jonathan safr


Foer’s Tree of Codes

One of our favorite writers-to-hate Jonathan Safran Foer has a new book—or sculpture, as he describes it—called Tree of Codes. Foer slices—literally—words out of his favorite book, The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz. I haven’t read the book (Foer’s not Schulz’s), or even held it in my hands, but something about the premise is striking, memorable, so memorable that it sounds familiar… But more on that later.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Foer talks about the materiality of the book. He says he likes to break the spine, take it into the bath with him, etc. And I admire these things because I agree. I like books too. So why is it that I agree with many of his sentiments and yet dislike the idea? Is it just because it’s Foer? Ultimately, yes, there’s something about Foer that makes me doubt his authenticity. But that’s my issue, not his. And I’m sure there are tons of people who will probably piss themselves with delight at his cleverness. I’m just not one of them.


November 14th, 2010 / 2:57 pm