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list price: $22.95
edition:Paperback
published: Apr 2016
ISBN:9780889843936
publisher: Porcupine's Quill

Fabulous Fictions & Peculiar Practices

by Leon Rooke, by (artist) Tony Calzetta

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canadian, printmaking
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $22.95
edition:Paperback
published: Apr 2016
ISBN:9780889843936
publisher: Porcupine's Quill
Description

Fabulous Fictions & Peculiar Practices is a fantastical literary experiment in which text and image come togethcollide to form an irreverent satire of society's indifference to the artist.

About the Authors

Leon Rooke is the author of seven novels, including Shakespeare's Dog which won the 1993 Governor General's Award for Fiction. Other major awards he has received include The W.O. Mitchell Prize, the Canada-Australia Literary Prize, and the CBC Fiction Prize. He has published over 300 short stories, as well as poetry and plays, and is the founder of The Eden Mills Literary Festival.

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Tony Calzetta

Since receiving his BFA from the University of Windsor and his MFA from York University, Tony Calzetta has exhibited continually in solo and group exhibitions. He works mainly on canvas and paper and at times in sculpture and printmaking. In addition to commissioned works, he is represented in public, corporate and private collections in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Tony Calzetta was elected as a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCA) in 2004.

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Editorial Reviews

The side-by-side layout of image and story enhances the work of both the book's creators.

While a collaboration between an author and illustrator is hardly new, writer Leon Rooke and artist/painter Tony Calzetta took an unusual approach to their work in Fabulous Fictions and Peculiar Practices. The short stories and illustrations that make up this volume show both creators' imaginations at work in their interpretation of the other's, making it an interesting look into the duo's creative processes.

Rather than having an illustrator contribute images to an already written work, Fabulous Fictions began with small versions of a number of Calzetta drawings. Rooke wrote very short stories based on some of them, and Calzetta updated some of his works based on the resulting narratives. Calzetta's work is largely abstract and difficult to describe, but with enough definable shapes throughout to give some direction for a story; that interplay is what makes Fabulous Fictions interesting.

One of the book's strongest stories is "The Ravening Beasts at Fairy Godfather House." The image on which it is based suggests a pair of towers or turrets sticking out of water, and Rooke writes about the shaming of dull world leaders as ravening beasts and the escape from that label by those whose lives intersect with the supernatural. Another highlight is "Cézanne's Muse," in which Rooke succinctly describes a lifelong relationship between the impressionist painter and a physical muse, based off an image that suggests an arm reaching out from the sky over several loosely defined objects.

In another pairing, an oblong object atop a black platform with lines all around suggests a story titled, in part, "The Scroll of Civilization Survives the Restless Deep," in which a portrait artist considers suicide, and which references several earlier stories from Fabulous Fictions as a way to tie the book together. Somewhat similar drawings inspire stories called "Son of Scroll" and "Daughter of Son of Scroll," a pair of short works that react to their parent story.

Of course, the art itself is the strongest connection between stories. The first Calzetta piece, which aligns to the story "How God Talks in His Sleep," is reproduced in full color, with a three-page, two-sided foldout. The rest are black and white, but printed on a ridged paper stock that nicely shows them off. That presentation and the side-by-side layout of image and story enhance the work of both the book's creators.

Fabulous Fictions reads best with the whole creative process that produced it in mind, though the quality of Rooke's and Calzetta's contributions ensures that its parts are able to stand alone on their own merits.

— Foreword Reviews

'I think of Rooke and Calzetta as the Brother Grim and the Brother Grin. In their drawn and written incarnations, these fabulous fictions put on the degree of perversity and exuberance necessary to their telling. They are full of knowing innocence and an elusive jouissance. They occupy the terrain of the fairy tale, the allegory and the folk tale, all literary forms of deceptive simplicity.'

— Robert Enright

'I think of Rooke and Calzetta as the Brother Grim and the Brother Grin. In their drawn and written incarnations, these fabulous fictions put on the degree of perversity and exuberance necessary to their telling. They are full of knowing innocence and an elusive jouissance. They occupy the terrain of the fairy tale, the allegory and the folk tale, all literary forms of deceptive simplicity.'

— Bookshelf.ca

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