Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Art of Subliminal Autobiography

Subliminal autobiography is not a novel concept. I remember my first exposure to the idea while reading Ernest Hemingway, when I realized that his "fiction" was actually disguised or subliminal pieces of his life. Philip K Dick is another whose fiction fits this description: creating work that by no means creates a literal translation of life, but contains within it code that signifies the unique experience of the artist. In the case of Dick, the result was unintentional. I believe the same can be said of author Steve Gerber.

Creating a work, or body of work, of this kind is not limited to writers -painters, actors, and film directors also put this kind of coding into their work. Yet, since Gerber is a wordsmith, I can limit my scope to artists of this kind.

In Gerber's body of work, biographical details may or may not be there, and if so are not likely to be found in any literal form; thus the label of "subliminal." An exorcist that contains within himself the soul of the son of Satan, or a scientist who transforms himself into a muck monster: obviously Gerber is not revealing intimate information about himself with these characters!

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