Fall Arts Introduction

"The four seasons are meant to correspond to the four principal literary genres," writes Martin Amis in The Information. "That is to say, summer, autumn, winter and spring are meant to correspond (and here I list them hierarchically) to tragedy, romance, comedy and satire." You can probably puzzle out the complete correlations yourself (or you can consult page 35 of the paperback edition). Here's the pertinent passage: "Autumn: tragedy. Isolation and decline, fatal flaws and falls, the throes of heroes." Yes, well, nonmetaphorical tragedy is all around us this particular fall. We don't need a parlor exercise to remind us of it. And while Amis might weep before the mockery of deciduous trees shedding their terrible leafy burden, a great many devotees of corduroy like fall just fine. And yet! Everyone knows that fall is indeed the time to dive into and possibly even savor pensive, dark, difficult, terrible, suicidal, you-probably-shouldn1t-show-this-to-your-parents, hell, why-not-go-ahead-and-ruin-their-year? art. So it's appropriate that on the following pages you can read about the potentially nightmare-inducing comic-book creations of Zak Sally, and about the diabolic imagination of photomontagist James F. Cleary, and about Gregory Blake Smith1s latest postmodern novel, in which, Emily Carter argues, evil is the lone constant. But in that book, you might be relieved to know, there's also a love story, as there is in actor Terry Hempleman1s next production, though it1s a gradually souring, adulterous one. All of these Minnesota artists, we think, attest to the rich cultural life folks around here are always not unjustifiably patting themselves on the back about. The same goes for this issue's scads of listings regarding film screenings, plays, art openings, concerts, dance performances, and readings. Faced with such a surfeit of options, the only reasonable response is terror and pity.

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