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The Deep Sea Diver's Syndrome by Serge…

The Deep Sea Diver's Syndrome (1992)

by Serge Brussolo

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-- This novel was written by a Frenchman. Cast of characters is small, & they're memorable. Instead of writing an essay or an editorial Monsieur Brussolo uses a novel to discuss importance of Art/ist. I don't know if I would have appreciated & understood DEEP SEA DIVER'S SYNDROME a decade or two ago but now je l'adore. -- ( )
  MinaIsham | Jul 8, 2016 |
Brussolo had never been translated into English before. I was surprised when I found out - long time ago I read his "Le Carnaval de fer" (The Iron Carnival) and fell in love with his imaginary. The Bulgarian publishers never published anything else; the English and American ones apparently never got around to Brussolo. Until now.

"The Deep Sea Diver's Syndrome" has a weird start - in the dream world. Because it is the story of a dreamer, David, in a world where dreamers (for a lack of better word) go into their dreams and bring back ectoplasm - which is considered art. All other types of art had been forgotten and this new one has special properties - it calms and it is different for everyone.

And as fascinating as all this sounds, this is not the story here - it is the background. Or so it feels. The real story is the dream world of David - a place where he is a master thief and where art contains living people; a place that is controlled by his mind, a place that everyone claims not to exist but that seems to be more real to him than the real world is. And the imaginary world of every dreamer is different - David's is the depth of the ocean for example.

In a way, it is the story of every artist in the world. In a way it is the story of the relationship between society and artists; in a way it is just another of those weird stories that Brussolo is so good at. And his explanation of what those dreams are is interesting and logical and sad. And satisfying.

I wish it was longer and we had seen more from both worlds - some elements are just sketched and hiding in the shadows. But you cannot get everything. ( )
1 vote AnnieMod | Apr 1, 2016 |
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"Lucid dreamers called mediums dive into their dreams to retrieve ectoplasms--sticky blobs with curiously soothing properties that are the only form of art in the world. The more elaborate the dream, the better the ectoplasm. David Sarella is a medium whose dream identity is a professional thief. With his beautiful accomplice Nadia, he breaks into jewelry stores and museums, lifts precious diamonds, and when he wakes, the loot turns into ectoplasms to be sold and displayed. Only the dives require an extraordinary amount of physical effort, and as David ages, they become more difficult. His dream world--or is it the real world?--grows unstable. Any dive could be his last, forever tearing him away from Nadia and their high-octane, Bond-like adventures. David decides to go down one final time, in the deepest, most extravagant dive ever attempted. But midway through, he begins to lose control, and the figures in the massive painting he's trying to steal suddenly come to life. and start shooting"--… (more)

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