The story of a little spectre, lost and mournful, and of its Wunderkammer.
The first book of the series “The inexact sciences”
The little Rachel lives all alone in an old cliff house. She hasn’t seen her parents in a long while and she doesn’t know any other kid to play with. Her room is a Wunderkammer, full of skeletons, anatomical preparations, stuffed dead animals and other weird artefacts. One day, three of these marvellous objects have come to life, therefore Rachel has three friends: a stuffed crocodile, a rabbit skeleton and an anatomical doll. However, despite this bizarre company, she is very lonely. Until she discovers an incredible truth about herself, during a cold full moon night…
The first book of the series focused on the world of inexact sciences, Rachel tells the tragic story of a small spectre, imprisoned for years in a limbo between life and death called Swedenborg Chamber. The main character is inspired by the real-life figure of Rachel Ruysch (1664 – 1750), who lived in the Netherlands, daughter of Frederik Ruysch, an anatomist known for his preparations. Giacomo Leopardi turned her into one of the characters in the Operette Morali, featuring in the “Dialogue between Frederik Ruysch and his mummies”, a grotesque conversation between the anatomist and some of his preparations, regarding the presumed pain felt in death, in the precise moment when the soul detaches from the body. Actually, drawing inspiration from Leopardi’s text, Stefano Bessoni reconsiders Rachel’s figure and turns her into a creature suspended between life and death, waiting for the moment in which the final transition to the after world will take place.
Rachel Ruysch’s actual story is different: at a young age she helped her father, but later she abandoned the medicine and anatomy practices to become an excellent painter, specialised in still natures and portraits. She is one of the few female artists from her times whose works have reached us. This is a macabre fairy tale in which we encounter the unique style of Stefano Bessoni’s illustrations: skeletons, funny and ghoulish animals and characters with giant heads, wide eyes and mocking smiles. The first volume of a story so intriguing you won’t be able to wait for the next chapter!
“The inexact sciences” series | A story in four volumes, each issued every six months.
During World War I, in a town in the middle of nowhere, on the ocean coast, once lived Giona and Rebecca. He was an illustrator and she was a restorer of old toys. They bought for small money an old battered house, where, many years ago, an anatomist who devoted himself to strange medical practices that verged on occult science lived. While they worked on the house renovation, Giona came across a small spectre: Rachel, the anatomist’s daughter, died in tragic circumstances. The funereal child persuaded Giona to create his own Wunderkammer and undertake a weird experiment. Rebecca tried to dissuade him from this dangerous plan, but this was the beginning of her “daynightmare”…
Stefano Bessoni started to conceive the “The inexact sciences” story when he was still attending the fine arts academy, and after dropping his troubled scientific studies. During that time, he had discovered Peter Greenaway’s cinema, nourished a fascination for the Wunderkammer, and he constantly listened to Nick Cave’s grim ballads. These influences merged with many other sources of inspiration (Jan Švankmajer, the Quay Brothers, Joel Peter Witkin…), outlining the plot of a macabre fairy tale that would accompany the author, until becoming an open page for his poetic expression. After a gestation period that lasted 30 years, this story realised in the unique style of Stefano Bessoni is published with #logosedizioni.
The author and illustrator:
Stefano Bessoni is a director, illustrator, and stop-motion animator. He was born in 1965 in Rome, where he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts. Since 1989 he has been making many experimental films, video and theatre installations, and documentary films. In the 1990s he worked for many TV production companies as camera operator, cinematographer, and film editor. He taught film directing at the NUCT (Roma Film Academy) in Cinecittà and at the Griffith Academy in Rome. He also teaches many workshops on illustration and stop-motion animation at schools and festivals in Italy and abroad.
He has won various awards with his most recent films, Canti della forca, which was recognized by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities as a “film of national cultural interest”, and Krokodyle, Best Fantasy Film at the 6th CINEFANTASY in San Paolo, Brazil, Best International Film at the PUERTO RICO HORROR FILM FEST 2011, Special Mention at SITGES 2011 - 44° Festival Internacional de Cinema Fantastic de Catalunya, and a Special Mention also at FANTASPOA 2011.
His books for #logosedizioni are: Alice Under Ground (also available in Italian and Spanish), Gallows Songs (also available in Italian), Homunculus, Mr Punch, Pinocchio, Stop-motion. La fabbrica delle meraviglie, Stop Motion Workshop. First Level (Also available in Italian), Stop Motion Workshop. Second Level (Also available in Italian) Wunderkammer, Oz, Rachel, Rebecca, Giona and Theo.
#RACHEL #LESCIENZEINESATTE #ILLUSTRATI #logosedizioni
|Dimensions||cm 14,8 x 21,0|
|RACHEL – LE SCIENZE INESATTE di Stefano Bessoni||Ingenerecinema.com||www||15-01-2018|
|Rachel - Le Scienze Inesatte||crunched.it||www||25-01-2018|
|Bologna Children’s Book Fair: le “fiabe nere” di Stefano Bessoni||varese7press.it||www||28-03-2018|