A few years after the fact, my
youngest daughter asked, “How’d you get milk to come out of your boobs?” My
first answer was a stilted, “Uhh.” I was embarrassed to have such a loose grip
on my own biology. “I don’t really know.” She proposed a miniature cow inside
my rib cage. She waded fearlessly into the unknown. When everything is strange
and new, minor mysteries (popcorn, tuning forks) carry the same weight as the
nonminor mysteries (biology, birth, death and the sometimes lonely in-between).
Three new books rely on the supple child mind to help us see the familiar as
something wholly new and surprising. Like the farsighted reader who requires
distance to see clearly, these books make room for mystery in order to
understand the wondrously complex and totally basic bond between children and
W.G. Sebald once said, “The
astonishing monsters that we know ... leave us with a suspicion that even
the most fantastical beasts might not be mere inventions.” The fantastical
beasts in “The Menino,” by the Argentine author and illustrator Isol, are newborn
humans. In this telling of the strange story of what happens when a child comes
into existence, the Menino (Portuguese for “child”) seems to enter our world
like an alien on a surprise visit to planet Earth, bringing with it bizarre
customs and characteristics. “The Menino arrives naked and yelling, as if to
make sure everyone notices.” The Menino has “two little windows up high,”
complete with curtains; a pump in his mouth to sip and suck milk “prepared by
the woman of the house”; and between the windows and the pump “two little holes
that are tunnels. ... The Menino checks them frequently
and is personally responsible for keeping them open. That’s because the Menino
loves to breathe.” Human biology is made fresh and magnificent again. The
shocking perfection of our bodies and our mode of growing these bodies is
celebrated. “Everything is useful in the Menino.”
Isol’s jangly, hand-wrought
illustrations are expert companions to both the humor and the poetry of her
book. Her images are layered and slipped slightly off their undercolor as if a
small creature has given them a good shaking. Expected patterns are disrupted,
as when a new baby arrives. “The Menino illuminates the middle of the night
when he turns himself on. ... The Menino sets his alarms just in
case. Night is a thief that steals all the colors.”
Naturally, questions arise. “Where
does he come from? Where was he before?” And: “Why does he move as though he
were swimming through the air?” Isol answers these questions truthfully, if
magically. “The Menino has been on a long voyage and needs to sleep.” A reader
might find his or her own questions cropping up. Why do we know so little about
what it will be like to parent? Why is the experience of parenting often
couched in clichés or made to sound simplistic when it is, by any measure, the
most essential and astonishingly bizarre human relationship?
Al fin está en todas las librerías mi nuevo libro "El Menino". Publicado por Océano Travesía, con la colaboración de Daniel Goldin en la edición. Gracias a todos los amigos que lo miraron y me ayudaron con sus comentarios mientras lo hacía: Jorge Luján, Lau Varsky, Chris Montenegro, Laura Martiñá, Julia Friese, Mariela Nagle, Gloria Ortiz Noguera y Paloma Valdivia.
Para el el día de la presentación En Buenos Aires, convocamos un concurso de fotos de meninos y con Mariano Irschick cantamos una canción de Luis Alberto Spinetta. Se puede ver el video acá
¡No entierren su pasado menino! :) Es muy buena compañía.
Aquí les presentamos el video que la artista Johanna Wilhelm realizó para la canción que ella ilustró en el disco "Novela Gráfica" . ¡Poesía y cuento en imágenes, música y cine! Here we present the video that the artist Johanna Wilhelm did for the song "Cruzada", the same one she has illustrated in the Cd "Novela Gráfica" (Graphic Novel)
Aquí tienen algunas imágenes de cómo se hizo el video, con proyecciones de Johanna y cámara de Fede Lamas. ¡Muy genios! Here you can see some pictures of the video making off, with Johanna´s projections and Camera by Federico Lamas. So genius!
De atrás, Isol Misenta. Behind the screen, Isol Misenta
De adelante, una mujercita caballo, elfa embarazada :) In front, a woman-horse, pregnant elf.
La eterna lucha entre el Bien y el Mal. The eternal fight between Good and Bad.
Johanna armando el mundo con su retroproyector y sus figuras recortadas. Johanna constructing the world with her retroprojector and her cut figures.
Hermoso!! Gracias, queridos Johanna y Federico! Un lujo para SIMA tener su arte para nuestra canción "Cruzada"!! Beautiful !! Thank you, dear Johanna and Federico! A treat for SIMA have your art in our song "Crusade"!!