VAS : an opera in flatland

gareth's picture

This post is a recommendation for the book VAS : AN OPERA INN FLATLAND - written by Steve Tomasula and designed by Stephen Farrell. Each page individually designed.

http://www.wdny.com/Pages/vas-details.html

Very beautiful piece of fine art.

whoisdan's picture

VAS, regardless of what your end opinion of the book is, is worth $50. It's not a book that you're supposed to read page by page. It's more like a meandering. It's pretty cool, but I'm sure a lot of people get ticked off by the fact that is anything but typical. If I had one word to describe it I'd use *insane*.

Tomasula doesn't follow a genre, he does "writing as a contemporary/conceptual art form." Check out his &NOW Writing Festival from last year. I won't take credit for that stylin' logo.

This is an interesting post because Tomasula works at Notre Dame, where I went to school, and I did a project for him when I was a student. Currently, my former professor and I are working on the next Tomasula book, entitled The Book of Portraiture. We just started (reading) so I don't really know what it's going to look like. It does start with the origin of handwriting, so I think I'll be asking some questions here in the next couple months. I don't imagine it being of the magnitude of VAS, as it's a different publisher and the budget is *quite* different...

Chris Rugen's picture

So, from a narrative point of view, how's the book? The description is...vague. Or, rather, what's the content of the book? It looks fascinating and I'm up always up for experimental stuff, but I don't like digging through concept to find nothing underneath.

whoisdan's picture

"I haven't read the whole thing," said Dan with a hint of embarrassment.

I don't have $50 and only possessed it for a day or two, so, I don't know how its literature holds up. I can't say I dig the &NOW stuff 100% and the idea of "doing something just to do it" (kills me), but Tomasula's reputation is pretty solid. And I don't think Farrell would wrap art/design like that around a pile of crap. Also, if you like when characters' names are the names of shapes then you're sitting pretty.

Additionally, Design Observer .com lists it as a "book they recommend." I imagine that's where Tiffany got her link?

Also of note is that Amazon has the book in soft-cover now. I haven't seen that version, but the hard-cover is quite impressive.

Other links:
www.nd.edu/~stomasul/
www.nd.edu/%7Estomasul/VAS_homepage.html

gareth's picture

Tiffany Wardle : I purchased the paperback version due to difficulties ordering the cloth cover. But I am thinking of purchasing the cloth cover so I can treat this copy with contempt and error, and I am a poor student.

Personally, I fell in love with the idea of a novel being constructed visually from a typographers translation and relationship with the author.

I do think it reads well. But I may be more tolerant towards the design than others. But even if someone did not enjoy the read, I think it worth populating any collection.

Chris Rugen : Steve Tomasula is not infamous for his ability to write empty literature.

http://www.nd.edu/~stomasul/VAS_homepage.html

This link may help define VAS more for you. As I have only just started reading the book.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Gareth, have you seen it in person? I'd be curious if it is worth buying only the $50.00 version. Does it read well, or does one feel like they are in a book-form of a David Carson dream? Do you think that version is still something worth collecting?

http://www.wdny.com/Pages/vas.html

Syndicate content Syndicate content