Devil's Night, 2008

Truong Tran, four letter words (Apogee, 2008).

I've been reading Tran's book on the bus this week. The vellum middle pages remind me of Chad Lietz's chap Bher which was entirely printed on translucent vellum, but for different effect and purposes. Tran has crafted a good read with this effort, but I want to talk more about the cover image, which embodies a lot of the tension & discussion within the text.

The photo was taken by Jay Jao of Tran's installation "Contained". We are seeing a dark-haired person bent over to fit within the confines of what visually looks like a wall composed of ethereal bricks. Bricks are a recurrent theme within the text. The subject is literally contained within the structure of these walls. Because visually, we are able to gaze through the walls, we must ask if the impedimental (oppressive?) structure is in fact "real" or whether these limitations are an outward manifestation of the subject's psyche.

This is one of the few instances where what's on the cover actually enacts (rather than depicts) what's going on in the text.


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