Friday, August 10, 2012
Henry Darger was a recluse. His creative life's work was not discovered until after he died. The Chicago apartment where he lived was packed full, piled up endless with his epic story of the Vivian Girls and their quest to conquer evil in a make-believe land. Darger collected and horded many different objects, among them balls of string, shoes, and comic books. Many of his character illustrations were traced from the comic books. Perfection is his use of color. So much of meaning in art lies in the story of its creator.
The bookstores have started to close. I remember in ninth grade we had to pick a quotation to write in calligraphy on a large piece of white paper. I don't know how I came upon it, but I decided on a Ray Bradbury quote. "You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture, just get people to stop reading them." It didn't make much sense to me then, but over time I thought about it meaning different things. Today, with news of closing bookstores, I feel a real fear for the future that before- as it's been presented in books and movies- appeared only as abstraction.