Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Words as art

Though I am not yet too far into it, Paul Glennon's geometrically-inspired The Dodecahedron [or A Frame for Frames] is reminding me of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, albeit in only a superficial way. The perceived similarities have to do with the linking of stories with common threads that are sometimes quite detectable, and sometimes not. What sets the two apart, I believe, is Glennon's clever use of geometry as a framework for the novel. I have read reviews that recommend using a physical model to aid the reader in the conceptualization of how the individual vignettes connect, which almost makes me want to seek out my 3-D organic chemistry model set from university [though I suspect that such an act may only result in the lamentation that I have forgotten how to differentiate between two enantiomers of a single molecule, which is in fact the very least of what I've forgotten]. I have not embarked on an endeavour to visualize the involved dodecahedron as of yet, but once I get a better grasp on all the connectors, I may just try. I may appear as a literary ingenue by asking this, but I wonder if anything of this type has been done before? I will naively say this: it would seem as though Glennon is the architect of his very own art movement. More on this later.

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