Back + Forth: A Novel in 90 Linocuts by Marta ChudolinskaBack + Forth: A Novel in 90 Linocuts by Marta Chudolinska

Back + Forth: A Novel in 90 Linocuts

Contribution byMarta Chudolinska

Paperback | October 1, 2009

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The second in a series of graphic novels edited for the Porcupine's Quill by wood engraver George A. Walker in which Walker encourages students at the Ontario College of Art & Design to embrace 19th century linocut printmaking techniques to create extended visual narratives which are then scanned, digitized, and subsequently printed offset for publication at popular prices in a format that uses 20th century offset printing technology to replicate the look and `feel' of a 19th century letterpress product.

Marta Chudolinska is a printmaker, bookbinder and painter fascinated by narrative imagery. Born in Pruszkow, Poland in 1984, Marta immigrated to Canada with her family in 1991. The experience of immigration has inspired her to explore and to cherish the diverse regions that Canada has to offer, from coast to coast. A recent graduate of...
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Title:Back + Forth: A Novel in 90 LinocutsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 8.76 × 5.6 × 0.72 inPublished:October 1, 2009Publisher:Porcupine's QuillLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0889843139

ISBN - 13:9780889843134

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Reviews

From the Author

Location. Location. And location. Reading Douglas Coupland many years ago, I was struck by his ability to use his home town as the setting for his writing, which has presented Vancouver to the imaginations of his many readers throughout the world. When I read Coupland's books set in Greater Vancouver (Hey Nostradamus! or Girlfriend in a Coma), I felt that someone should attempt a similar thing for Toronto, a boisterous city of my acquaintance which few are inclined to celebrate. Reading Coupland's work, I was encouraged to draw on my own, local experiences in favour of setting narratives in exotic venues such as Manhattan, or Berlin. I resolved to create a set of new, uniquely Canadian icons. Back + Forth is a wordless graphic novel of 90 linocuts, a traditional block printing format popular in the 19th and early 20th century. The book tells the story of a young woman coming to terms with her place in the world, her sexuality and her self. The story follows the character through her daily grind in Vancouver. She falls asleep on the bus and wakes up to find herself on the Toronto subway. She seems ambivalent to this change and continues on her journey. Throughout the book she wakes up back and forth between these two places and two separate lives. In Vancouver, she is challenged by an intense state of loneliness, while in Toronto she must chart the rocky waters of a failing relationship. The setting is indicated by familiar landmarks, landscapes and weather conditions. It is up to the reader to determine whether she's dreaming, remembering or breaking the boundaries of time and space. In style, I was inspired by the Flemish painter, Frans Masereel, a wood engraver who created wordless novels at the beginning of the twentieth century. Masereel's style is vivacious, focused more on expression and energy than on completely accurate representation, Masereel's characters are still alive on the page a hundred years later; their sorrow, anger and joy jumps vividly off the page just as strongly as when the blocks were first engraved. This approach strongly influenced the way I worked on Back + Forth. Though a few photographic references were used for specific landmarks, more frequently I drew the images directly onto the block, grappling with the emotional charge of the images rather than the perfection of the rendering. The physical nature of block-cutting delivers images that contain something of the energy of the hand that pushed the craving tools. I hope that this energy is something that resonates with my readers.

Editorial Reviews

The second in a series of graphic novels edited for the Porcupine's Quill by wood engraver George A. Walker in which Walker encourages students at the Ontario College of Art & Design to embrace 19th century linocut printmaking techniques to create extended visual narratives which are then scanned, digitized, and subsequently printed offset for publication at popular prices in a format that uses 20th century offset printing technology to replicate the look and `feel' of a 19th century letterpress product.`... looks fantastic, and is probably the first graphic novel in engravings of any kind to feature an image of someone watching online video.'