WAR AND PEACE, June 2005
Now, ain’t that a catchy title? Always wanted to use
it. But, modern publishing being what it is, let’s split
this one in two volumes.
The war of the gods, I mean, and the subtitle of this one
Climbing OLYMPOS, Part Two
Yep, I’ve started the groundwork on Dan’s
latest magnum opus. Meaning I’ve taken my postited copy
of the galleys (see my previous column) and started to research
all the quotes mentioned in the text.
Here’s a rundown of what I’ve found so far:
Joseph Conrad, Percy Bysshe Shelley (including a
quote from The Fall of Hyperion), Marcel
Proust (with a long quote about Auguste Renoir,
twice–a mistake, maybe?), William Shakespeare
(an obvious favorite), Virgil, Ovid, Seneca, Propertius,
Robert Browning (yeah! CALIBAN UPON SETEBOS again),
Homer (of course), sportswriter Jimmy
Cannon, Laurence Hope, William Butler Yeats, Oliver Hardy
(huh?), a totally unidentified quote page 380 (help!), T.
S. Eliot, an Orphic Hymn, Alfred,
Lord Tennyson, William Blake–
–and I’ve stopped here, on page 466.
Thanks to the Web and to Odyssud, my local library, I’ve
managed to find French translations to most, though not all,
of these quotes, but I still have a long way to go.
And I’ve not mentioned Chapter 36, in which our friend
Daeman travels through Paris Crater, where Dan used a text
of mine he found in a Paris guidebook I gave him, lo, these
many years ago. Since I wrote this one directly into English,
I’ll have to translate into French Dan Simmons quoting
me. Dizzying stuff.
Now, an important notice to my fellow translators in Germany,
Italy, Spain, Japan and elsewhere: a burden shared is a burden
halved, or words to that effect–if you have to translate
OLYMPOS, don’t hesitate to contact me, and I’ll
send you all relevant info relating to my groundwork in identifying
End of Volume One.
And now, for something completely different, with an appropriate
If you pay attention to book covers, or if you
are an art lover, the name Wojtek Siudmak
may not be unknown to you. A Polish artist, born in 1942 in
the city of Wielun, he has been living in France since 1966,
and he has kept busy, to say the least.
There was a time, in the 70’s and the
80’s, when it seemed that every SF paperback had its
cover illustrated by Siudmak, not to mention film festival
posters, gallery exhibitions, and so on. The man is both good
and prolific. He painted a few covers for ANALOG and ASIMOV’S
in the 90’s, and he won two Asimov’s Readers Awards
and two Chesley Awards.
Siudmak is very popular in France, so popular that he regularly
publishes art books entitled L’ART FANTASTIQUE DE SIUDMAK,
where his most striking paintings are reproduced for the enjoyment
of all. And since he loves SF, he asks SF writers, editors
and essayists to write introductions to these hefty tomes.
Enter my friend and neighbor Jean-Claude
Dunyach, whose turn came a few years ago.
As he tells it, Jean-Claude didn’t feel
knowledgeable enough to write an essay about art. He opted
to pen a short story inspired by a painting called “Eternal
Love”. And his story was published as an introduction.
Now, let’s go back to the city of Wielun, in Poland.
This city was the first victim of WWII for, on September 1,
1939, Nazi Germany started the war by bombing its hospital.
Today, the city of Wielun has decided to become a City of
Peace, along with Guernica in Spain, Hiroshima and Nagasaki
in Japan, and has asked his most famous scion for a sculpture,
a Monument to Peace.
Siudmak decided to build a sculpture inspired by his “Eternal
Love” painting, and the Jean-Claude Dunyach story will
find itself set in bronze below the work.
All writers should be so lucky.
For the whole story, go to the official Siudmak website (http://www.siudmak.pl),
choose the “English” option and click on “monument”.
Don’t forget to visit the gallery, either. And dig the
blurbs written by Federico Fellini, George Lucas
and other luminaries.
Next: more about my progress on OLYMPOS.
Post Scriptum 1: Simmons watch
LE CHANT DE KALI (SONG OF KALI) has been reprinted in February
by Folio in their “Science Fiction” line.
This month, the same paperback publisher reprints REVANCHE
(HARD FREEZE) in their “Policier” line.
Also this month, Editions du Rocher publishes UNE BALLE
DANS LA TETE (literally “A Bullet in the Head”,
a.k.a. HARD AS NAILS) in trade paperback.
In the months to come, J’ai lu will reprint HORIZONS
LOINTAINS (FAR HORIZONS), the Robert Silverberg
anthology featuring “Les Orphelins de l’hélice”
(“Orphans of the Helix”).
Pocket announces for next fall new paperback edition sof
HYPERION and LA CHUTE D’HYPERION (THE FALL OF HYPERION),
each novel being published in only one volume.
Post Scriptum 2: Recommended reading
The name David B. may be unknown to you.
He’s one of France’s most respected graphic novel
authors, and Pantheon Books has just released an English translation
of his magnum opus, EPILEPTIC (a somewhat sensational title,
the original – “L’Ascension du Haut Mal”,
“Climbing the Grand Mal” – is more poetical).
This long and engrossing work, originally published here in
six volumes, is at once a family story, a terror tale and
the evolution chart of an artist. Jean-Christophe, David B.’s
elder brother, was epileptic, and this made for a harrowing
childhood, a disjointed family life and some strange, strange
dreams. David B.s art can be accurately described as expressionistic,
his domain is that of the fantastic and his imagination is
breathtaking. Have a closer look at: http://www.randomhouse.com/pantheon/graphicnovels/epileptic.html
Post Scriptum 3: Special thanks
To David Crosby and Graham Nash,
for the Paris show on March, 23.
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