resonance: looking for the fourth world

art | cinema | literature

The Garden of Earthly Delights
atmospherics : stories in words and pictures

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Robert Louis Stevenson

The great Scottish writer moved to the South Sea Island of Upolu, Samoa, in 1889 and wrote his final books there. The islanders named him "Tusitala", the Teller of Tales. His story collection, Island Nights' Entertainments, were Arabian Nights-style stories written for the Samoans.


Italo Calvino

Italian author included mainly for Invisible Cities, an influence on City:Works of Fiction. In this episodic novel, Marco Polo relates to Kublai Khan his journeys through numerous, fabulous cities, many of which contain contemporary, anachronistic features.


Magic Realism

In literature, this term has become a kind of lazy shorthand used to describe any writer who happens to be Latin American (or "foreign"—ie: not from the US or Europe) whose writing mixes real and fantastical events in equal proportion. Many critics have pointed out that numerous science fiction and fantasy writers have been doing this for years but never seem to have deserved a similar description. The term was initially applied to authors like Alejo Carpentier and Gabriel Garcia Marquez and came to include writers such as Jorge Luis Borges even though Borges work resists such simplistic labelling. The most visible proponent of the form today (if it still exists) is probably Salman Rushdie.


JG Ballard

British writer, most famous (infamous, even) for Empire of the Sun and Crash (part of a series of contemporary dystopias) but also notable for visionary and transcendent novels such as The Crystal World and The Unlimited Dream Company. Ballard's childhood experiences in wartime Shanghai are the source for his obsessive exploration of the transmutation wrought upon sophisticated cultures by exotic and uncontrolled forces of nature.