Sunday, 11 April 2010

Last Suppers

Alain Delon as Tom Ripley in Purple Noon (1960).

Sarah Bodman, senior research fellow at the Centre for Fine Print Research in Bristol, has invited me to collaborate on a book for the project Poetry Beyond Text: Vision, Text and Cognition, which is commissioning new work as part of an exploration into how readers respond to visual aspects of poetry.

Sarah has long been an aficionado of Patricia Highsmith's Ripley quartet, which takes 'the talented Mr Ripley' from being a small time fraudster in New York to millionaire murderer in the beauty spots of Europe. Sarah is intrigued by the meals Ripley consumes, which are documented in detail by Highsmith as a sign of his growing sophistication. Ripley's victims stand in the ways of his appetite for the good life, epitomised by chicken in aspic, celeri remoulade and sole veronique.

My texts, variations on Highsmith's work, will accompany Sarah's photos in a limited edition artist's book. Meanwhile, we will generate some new responses to the novel by 'curating' a dinner party at which all the meals and liqueurs mentioned in the book will be served.


Phoebe said...

Very interested in this. But jesus, they don't half put away the booze in Highsmith's books!

Nancy Campbell said...

Quite. I love this kind of research.
Another Dubonnet?