No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of
absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.
– Shirley Jackson
I have always been curious: attentive to the buzz and flash in the world around me. And writing has always been my chosen form of expression. The world I write about is created when I read, travel, take photographs, daydream. I write stories to open up real life, to view the uncanny nature inside.
And then there’s Hannes Pasqualini...
By day he works as an illustrator and graphic designer, by night he thinks, writes, draws, and captures sounds from outer space. He’s been into drawing ever since he could hold a pencil and his artistic curiosity always drew him to explore the darker sides of life. He takes pleasure in the creation of unlikely creatures, in the shaping of organic, pulsating matter using ink, computers and a stack of scanned or photographed textures.
And so, the moment Hannes and I met back in 2004, the event of expressing our ideas, snapshots of our internal worlds, our enclaves of sound and colour, inner biospheres of magical realism, landscapes of absurdity, even burrows of horror, through a meeting of our favoured mediums, words and illustration, seemed inevitable.
The title of the collection, Sons of Sorrow, was inspired by my native town whose name stems from a passage in the Old Testament. In the story, Rachel, aware that she is dying at the birth of her second son, names the child Ben Oni, which in Hebrew means 'son of my mourning' or 'son of my sorrow'. After his wife's death, Jacob changes the name of their son to Ben Yamin. I believe, for the sons and daughters of Benoni, for those of us who grew up there, an echo of this story pervades all our lives. A resonance of melancholy and a very real sense of sorrow.
The stories and illustrations will soon find their way into a book, so watch this space.
Until then, here are some of our favourites.