Recycled Memories: A Multimedia Quartet

Arella's Repertoire
The novel begins as Arella prepares for 2000 and the fresh start it represents. More at home in cyberspace than anywhere she has actually lived, she reinvents herself and her life story for readers of a multimedia web diary she calls Arella’s Repertoire, a blend of memoir, travelogue, and blog. Like her Russian forebears, who immigrated to the United States at the turn of the previous century, she imagines belonging somewhere. Motivated as much by a child’s longing for fantasy as by a woman’s desire for truth, she highlights scenes from Miami, where she came of age in the 1960s, and Los Angeles, where she settled after many stops along the way. The narrative explores personal and cultural memory in the digital age. [fiction; 280 pages]
Vagabond Scribe: (Leah's Backstory)

In this literary experiment, the young Leah as a woman archives traces of her life. She begins the first stage of her retrospective in the mid-1980s, at the opening of Vagabond Scribe. The paper trails that she follows lead to real and imagined places she has visited as a child, a teenager, and a young woman. Aware of blind spots and exclusions, she works through the texts, looking for clues to unwritten histories and forgotten stories. She creates a collage of textual fragments, traces of where she has been. Readers glimpse a look behind the scenes at a memory bank in the making, a resource for ideas and inspiration as well as for stories to come. [fiction; 122 pages]

Video-Graphic Alchemy: Transforming “Dear Diary”
This illustrated text explains the unconventional methodology Elayne Zalis used to “compose” Vagabond Scribe (Leah’s Backstory), which she began in the late 1980s while under the spell of video art and emergent digital technologies. That literary experiment informed her approach to Arella’s Repertoire, a novel she wrote that elaborates on and takes to new levels the earlier work of fiction. Video-Graphic Alchemy brings together her retrospective essay and the artistic, multimedia, and literary work from her personal repertoire that she references. The book includes reproductions of more than twenty black-and-white and color images. [nonfiction; 52 pages]
VirtualDayz: Remediated Visions & Digital Memories
This “blook” preserves the musings on media and memory that Elayne Zalis posted on her blog, VirtualDayz, from June 2005 to July 2006 (see http://www.virtualdayz. blogspot.com/). Both private and public archives inspire her reflections, which explore media in transition, a range that encompasses film, video, print, digital arts, and the web. She is interested in what artists and writers are doing and in what critics and scholars are saying. (Cover images are from a multimedia art project documented in Video-Graphic Alchemy, and that book is based on a blog entry she wrote.) [nonfiction; 160 pages]

Beyond the Quartet: The Transformations Continue

When We Believed in Magic
A visit to South Florida in 1995 prompts Leah to reflect on her early years in Miami, beginning with her childhood in the mid-1960s. A troupe of imaginary dancers stand in for her at key stages of her life. Diaries and archival treasures inspire their performances. Blending the real and imagined and combining genres, the story Leah tells unfolds chronologically, yet each “act” can stand on its own. A travelogue, a memoir, and a screenplay all in one, When We Believed in Magic can also be read as a preliminary script for interactive digital platforms or as a sketch for an actual dance performance. This retrospective highlights the performative strands of Arella’s Repertoire, a novel by Elayne Zalis. [fiction; 50 pages]

© 2020 by Elayne Zalis. All rights reserved.  

 

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