Not sure exactly why, but while watching Todd Haynes’ wonderful movie about Bob Dylan, “I’m Not There,” I thought about Boris Vian.
“I’m Not There”
It’s a truly original, bold, surreal, funny and alarming movie about the many lives of Bob Dylan, fictional lives, characters that might have been Dylan or that Dylan might have been. All the acting is wonderful, but I especially like Cate Blanchett’s performance. It’s probably from her disjointed, disconnected, oddly profound and nonsensical repartee that I thought of Vian.
Boris Vian was an amazing artist. A novelist, poet, actor, engineer and musician, chiefly remembered for his novels. I’ve read two. Mood Indigo and Heartsnatcher. Both are violently funny, raw, dadaist, surreal and absurd. They are also disjointed, disconnected, and nonsensical. In a very good way.
Mood Indigo is an earlier translation. I’ll have to read the latest incarnation, Foam of the Daze (translated by Brian Harper), from Tam Tam Books. Looks to be much closer to the original, L’Écume des Jours, and has been approved by the Vian estate.
Vian is sometimes associated with the term, pataphysics, which is a robust and madcap parody of scientific theory and methods, coined by Alfred Jarry. A good resource for all things pataphysical is here.
Was surprised to find this video on Youtube. Vian singing . . .
Boris Vian died at the tragically young age of thirty-nine. What new wonders could he have created, with a longer life, more time, more health?