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Segue 10: Fall 2011  ||  Joshua Comyn


about the author


Joshua Comyn is a South African writer and researcher living in Melbourne, Australia. His current research interests concern the intersection of literature with information and systems theory and their relevance to questions of subjectivity. His artistic work is at present an extended poetry and film project, the mapping of poetry onto films, films as poetic palimpsests. While not overt, the theoretical concerns of his research haunt his creative work.


about the work


My ‘film poetry’ work began with Alfred Hitchcock’s Pyscho, a film which began haunting me, and that haunted my notions of normality, both ethical and creative. I watched it over and over. Then I started watching it like an editor might, pausing the DVD, running it back and forth, playing it in slow motion, re-examining moments, writing down lines, and generally infecting myself with its details.

This experience led me to write about other films as well, one of which is The Street of Crocodiles by The Brothers Quay, a film which is in turn inspired by the book of the same title by Bruno Schulz. I haven’t read Schulz’s book, and didn’t want to before my poem was written because I didn’t want the book to interfere with my work on the film. The ‘film work’ I am engaged in is critical - I am interpreting the film as I write, but without necessarily trying to stick to the ‘meaning intentions’ of the original work; I am making a interpretation of the original as I ‘rewrite’ it, creating a parallel, alternate world.

The Brothers Quay’s film The Street of Crocodiles is a powerful, and powerfully ambiguous work of art, but utterly precise in its ambiguity. It is filled with utterly exacting lacunæ. Despite this it enacts a consistent narrative experience. For my part, I wanted to write something that could haunt the interstices of the film but which was consistent in itself. I wanted to write a ghost story for ghosts.



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