Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Profile of a (Book) Composer by Hans Bool

The process of writing a book could be compared with composing. The composition of a song or more complex that of a symphony, for example. The parallel fits not completely because in composing the goal is to use the composition as a guide for distributing musical resources in the orchestra. The book composer writes with a single resource and not with the goal to use the work as a musical guide.

There is one book however where the term composition fits quite well. This is a book that "took neither pen, nor a word processor, only a sharp knife and a bottle of glue were used." It resulted in a "collage" novel named "Down Below" and was entirely composed from found sentences, gathered together from books.

"By means of a time-consuming" -- this writing process took about 15 years -- "process of clipping, shoving and pasting, Paul Bogaers managed to compose an entirely new and original story out of exclusively 'used' material."

Even the original paper of the sentences was used and shows how the novel was compiled. Yet the novel reads as a normal book.

There is a saying that it is hardly possible to write a really new book. Basically over all the years everything that could have been said has been said. It is the style that makes the difference. In this case, the style is very unique. First of all no sentence is from the author (the author, or artist, used up to 250 books to select the sentences), but the book on itself is. The style of a book is about the way to tell and express things, but after this experience the style is somehow absorbed in the composition itself.

Perhaps the true value is in the making of the book, in the process rather than in the result - I have to admit not to have read it yet. A work that took fifteen years to complete must be a real piece of art.

Hans Bool writes articles about management, culture and change. If you are interested to read or experience more about these topics have a look at: Astor White.

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