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Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Alice Brody is a fabulous quilt-maker living in New York City; samples of her quilts are "Spiral Words Variation I" and "Starburst" (click on links to delight yourself!). And that's also why we have two of her art quilts at la casa.  Here's one in a bedroom (which was done in collaboration with one of my poems):

Here's a second one in the dining room (a treasured house-warming present, thank you Alice!):

Which is all to say,  this explains why I unashamedly begged her for a mini-book for "Books on Chairs" -- I thought it'd be easy for her to put one together by, say, simply putting together some fabric swatches and then there'd be a new book like


But the mark of a true artist is when she might take your suggestion but still makes the idea truly her own.  That is, Alice did put together what looks to be fabric swatches ... but the topic of favorite fabrics is clearly too easy for her.  Instead, Alice put together a book which I shall show you below, page by page, whose fabrics somehow succeed in providing an abstract narrative befitting the book's title:  JAPAN TALES. You know (you know!): like Gertrude Stein -- put randomly-chosen words next to each other and somehow a connection/narrative will surface ...

But, first, moi blather (who is Moi without blather after all) on her book cover:

See that tiny mirror on the cover?  Well, this means the reader can see him/her/hirself before said reader opens the book!  The significance, you ask?  Abstraction requires interpretation (well, so does realism but work with me here) and for a book like Alice's, it's up to the reader to interpret the visuals and create meaning, if not a narrative.  So, let's have a go at it -- this is a story not being spoonfed to you, Dear Reader, but a story that you as much as Alice will create.  Here is Alice Brody's JAPAN TALES as it unfolds:

My read?  I won't share it as I don't want to affect yours.  But it has a happy ending (re: dog wagging tail!).  I love happy endings -- hence this blog!

Anyway, because it's so visual and one could linger over the patterns as one peruses the book, I don't mind that Alice's book is also a "coffee table book" since it's 2.75" x 3.0".  Now, where shall we "shelve" it?  Do I have to buy more coffee tables (oh, wait: got one on the way!).  Well, for now, let us shelve JAPAN TALES atop the coffee table of the Philippine narra sala set (keeping company with the BABAYLAN MANDALA book):

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