Jon Hassell atmospherics : stories in words and pictures

1977 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1983 | 1986 | 1987 | 1989 | 1990 | 1994 | 1997 | 1999 | 2005

city: works of fiction

 I | II | III | IV 

Desire to reinvent, redefine possibilities of Fourth World ...To poke air holes in the enclosing bubble of the inevitable banalization and orthodoxy of the "World Music" idea.

Nigerian writer Ben Okri's "Brave New Africa" images: City of Red Dust... bizarre ailments... conmen selling Power Drug... A continent dreamed up by Bosch and Borges.

The polyglot L.A. of the near future in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.

Jean Baudrillard: America as "the primitive society of the future."

Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities: A poetic fantasy conjugation (past, present, future) of "city". "And from the mixture of those two cities a third emerged, which might be called San Francisco ... and which might blossom as capital of the Pacific a millennium hence, after the long siege of three hundred years that would lead the races of the yellow and the black and the red to fuse with the surviving descendants of the whites in an empire more vast than the Great Khan's."

Fellini's "Reggiolo": a custom designed film town ...It could be Bombay, Beirut, Brasilia."

Surrealists' idea: "Odd things meet in full light." (Or: ordinary things in odd light?) "Surrealist music".

Rushdie's image of a tropicalized London: "... institution of a national siesta... vivid and expansive patterns of behaviour among the populace, higher-quality popular music, new birds in the trees... improved street life, outrageously colored flowers (magenta, vermilion, neon green), spider monkeys in the oaks... hotwater bottles banished forever, replaced in the foetid nights by the making of slow and odorous love... friends dropping in on one another without making appointments, closure of old folks' homes, emphasis on the extended family..."

©1990 Jon Hassell  >>