Sous Rature













   from Local Colour

          derek beaulieu


Note on the work:

Local Colour is a page-by-page interpretation of Paul Auster’s 72-page novella Ghosts. Ghosts concerns itself with Blue, a private detective hired by a mysterious character named White to transcribe the actions of Black, a denizen of Brooklyn Heights living on Orange Street . As Blue reports his findings, the reader becomes more aware of the intricate relationship between Black and White, and a tactile awareness of the role of colour spreads through the narrative.

With Local Colour (forthcoming from Leevi Lehto’s ntamo press), I have removed the entirety of Auster’s text, leaving only chromatic words—proper nouns or not—spread across the page as dollops of paint on a palette. Taking inspiration from Kenneth Goldsmith’s “Gertrude Stein on Punctuation” (Abaton Books, 2000) what remains is the written equivalent of ambient music—words which are meant to seen but not read. The colours, through repetition, build a suspense and crescendo which is loosened from traditional narrative into a more pointillist construction.