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NAWROCKI, Norman. The Anarchist & The Devil Do Cabaret

Tuesday 16 September 2014, by ps

Norman Nawrocki, ’The Anarchist & The Devil do Cabaret’ (Black Rose Books, Montreal/New York/London)

Black Rose Books, Montreal. Black Rose Books, 2002: 192 pages, photographs, illustrations.
Paperback ISBN: 1-55164-204-2 $19.99 ; Hardcover ISBN: 1-55164-205-0 $48.99 ; eBook ISBN: 9781551645384.

This is a collaborative piece based on original work by two Montreal artists.

Local author/actor/musician Norman Nawrocki has taken several extracts from his most recent collection of short stories and letters, ’The Anarchist & The Devil Do Cabaret’ (Black Rose Books, 2003) and set them to original music he composed and plays himself on the violin. The musical extracts are sampled and looped. Local photographer Linda Dawn Hammond (http://www.indyfoto.com) took a series of original photos pertaining to each of Norman’s written pieces and created a pictoral landscape peopled with characters from Montreal’s historic Boulevard St-Laurent, otherwise known as ’the Main.’

The street scenes, frozen in time, help illustrate the stories and letters, and take them a step further towards a visual web-interactive experience. The viewer/reader can look in and out of windows lining the street and meet the people who bring life to the street and, in a leap of faith, to the story extracts. The project as a whole provides an enchanting perspective through which viewers can absorb and consider other particualr modalities or realities of contemporary urban civil behavior. The literary extracts are almost timeless snapshots themselves of life as seen from those who inhabit the margins: the urban poor and the dispossessed.

Even though Norman’s stories are based in East Europe, and Linda’s photos come from Montreal, the everyday life of ’the street’ with it’s shops, it’s commerce, it’s modes of cultural inter-action involving passers-by, ’regulars,’ local characters, strangers, panhandlers, shoppers, the homeless, families, dreamers & stray dogs, make for the ebb and flow, the tension, the peace, the raison d’etre of any urban inter-action. These are the stories, the realities, the images that underlie a contemporary ’civility.’

"Nawrocki is a Montréal-based author, actor, musician and activist who has toured the world since 1986 with his music, his poetry, and his hilarious sex comedy cabarets. He’s written four books, and has 45 releases with RA and his other bands like Bakunin’s Bum, and DaZoque! He is considered one of Canada’s foremost practitioners of subversive ’creative resistance.’"

CIRA, Lausanne

See his website