Wednesday, August 07, 2002

"The Hamzanama is a popular collection of dramatic stories based loosely on the exploits of Hamza, uncle of the Prophet Muhammad, who traveled the world spreading the teachings of Islam. Neither historical nor doctrinal in substance, the stories were born of the tradition of Persian oral literature that entertained audiences around nomadic campfires and in urban coffee houses with elaborate tales of fantastic derring-do.

"The huge paintings that together compose Akbar's Hamzanama were apparently held up to illustrate dramatic oral presentations by court storytellers. The stories describe heroes bravely confronting a host of formidable and menacing giants, sorcerers, demons and dragons, while other characters were depicted using more guile than force to rescue princes or maneuver their hapless foes into comical predicaments. Painted on cotton, the manuscript originally contained 1,400 roughly 2-foot-high unbound illustrations and accompanying text." -- Smithsonian Institution

"The characters in his books are all cartoon characters. He writes in frames just like a comic strip. He’s writing cartoons instead of drawing them. They’re not two dimensional but holograms. They’re real people who go in and out of being cartoons. They go back and forth between the real world and the cartoon world."
--attributed to former Pynchon companion, Christine Wexler in Lineland:
Mortality and Mercy on the Internet's Pynchon-L@Waste.Org Discussion List
by Jules Siegel, Christine Wexler, et al.