A Neon Tryst


Sleek and Hypnotic: Lina ramona Vitkauskas’s A Neon Tryst

neontrystA Neon Tryst
By Lina ramona Vitkauskas
Shearsman Books, 2013
84 pages / $15  Buy from Amazon or SPD








Lina ramona Vitkauskas’s ekphrastic book of poetry, A Neon Tryst, has just been released by UK publisher, Shearsman Books. It begins:


Black Patent Translations
to L’Eclisse                                                                                                     7

Wilson, 722
to Seconds                                                                                                      29

Into the Black Flocks
to Wild Strawberries                                                                                        59

These parts each begin with a short summary of their respective film:

L’Eclisse (1962) stars the sleek-silver-hypnotic Monica Vitti as a lost woman re-discovering herself after leaving her husband…

Seconds (1966) stars Rock Hudson as an aging, bored, East-coast man who is encouraged to commit pseudocide by an ominous group of wealthy men called ‘The Company’…

Bergman’s classic film, Wild Strawberries (1957), tells the tale of an aged, retired professor travelling cross-country to his alma mater to receive a lifetime achievement award.

I liked being reminded of Antonioni’s L’Eclisse, in particular, geometric Monica Vitti dripping across the screen, her crystalline angles and lines, filmed in black-and-white.

Printed on the back cover of A Neon Tryst is this:

all the main characters share an internal conflict—losing identity with the passage of time.

The book’s cover art is a still from the film, of Vitti’s sleeping face, doubled and cropped. Vitkauskas manipulated the image herself. She has made it wilder: she has given it color:

neontryst This is a Neon Tryst. The monochrome Monica Vitti has been given layers. Her sleeping eyes lit from below, impressed from above, the Vitti on the cover sends a different signal than the Vitti of the film. We are reminded whose tryst this is—Vitkauskas’s: electric, in neon.

L’Eclisse, Seconds, and The Wild Strawberries were all made during the late 50s and early- to mid-60s, in black-and-white.


July 29th, 2013 / 11:00 am