Wednesday, 02 November 2011 16:55

The Romance an episode in the life of a young writer Featured

The Romance The Romance

Poetic, gritty and funny! Buy it! 'Even if you don't like books, you'll like this!' 

The Romance. Available online and from bookshops in London, New York and bookshops across the globe

Poetic and gritty slimline hardback with artwork by Vishal Shah. Artwork available for exhibition

Spike Mclarrity: 'Yesterday walking through Waterloo station I headed towards the Southbank, where I came across a purple book called The Romance in the street. It stopped me in my tracks, I opened the first page and started reading it. Sounds of laughter came from my mouth (though I normally hate books. Not my thing really) and here I was lost in another little world of frustration.

I finished reading and found another copy of the book. When I reached my destination and met up with my friend I gave him a copy. We both sat in silence while he read, then a heavy deep voice broke our silence..

"Are you gentlemen going to have something to eat?" a middle age baling fat man stares at us.

So we ordered two full English Breakfast and carried on our day embracing each moment. Good read, enjoyed the book and thanks!'

 

 

 

Chris Orr, Professor and Head of Printmaking, Royal College of Art: 'For an artist or poet to make a book is a brave act nowadays. Once, printed material of this kind was a mainstream form and there was a plethora of pamphlets and slim volumes of all kinds of qualities and value. The breadth of the field gave anonymity a chance where new talent and the experimental could start out. Today the contemporary publisher of poetry has a tougher job because their work is exposed to widely accessible competition from not only other artists but a commercial world that has borrowed every trick that was in the book. Poetry’s obsession with the inner vision makes it vulnerable to the charge of indulgence. Jason Shelley’s writing takes us inside a human being where the ego and the id bang away in every sentence. This is presented in a crisp small book form that matches the higher aspirations but does not always accord with the grittier side of the subject. Vishal Shah, as designer, manages an elegance that has an edge but the text is confessional and plays with the idea of being a diary of extreme moments that one might imagine being scribbled on a rough piece of paper, the first thing that came to hand. Vishal’s illustrations in The Romance hover uncomfortably between the literal and the symbolic, the latter being to my mind the marginally better place to be. In Grey Love the book is more coherent, the cover image standing for less specific information (the shadow of the figure in the chair conforming to no known rules of light and shade) but implying a more intriguing enigma. The odd use of two type faces in the title throws up a useful jarring motif picked up in the text throughout the work printed in grey. Once again however the sophistication seems somewhat at odds with the content which repeatedly takes us into a world of alienation and loss. Full marks to Vishal Shah and Jason Shelley for attempting to use this form in the apparent new liberty of desktop and small scale publishing and credit to some of the production values that have been achieved.'

 

 

Additional Info

  • Author: Jason Shelley

Product Details

  • Price: £8.99