Élaina Gauthier-Mamaril (8 pages)
“Everything remarkable and beautiful is as difficult as it is rare.”
Élaina Gauthier-Mamaril’s very brief Conversation was one of the most interesting zines I picked up at the last event. A sparse and contemplative piece, Conversation is not about the specifics of a dialogue but the nature of conversing with another person, “the living thing we have created between us.” Presented as a triptych of conversations (with a friend, with a stranger, with a book), the moments Gauthier-Mamaril recounts are so minimal and personal as to seem banal, but the way she approaches them philosophically and in terms of layout intrigues.
The layouts challenge the conventional left-to-right reading sequence, jumbling the recounted words (“Do you want some tea?”) with reflections on the value of engaging or turning with someone else’s thoughts, the “life-giving” aspects of understanding and interpreting.
Capturing the feeling of true conversation in that ephermeral, shock-of-connection sense may or may not be possible, but I found Gauthier-Mamaril’s efforts to do so appealing; she recommends readers perform the same “exercise.” I intend to.
JM’s JaM: Grizzly Bear – Speak in Rounds