A Man in a Room Spray-painting a Fly... (or at Least Trying to...)

Francesco Pedraglio


Book, 13 x 19 cm, 352 p., language : English, publisher : Book Works, ISBN : 978 1 906012 45 8.
Materials: ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2028/376).

Literary synopsis

Conceived as a carefully staged gathering of texts slowly composing a unique, layered narrative, the novel develops around a main character presented, like literature, as a corpse to be reanimated ad absurdum. This main story is then interrupted, fragmented and diverted from by other tales, stage directions and possible ‘scenarios’ that operate as proposals for narrative changes.
The writing is woven together as a continuous interlocking prose. It utilises the mechanics of storytelling to reflect upon the relation between the perception of objects and the abstract working of our subjectivities as readers or writers. Moving between and alluding to the different conditions of writing – whether film scripts, drama, letter writing, or mere notes for future projects – this is the first novel by Francesco Pedraglio, presenting the possibility of a story within numerous other possible stories, and exploring the fault lines of communication between the text and the spoken performance.

Relation of the novel to the artist’s practice

The starting point of Francesco Pedraglio's work - be it performance, sculpture, prints or films - is writing. He is primarily interested in storytelling and, as such, he sees in the novel and in its most experimental developments a natural continuation of such process of narrating and staging - oneself, or a situation - of influencing the relationship between teller and listener. Practically though, the novel is the end point of a process that starts with writing short stories, narrative poems and sparse anecdotes, then re-adapt them into monologues and dialogues for performances and videos, and finally re-edit all the material together as a coherent (albeit fragmented) story. Still, once reached the final stage of ‘organised narration’, the novel has its independency. It should be seen as a work that stands in itself, a work of experimental fiction that could be read without assistance of the other stages.

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