherton’s collection of Traces seems pretty much inspired by Calvino’s remarks from the Invisible City (Le città Invisibili, Torino, Einaudi, 1972), that may even count as a very interesting meditation on hybrid ecologies based on the merge of literary references and sensory experience of landscapes. Namely, the bare concept of Le città invisibili entails open reference to cities that are there even tho they are not perceivable by sight. Actually, Atherton’s Traces exert potential of landscapes referring to previous or potential actions. The camera can help guessing or foreshadowing past or future events on the basis of clues, leftovers, affordances ready to be triggered by somebody who’s actually out of the picture..."more

Some months ago, Anatole Pierre Fuksas contacted me to find a bit more about my work and said it fitted into a project he was working on - a book called The Ecology of the Novel.

Fuksas teaches in the Department of Linguistics & Comparative Literature at the Università degli Studi di Cassino in Italy and one of his areas of research focuses on the relationship between literature and reality - the ecology of the novel:

"...the novel does not imitate a given reality through language, as claimed by approaches based on aristotelian mimesis. Likewise, it does not establish a more or less consistent fictional world intersecting an actual one more or less consistently, as theories based on modern epistemology offer. Indeed, the novel is not the mimetic reflex or the dialectic alter ego of a given reality, since ‘reality’ and the novel are different outcomes of the same process. They both answer questions like when, why, what ‘to do’, implicitly providing given definitions of ‘doing’. That is, they both rely on an integrated network featuring perception and action, reason and emotion in order to plan meaningful actions. Since the novel and that special ‘thing’ humans call ‘reality’ are built in the very same way, to keep regarding novels as imitations or virtual reflects of a given reality definitely sounds sort of naïf."

He is writing a blog as a day-by-day work journal documenting the development of his research plan on "The Ecology of the Novel". As part of that he has also investigated how certain artworks do a similar thing visually and what he calls an ecologically artistic approach to landscape for part of which he examined my own work.

(Venezia/Trieste 1939/tim atherton)

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