The Wheel of Fortune

David Maroto


Book, 13 x 20 cm, 220 p, language: English, publisher: Jap Sam Books, ISBN: 978-94-90322-49-6.
Materials: ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2026/626).

Literary synopsis

Part story, part game, this is a book with a difference – one in which you become the protagonist. Inspired by Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time and Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Gambler, the action is set in a hotel casino on the coast of Normandy. The Wheel of Fortune recovers the ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ gamebook – very popular in the early 1990s, right before the advent of the Internet. You, the reader, are responsible for the protagonist’s vicissitudes. The narrative changes according to your decisions, the actions you carry out and your interaction with other characters inside the book. Sometimes you will need to try your luck to decide on different situations and to play the games that are offered in the story, like French roulette and . . . Russian roulette. Death, chance, desire and arcane knowledge will unfold as you explore the multiple narrative paths and the unknown that lies ahead.
Now turn the page . . .

Relation of the novel to the artist’s practice

The Wheel of Fortune is at the centre of an art project, a constellation of works that share the same particular crossover between game and narrative by other means: Decide Your Destiny, a collective game event; La Escala de la Vida, an installation; and the Game Group Reading Club (GGRC), a project that gathered a heterogeneous group of game designers and theoreticians, graphic designers, writers, artists, curators, philosophers and translators, in order to discuss the project and give their feedback whilst the gamebook was in the making. Each session a guest speaker introduced a new text for discussion. GGRC sessions were structured around notions such as artist writings, participation in art, the relation between art and games and the very concept of open process. GGRC incorporates elements for collective reflection and playing, and it takes Roland Barthes’ The Preparation of the Novel as main reference.

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