Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Calibrated Reading

I'm inventing an office for myself, a career path that needs me as trailblazer.
It arises out of a need in my life: a need to justify my collection of comic books, those thin pamphlets of four color adventures known alternatively as funnybooks or comix. It isn't enough that I love the writing and illustrations, the sheer craft of the best of them -there must be some better rationale; if not, they have to go.
All right, I'm up to this. What if it isn't a comix collexion? I ask myself. What if it's a reading xperience, carefully calibrated? Balanced for laughter and deep thought. Put it into order from oldest (going back to the 1940's with The Spirit) to whatever's current. Chronology-as-reading-guide. Filled in specific to subjective determination, without any illusion of objectivity, the result to capture what is so endearing and worthwhile in an artform never truly recognized for its contribution -and by contribution I don't mean as fodder for summer blockbusters. There are incredible examples of ancient craft (if you count the Bayeux Tapestry) in a genre that has produced its own exemplars gifted as Kandinsky or King.
Then it hits me: I could do this job. I could arrange such a collection and create for readers a full experience of a genre of art in all its peaks and valleys. You wouldn't even have to limit yourself, in this role of self-declared subject expert, in this unelected, unvetted, unfettered position of power. One could do the same with novels and short story collections, memoirs and manifestos, manuscripts, poetry jams, works of philosophy and cartography... the list of possibilities is endless.
It won't be easy to calibrate such a collection. A special man is required to accomplish this sensitive task. The office doesn't yet exist that can fill the bill, someone would have to invent it, someone not immune to the call of destiny....

1 comment:

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