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Book Title: The Father Costume: Ben Marcus and Matthew Ritchie|
The author of the book: Ben Marcus
Edition: Artspace Books
Date of issue: May 2nd 2002
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 5.17 MB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1395 times
Reader ratings: 7.4
ISBN 13: 9781891273032
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Behold a stunning world, composed largely of water, where clothing changes people's behavior and time itself can be worn and discarded like cloth. Witness a father who takes his two boys out to sea, in flight from some menace at home, thus launching their adventures in a strange and dangerous territory. Artist Matthew Ritchie's striking images blend scientific diagramming with vivid, colorful renderings of the apocalypse, while writer Ben Marcus's cold prose plumbs the inner workings of two boys caught out at sea with a father whose costumes grow increasingly menacing. In this collaborative work, Ritchie's and Marcus's shared obsessions of mythology, physics and ancient texts have produced a conjunction of text and image in which people themselves are merely costumes for the darker needs that drive them.
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Read information about the authorSeemingly the most conspicuous aspect of Ben Marcus' work, to date, is its expansion on one of the most primary concerns of the original Surrealist authors -- perhaps most typified by Benjamin Péret, husband of the acclaimed painter Remedios Varo -- this being a very deep interest in the psychological service and implication of symbols and the manners by which those symbols can be maneuvered and rejuxtaposed in order to provoke new ideas or new points of view -- in other words, the creation of, in a sense, conscious dreams.
While Marcus' writing plays similarly with the meanings of words by either stripping them of their intended meaning or juxtaposing them with other words in critical ways, it also abandons the 'experimental' nature of so much of the Surrealists' writing for stories that describe human psychology and the human condition through a means that has in later years become notably more subjective and sensory in nature than that used in the broad range of fiction, both 'conventional' and 'nonconventional'.
The surreal nature of Marcus' work derives in part from the fact that it comprises sentences that are exact in their structure and syntax, but whose words, though familiar, appear to have abandoned their ordinary meanings; they can be read as experiments in the ways in which language and syntax themselves work to create structures of meaning. Common themes that emerge are family, the Midwest, science, mathematics, and religion, although their treatment in Marcus's writing lends to new interpretations and conceptualizations of those concepts.
Marcus was born in Chicago. He attended New York University (NYU) and Brown University, and currently teaches writing at Columbia University where he was recently promoted to head of the writing MFA program. He is the son of Jane Marcus, a noted feminist critic and Virginia Woolf scholar. He is married to novelist Heidi Julavits.
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