Torea Frey

Editor, writer, photographer, observer on the street.

Sculpting a story

Highly anticipated: Jonathan Safran Foer's Tree of Codes, a work made by selectively removing passages from Bruno Schulz's Street of Crocodiles (Foer's favorite book). Produced by Visual Editions, Tree of Codes officially comes out today. Here's what Olafur Eliasson says:

Jonathan Safran Foer deftly deploys sculptural means to craft a truly compelling story. In our world of screens, he welds narrative, materiality, and our reading experience into a book that remembers that it actually has a body.

I'm always a sucker for writers practicing the art of eloquent erasure: titles in a similar vein include Austin Kleon's Newspaper Blackout, Tom Phillips's A Humument, Ronald Johnson's Radi os, and Mary Ruefle's A Little White Shadow. (Many of these are inspired explicitly by William Burroughs's (or is it Brion Gysin's?) cut-ups, but there's a long history of assemblage in music, art, and literature.) For bonus points, here's a Paris Review interview with Burroughs from the fall of 1965 that discusses the technique.