Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Autumnal City

I've been fascinated by the images coming online from Sydney, where a bizarre dust storm blanketed the city today, turning the sunlight an eerie red. Check out this Red Sydney Project Flickr page, where people have been posting hundreds of these pictures.  A lot of them are beautiful and weird.

Many of the pictures make me think of Bellona, the strangely isolated and enigmatic city of Delany's masterpiece Dhalgren. Perhaps because of the look of the various cover art for different editions of the book, I always see Bellona in my imagination as a place where even during the day it is never quite fully light (which I guess makes sense, since the place is described as having areas that are somehow continuously on fire and probably emitting smoke), and everything is perceived through a haze.

The image to the left is the art from the original printings of the novel, and the other one is the cover of the more recent Vintage edition, which is the one I have in my own library.

In both cases, one can probably see why the images of Red Sydney reminded me of Bellona even if one has not read the book.

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