"Life's not complete without some kind of haunting," believes Marie, the narrator of Chloe Aridjis's stellar novel, Asunder
. "There, at the very fringes of tranquility, should be at least one or two pacing wolves." This spellbinding story explores just how much this "haunting" can invade our lives and keep us in its thrall even as we try to shake free of its looming shadow and carve our own special place in the world.
Marie is a security guard at The National Gallery in London. Day after day she watches as visitors filter in and filter out, their silent rhythms and the seasons' own patterns creating in her, not boredom, but a comforting sense of calm. "I have always been more interested in being rather than becoming," Marie points out, so in that sense the museum job is a perfect fit. The reader witnesses the everyday minutiae of Marie's life -...
Beyond the Book
As Chloe Aridjis explains in Asunder
, a painting too must obey the laws of physics - in that it slowly - ever so slowly - descends from "order" (the finished painting) into disorder. This "disorder" is brought about by a series of cracks in the paint or varnish that forms a network over time. This network is called craquelure (pronounced crack-lure). The cracks are formed as result of drying forces, responses to humidity and a number of other environmental factors. As time goes on, paint dries and undergoes shrinkage which, in turn, creates cracks. The pressure on these paintings is higher at the edges than it is in the center, which means cracks are more pronounced at the edges of a painting. Even the human touch can set off a series of invisible cracks.