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Les Cités Obscures, tome 10 : L'Ombre d'un…

Les Cités Obscures, tome 10 : L'Ombre d'un homme (edition 2000)

by François Schuiten (Illustrator)

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Title:Les Cités Obscures, tome 10 : L'Ombre d'un homme
Authors:François Schuiten
Info:Casterman (2000), Board book
Collections:Your library

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Les Cités Obscures, tome 10 : L'Ombre d'un homme by François Schuiten (Illustrator)

  1. 00
    Peter Schlemihl by Adelbert von Chamisso (hdcanis)
    hdcanis: A man without a shadow (and the name of the author is given to the protagonist...)

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Once again Schuiten and Peeters find an extraordinary visual metaphor to carry their strange message of alienation and architectural ennui. In this case, our subject is a mild-mannered, newlywed insurance salesman who finds, to his consternation, that his shadow has started to show in colour.

At first, Albert tries to conceal his chromatic freakishness by wearing dark clothes and only going out at night or midday. But soon, the constant disapproval of his young bride, his boss, and of society at large sends him into a downward spiral that ultimately results in the loss of his house, his marriage, his job and his social standing.

And all of this plays out against another magisterially imposing urban backdrop: the city of Blossfeldtstadt, apparently named after the German photographer Karl Blossfeldt, whose close-ups of plants can be discerned in the town's architectural inspiration.

As always with this strange and wonderful series, the central conceit is taken seriously by its characters: Albert's disturbing otherness is investigated by scientists, philosophised by acquaintances, and exploited by entertainers. Hypothetical explanations are offered to him, and to the reader. Finally, in the run-down slums of the city, he starts to discover a kind of acceptance, and the final third of the story builds to an extraordinary poetic consummation.

Another exquisitely-drawn study in loneliness and acceptance, this ‘remastered’ edition of 2009 has a completely new ending from the original 1999 version and includes several extras at the back. Like the rest of the Cités obscures series, it's brilliant. ( )
1 vote Widsith | Apr 27, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Schuiten, FrançoisIllustratorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Peeters, Benoîtmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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