Derek Beaulieu / Fragments and Sentences

Derek Beaulieu

For my initial post for The Capilano Review‘s blog around the discussions in issue 3.19 (Narrative) I wanted to foreground some of my experiments with my novel Local Colour. Local Colour is a page-by-page interpretation of Paul Auster’s 72–page novella Ghosts (the 2nd novella in Auster’s New York Trilogy). Ghosts concerns itself with Blue, a private detective hired by a mysterious character named White to transcribe the actions of Black, a denizen of Brooklyn Heights. As Blue reports his findings, the reader becomes more aware of the intricate relationship between Black and White, and a tactile awareness of the role of colour spreads through the narrative. Written as a visual translation, Local Colour removes the entirety of Auster’s text, leaving only chromatic words—proper nouns or not—spread across the page as dollops of paint on a palette. What remains is the written equivalent of ambient music—words that are meant to seen but not read. The colours, through repetition, build a suspense and crescendo that is loosened from traditional narrative in favour of a visual representation of the occurrence of words on the page. With Local Colour I explore how much text is needed in order to maintain narrative. For further explorations, I would suggest Andrei Molotiu’s Abstract Comics blog and the work of Martin Vaughn-James

Never miss an issue

Get a subscription to three issues per year. Cancel anytime.

Donate to TCR

Support one of Canada's longest-standing publishers of contemporary writing and art

Advertise in TCR

Download our media kit to find pricing and specifications