Whenever a book moves me so thoroughly that it becomes an instant favourite the moment I close the back cover, I am compelled to sit down and write a review to sing its praises. With the Sculptor, I’d initially just sat here speechless, absorbing how remarkable of a read-in-a-single-sitting book it is. But now I know how to explain how positively it affected me.
I was fortunate enough to see Scott McCloud give a keynote address at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival in 2015. I don’t attend much public speaking (I should change that) but I can fervently say Scott is one of, if not, the best I’ve ever seen. I can still recall many of the intricacies of his 40-some-odd minutes–how he championed the medium of comics, how it’s changed modern media and how it isn’t just about men in tights–but mostly I want to say I remember walking away that day feeling like I met a man who truly understood passion. Not only that, but a man who helped me understand my own passion better, as well.
Scott talked about the craft, but mostly he talked about what the craft meant: what it could do, how it could do it and where it could take you. There are things in life that are worth devoting yourself to whether or not they get you any farther along in the end, because without them you might not feel the need to make it to the end anyway. The Sculptor is a book that conveys that sentiment, in all the touching, serious, sad, tragic and real ways imaginable.
Life flashing before your eyes.
That is to say, in the only ways that are worth living for.
People often hinge their writing duties on waiting for inspiration to click. I know I do. Really, it’s just another form of procrastination. Sometimes (most times) inspiration doesn’t hit until you have the first word down, that’s the real hurdle.
While it’s actually the second word in this poem, the first word that came to my mind was “crimson”. Weather, war, romance, regret — funny how they can all be connected so easily to that word.
Also, my fantasy mind got the better of me and I wrote “gnoll” instead of knoll. A shaved gnoll isn’t a bad image, though.
Bullets and a Rose
What crimson clouds careen across the shorned [knoll]
and spill their shades to transform the hue–
What dastardly mind could look on such a sight
and not see at least a foreign shape or two. Continue reading
It is an odd, sheltered and commonly nascent thought when considering how many people we are tangentially connected to throughout every waking day that we will never discover, meet or know. But they’re far closer to us than we imagine. That’s what Let the Great World Spin is all about, in my eyes: the people we affect or those who affect us without either ever knowing full-well what is occurring.
McCann’s National Book Award-winning novel is set up by the real life August 7, 1974 “artistic crime of the century”, when Philippe Petit walked a high-wire between the World Trade Center Twin towers. This is the main backdrop in front of which stands the rest of the events in the story, featuring a dozen or so characters and how their lives are interwoven, spliced, juxtaposed and paralleled in and around the great city of New York. But it’s really only a novel insofar as a dozen random people in an elevator are a novel. Continue reading
I’m always reluctant to say things like the following because in a matter of time it is entirely possible that my views will change as I continue to read more and more throughout my life, cherishing any number of novels I come across, but, for the time being: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is tied with Les Misérables as the greatest novel I have ever read.
Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize Winning novel is, since no other word is as wonderfully fitting, a masterpiece. When I first heard of this book a couple years ago, it was after Continue reading