The Sonatas of Saint Francis

"As in our socalled [sic] real lives we veer more and more toward the virtual, the unseen unscene of the play of our unplayed actual actions, it is more and more our lot to occupy spaces gone before they have actually ever formed. We always look through layers, as if not just the world but our actual vision (itself increasingly overlaid with media projections) were a palimpsest. We become virtual archeologists of actual spaces, exfoliating an endlessly regenerating set of surfaces and volumes alike. In order to accomplish such fieldwork we need to gird ourselves in appropriate safari wear, outfit ourselves with both archeological guides to the continual exfoliation as well as architectural guides to the continual regeneration of formal spaces.

In Sonatas these guiding figures include a homeless Montreal vernacular artist named Bernie, an avatar of the engraver and book illustrator Bernard Picart, who creates a huge installation in a squat discovered and preserved by a young art historian, Frankie, himself an avatar of St Francis. The Sonatas of St Francis is a web fancy undertaken in collaboration with the web designer and comic fiction writer Matt Hanlon, graphic artist/web designer Andrea Morris, and designer/hyperfiction writer, Carolyn Guyer. The displacement of image by text and vice versa is the strategy and topography, the virtual actuality, of Sonatas which takes place on an "underworld" island inhabited by historical characters who include, besides St Francis and Picart, William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy (in this fiction they are conjoined or "Siamese" twins), the poet Lorca, Blake's wife, Catherine Boucher, and Bonnard's mistress, the painter Renee Monchaty. Sonatas is about the relationships between word and image and the slippages as each lapse into each other, i.e., divine inspiration, the devolution of logo into imago." -- Joyce et al., "About"


The Michael Joyce Collection

Published by the creator.

This copy was given by Michael Joyce to the Electronic Literature Lab in Summer of 2021.