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“Genesis Antarctica” is described as being “a definitive meta-realist allegory”.



Of itself, this means that it is the defining example of what is, in fact, a totally new genre of writing. As far as being an allegory is concerned, this is how Wikipedia defines the term: “Allegory is a literary device in which characters or events in a literary, visual, or musical art form represent or symbolise ideas and concepts. Allegory has been used widely in art, largely because of its immense power to illustrate complex ideas and concepts in ways that are easily digestible and tangible to its viewers, readers, or listeners. An allegory conveys its hidden message through symbolic actions, imagery, and/or events.” Thus, the characters and events in the parts of “Zandernatis” that have been “transcribed and retold” from the Haakon Urn texts symbolise ideas and concepts to make them accessible to as wide an audience as possible. It has a strong storyline and all the components needed to make it a stand-alone “fable” in its own right.

However, the meta-realist component takes all of this to another level. As stated in a footnote on the book's title page, in our context it is stated that “Meta-realism transcends the real by creating compelling, fully documented, alternative truths.”

This ambition springs from the author’s “previous life” as a visionary artist (between 1966 and 1979), when he produced highly symbolic and “allegorical” works which became increasingly influenced by the meta-realist genre and particularly the work of Johfra and Ellen Lorien (who he met several times).

What makes Johfra and Ellen’s work stand out (and that of the entire Dutch meta-realist school) is the superlative technique which makes these visionary images undeniably real. There are some parallels with surrealism, except that instead of illustrating the absurd, meta-realism seeks to communicate the reality of symbolic truth so that its existence and tangibility cannot be questioned. With “Genesis Antarctica”, the author is making a bid to translate this approach into literature, by creating the innovative “meta-realist allegory” genre. This involves building an allegorical story and then giving it the “realism” of supportive documentation from every kind of source: press cuttings, interviews (transcripts, recordings or video), webpages and analysis by experts. It can even go as far as denigration, such as reporting the harsh criticism of those adamantly opposed to publishing the narrative in the form of an “accessible” retelling.

Virtually all of the ancillary material in “Genesis Antarctica” has therefore been designed to give credence to the story “transcribed” from “The Song of Gorin”. It has been added because the purpose of “meta-realist allegory” is to make readers earnestly want to believe the alternate truth it presents, thereby making the underlying message of the allegory itself much more potent. It may happen that, despite all the “disclaimers” and indications we are in “allegorical” territory, some may want to believe in the story so much they will shut out the possibility of it “only” being a way to make them dream. We therefore must tread carefully. Yet since we shape our own reality, it is part of our ambition to make the dreams so real they take form in our consciousness and our lives. Leaving with everyone the eternal, unanswered question which is the extension of every dream there has ever been:

“Yes, but what if…?”


ARTICLES

“Genesis Antarctica” is described as being “a definitive meta-realist allegory”.



Of itself, this means that it is the defining example of what is, in fact, a totally new genre of writing. As far as being an allegory is concerned, this is how Wikipedia defines the term: “Allegory is a literary device in which characters or events in a literary, visual, or musical art form represent or symbolise ideas and concepts. Allegory has been used widely in art, largely because of its immense power to illustrate complex ideas and concepts in ways that are easily digestible and tangible to its viewers, readers, or listeners. An allegory conveys its hidden message through symbolic actions, imagery, and/or events.” Thus, the characters and events in the parts of “Zandernatis” that have been “transcribed and retold” from the Haakon Urn texts symbolise ideas and concepts to make them accessible to as wide an audience as possible. It has a strong storyline and all the components needed to make it a stand-alone “fable” in its own right.

However, the meta-realist component takes all of this to another level. As stated in a footnote on the book's title page, in our context it is stated that “Meta-realism transcends the real by creating compelling, fully documented, alternative truths.”

This ambition springs from the author’s “previous life” as a visionary artist (between 1966 and 1979), when he produced highly symbolic and “allegorical” works which became increasingly influenced by the meta-realist genre and particularly the work of Johfra and Ellen Lorien (who he met several times).

What makes Johfra and Ellen’s work stand out (and that of the entire Dutch meta-realist school) is the superlative technique which makes these visionary images undeniably real. There are some parallels with surrealism, except that instead of illustrating the absurd, meta-realism seeks to communicate the reality of symbolic truth so that its existence and tangibility cannot be questioned. With “Genesis Antarctica”, the author is making a bid to translate this approach into literature, by creating the innovative “meta-realist allegory” genre. This involves building an allegorical story and then giving it the “realism” of supportive documentation from every kind of source: press cuttings, interviews (transcripts, recordings or video), webpages and analysis by experts. It can even go as far as denigration, such as reporting the harsh criticism of those adamantly opposed to publishing the narrative in the form of an “accessible” retelling.

Virtually all of the ancillary material in “Genesis Antarctica” has therefore been designed to give credence to the story “transcribed” from “The Song of Gorin”. It has been added because the purpose of “meta-realist allegory” is to make readers earnestly want to believe the alternate truth it presents, thereby making the underlying message of the allegory itself much more potent. It may happen that, despite all the “disclaimers” and indications we are in “allegorical” territory, some may want to believe in the story so much they will shut out the possibility of it “only” being a way to make them dream. We therefore must tread carefully. Yet since we shape our own reality, it is part of our ambition to make the dreams so real they take form in our consciousness and our lives. Leaving with everyone the eternal, unanswered question which is the extension of every dream there has ever been:

“Yes, but what if…?”


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