The main focus of Theo, the fourth and last book in the “Inexact Sciences” series by Stefano Bessoni, is the creation of the homunculus, one of the favourite subjects of the author, who had already dealt with it in his movies and in the book Homunculus, published by #logosedizioni in 2011.
Bessoni first chanced upon this strange, artificially created being around the time when he discovered the Wunderkammer, as he was doing research in libraries for a movie about Paracelsus, which would never be produced. At that time, he discovered the diverse recipes for creating a homunculus and the theories of the preformists, according to which every sperm contains a little and already developed foetus. References to these creatures can be found everywhere: from alchemy, where they take on a hermetical meaning and become the symbols of unnatural creation, to literature – just think about Goethe’s Faust or Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. And in the field of science (the official or “exact” science), you cannot help finding similarities between the recipes for creating the homunculus and modern methods of artificial insemination.
The homunculus who is the protagonist of this book is the “son” of Giona and Rebecca, the young couple that lives in the house once belonging to the anatomist Balthazar Zendak. And it is precisely following the recipe in Zendak’s diary that Giona and Rebecca, helped by their friend Lazarus, succeed in creating an artificial surrogate of the baby they will never have. With apprehension and terror, we watch the strange creature being born inside an ampoule filled with a mixture of quirky ingredients: drops of dew fallen after the Feast of the Dead, mandrake’s mush, Giona’s semen and the blood of the young couple. Fed on the blood of his “creator” and imprisoned in the ampoule, from where he manages to communicate through his prodigious gesturing, the bizarre child develops an extraordinary intelligence.
In this volume, the story that Stefano Bessoni started to conceive thirty years ago reaches its conclusion, which is not a real end, but simply a farewell to Rachel, Rebecca, Giona and the many eccentric characters who have crowded their story. This book is also a hand-over to Theo, the homunculus who has grown up yet remaining a child, inspired by Oskar, the main character in The Tin Drum by Günter Grass. And Theo himself will be the protagonist of many future adventures.
“The inexact sciences” series | A story in four volumes.
In time of war, 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. One day they inherited an old crumbled house, where, many years ago, lived an anatomist devoted to strange medical practices verging on occult sciences. While they were working to refurbish their house, Giona bumped into a little ghost: Rachel, the anatomist’s daughter, who had 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 “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 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 30-year gestation period, this story narrated 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.
#REBECCA #LESCIENZEINESATTE #ILLUSTRATI #logosedizioni
|Dimensions||cm 14,8 x 21,0|