Friday, May 11, 2007

Negative Space--a literary pensee (are there nonliterary Pensees?)


I've been reading a novel lately by Jacques Roubaud called The Great Fire of London, which is essentially a progressively-constructed novel about everything other than the Great Fire of London. It's essentially a novel about writing. Which reminds me, in a sort of way, of a draft I read in memoir class, wherein all but the main issue at hand was addressed in the narrative. It seems a rather tall order, but I think it would be a very interesting writing project to write about everything other than the idea at hand, wherein the work forms a sort of mold, surrounding a void that is the actual point of the work. The idea would be there, perfectly formed, only in what the work is not. It could even be a topical subject, such as a project that could illustrate the current political situation, wherein all is talked about in detail other than the elephant in the room. The musical group Elbow have already done such a thing with the cover art for one of their recent slew of releases...though I can only find the positive space version of their cover art. The negative space is available in tiny form a third of the way down on this page, for the fugitive motel release.

5 comments:

Casey said...

Davo--this is a good literary idea, which makes it a good idea in general. Now all we need is an elephant big and worthy enough to be so adamantly ignored.

brizbrizuri said...

You do pick the darnedest summer projects.

Kristen said...

Huh?

brizbrizuri said...

One quick question...is black or white negative space for you?

brian said...

Oh yeah, and Virginia Woolf's Jacob's Room in which the "negative space" is a person. Your negative space should be the setting.