Zoom Blog

Everything BlazeVOX

Tony Trigilio and the Page 99 test on Heavy Feather

  

The Page 99 Test: Tony Trigilio & INSIDE THE WALLS OF MY OWN HOUSE: THE COMPLETE DARK SHADOWS (OF MY CHILDHOOD), BOOK 2

The Page 99 Test: Tony Trigilio & Inside the Walls of My Own House:
The Complete Dark Shadows (of My Childhood), Book 2

“Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.” ―Ford Madox Ford

Page ninety-nine opens the final section of my new book, Inside the Walls of My Own House: The Complete Dark Shadows (of My Childhood), Book 2. This page is a key pivot point for all that has come before and all that will follow in the book’s final fifty pages.

“I plan to call Book 2 of this poem / Inside the Walls of My Own House,” I write on page ninety-nine, “but it’s become The Book of Violence.” Even though The Book of Violence wouldn’t have been the most elegant title, it’s an accurate reflection of the book’s conceptual framework, and this discarded title is central to the volume as a whole.

At this point in the book, page ninety-nine, one of the central principles of the project becomes clearer: the imagination, even in its most powerful form as empathy, can’t easily undo the violence that gestates at its foundation.

First, some background. This is the second book of a multivolume experiment in autobiography. I’m trigilio2-cov-lgwatching all 1,225 episodes of the old vampire soap opera, Dark Shadows, originally broadcast on ABC TV from 1966-1971, and writing one sentence in response to each episode. I shape each sentence into verse. This book, like the first volume, is composed entirely in couplets (Book 3, in progress, is a poetry/prose hybrid).

Each episode functions as a potential trigger for the book’s autobiographical excavations. Proust had his madeleine; I have Barnabas Collins, the show’s main character, a two-centuries-old vampire who haunted my nightmares as a child.

Read the whole piece here 

Leave a Reply

Extra Pages

Photos on flickr