6.06.2009

the arrival

i went to the printer's row book fair today with megan and got the arrival by shaun tan. art spiegelman blurbed it, saying that it's a "wordless story that uses the language of silent cinema and the picture-story traditions that predate comic books," and that this "masterfully rendered tale about the immigrant experience is a documentary magically told by way of Surrealism." i really love this book. i like that tan created "anonymous" cultures and that a lot of the images in the story don't necessarily "stand" for something, but instead give the emotion of something. tan says this:

"I am rarely interested in symbolic meanings, where one thing ‘stands for’ something else, because this dissolves the power of fiction to be reinterpreted. I’m more attracted to a kind of intuitive resonance or poetry we can enjoy when looking at pictures, and ‘understanding’ what we see without necessarily being able to articulate it. One key character in my story is a creature that looks something like a walking tadpole, as big as a cat and intent on forming an uninvited friendship with the main protagonist. I have my own impressions as to what this is about, again something to do with learning about acceptance and belonging, but I would have a lot of trouble trying to express this fully in words. It seems to make much more sense as a series of silent pencil drawings."

6 comments:

John G said...

Tales from Outer Suburbia is his new one, which I just got for my YA's. And I agree The Arrival is pretty damn awesome.

christopher higgs said...

Thanks for posting about this -- I'd not heard of it, but it looks great.

michaeljamesmartin said...

that is... hands up... the dopest thing i have ever seen. you should get LOADS of poetic inspiration from this... I want that book. I will get that book. If I pray hard enough maybe the book will simply materialize in my hands.......pleasssseee....

matthew said...

xtreme luv, apprntly

Kathryn said...

yes that suburbia book looks good. except it has words, boo.

ryan manning said...

Shaun Tan (born 1974) is the illustrator and author of award winning children's books such as The Red Tree and The Lost Thing.