A wonderful post on all things Fishy! Thank you Symbol Reader. This is such a treasure.
“A fish is a slippery and three-dimensional monster that exists in all manner of curves, whose colouring and surfaces & translucent fins suggest the very reason & riddle of life… a fish is a truth.” – Gould’s Book of Fish: A Novel in 12 Fish by Richard Flanagan
Johfra Bosschart, “Pisces”
One of the best novels I have read in my whole life is without any shadow of a doubt Gould’s Book of Fish: A Novel in 12 Fish by Richard Flanagan. Its narrator, William Buelow Gould, is a forger serving a sentence in a penal colony on Sarah Island (today’s Tasmania). While imprisoned there, he creates remarkable paintings of fish. In the original edition of the book, each chapter is printed in a different colour, which makes the book look extraordinary. The narrator is very unreliable and scattered: he does not tell the story in a linear fashion, but more in a circular way, jumping forwards and backwards and letting his imagination spiral and twist in all directions. The book is wonderfully irrational and one hundred per cent Piscean. The main character’s anathema is scientific classification; he says that in the world “where science knew absolutely every…
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