Saturday, December 29, 2012

Completed: Nox

Dear Jenny,

As you predicted, this book was a very quick read. In fact, it's difficult to call it a "read" as much as it is a "study" or... a "perusal," perhaps better found on my TBP list (I plan to re-visit that list this year, btw.)

But, of course, it was an absolutely perfect choice for me to skid into then end of 2012 with, which is pretty much why I had it on my list in the first place... I knew in January that this year would be hectic, although I didn't know then exactly how tough it would be. All this to say that Nox was the just what I needed right now. (I took the photo above as I read it over coffee this morning -- note our snow-covered back yard.)

Nox is a reproduction of a "book" (or art piece, or illustrated poem, or collage, or... something) that the author created when her brother died unexpectedly in 2000. She did not know him very well, as he had run away from home in 1978 and, as she says, "he phoned me maybe 5 times in 22 years" [8.1]. The entire work is a single sheet of paper, folded accordion style, tucked into a sturdy box. It's really lovely to hold and look at; the poetry and narrative are sparse and touching; and the lexicon excerpts, snippets of poetry, family photos, and personal artifacts all make for a very moving piece.

Overall, I enjoyed it. I did wish that the quality of the paper was better, as I wanted to see the photos and some of the collages more clearly. I am spoiled by Nick Bantock's art books (like The Venetian's Wife, read earlier this year) so I probably am looking for that, although with the box that Nox came in and the accordion style construction, I realize it would become prohibitively expensive to produce.

I don't really have that much more to say about it -- I think it might be something that really needs to be experienced to appreciate. I've experienced it now and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys art and poetry and language.

And with that... I have finished my TBR list for 2012! Whew!


1 comment:

  1. YOU DID IT! Well done!

    I agree that Nox is a beautiful piece of something, but also a total headscratcher. I keep wondering how it got published---it certainly couldn't have made any money.

    Off to the 2013 lists. I want to look over mine one more time...