For anyone who likes artbooks or even literary work that integrates visuals, Nick Bantock‘s Griffin and Sabine is a must read. This brief epistolary novel consists of postcards and letters exchanged between the titular characters who create their own postcards. Griffin is a depressed artist living in London who one day receives a postcard from Sabine, who claims to have a special connection. As the story progresses, Griffin begins to feel intimate with his penpal, but isn’t sure if Sabine is a real person.
The emotional level of their correspondence is one layer of the story. The postcards exchanged is the main attraction, full of amazing visuals and symbols of Griffin’s mental and emotional state. Some of Sabine’s cards evoke the milieu of the South Sea Islands while some others are interpreted by Griffin as to mean what she represents to him.
There are two more books in this trilogy and three more after that. Read them for art, inspiration, or the love story by post.
I sent a few postcards yesterday.
I sent this one out to my former across the hall neighbor Darwin:
Text: Vous etes magnifigue. Translation: You are magnificent.
This one goes out to Benji, the manager of the building where I used to live:
This one goes out to Warren in Downtown San Diego:
I scrawled the last line from Banana Yoshimoto’s NP for the one I sent to Brian Leung, whom I owe a letter:
Here is the one I sent to Ted, Rob’s partner. Rob, if you’re reading up on this for the first time, is a fellow adjunct college teacher and the one who got me into this post card exchange.
I got some swap partners from Post Due. I’ll announce them tomorrow, perhaps with a Tyra style “Drumroll, please!” Then I’ll fall on the ground, kick my feet, and scream.
If you’re interested in doing the postcard swap, you can go to Post Due dot Com. If you’re interested in getting postcards from me, e-mail me at shindotv at mac dot com. You can also send postcards to me at:
PO Box 125003
san diego, ca 92112-5003