Cover image for Collage : a novel
Collage : a novel
Wojtasik, Ted.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Livingston, AL : Livingston Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
180 pages ; 23 cm

Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Fiction. Gay/Lesbian Studies. "Living up to its title, COLLAGE blends the power of poetic expression with the classic elements of prose to create a unique assemblage of time, place, and experience. Wojtasik's innovative and daring style truly captures the complex narrative of the mind as we follow Zee piecing together past experience, present conflicts, and future hopes to create and define himself. Part poem, part novel, part history, part lyric, and all great-COLLAGE adds up to a wonderfully balanced whole and a compelling composition"--Richard Blanco. In Ted Wojtasik's complex novel of gay love, the problem isn't one of coming out of the closet-but one of maturing into responsible love. Wojtasik superbly mixes the unlikely ingredients of Central European history, Admiral Peary's North Pole expedition, the artistry of collage and the national onset of AIDS into just such a life lesson for his young protagonist.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

By 1986, the latest date in his story, Yugoslavian American Zeljko Matecic--Zee, for short --has graduated from Georgetown University; taken, quit, and retaken a National Archives job, cataloging polar explorer Robert Peary's papers; come out and explored his homosexuality; found a lover and left him to pursue collage; and returned just as the lover he realized he still loved died of AIDS. Although this eventual tearjerker is told in the drab diction and with the egotism endemic in American protagonist-narrated fiction, Wojtasik's literary exploitation of collage keeps it absorbingly challenging throughout. The chronological strands of the story, including childhood scenes and quotations from Peary's journals as well as Zee's adult sexual and artistic adventures, are interwoven quite literally, like those e. e. cummings poems that visually wind one sentence around another, or as if the novel were a film that overlaps scenes by injecting frames from a coming scene into one that is ending. This neat trick makes an unexceptional though substantial and honest gay short novel unputdownable. --Ray Olson Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

True to its title, Wojtasik's second novel is an assemblage of narratives told by Zeljko Matejcic, or "Zee" for short. Zee, a Yugoslav-American living in Washington, D.C., is himself an assemblage of things-an archivist for the National Archives; a young gay man negotiating romance and sex in the early to mid-1980s, just as AIDS rears its head; and, eventually, a successful artist who creates collages. He tells his story as he would assemble one of his collages-arranging scraps of narratives on a canvas to tell a disjointed but coherent story. Wojtasik's technique, if a bit studied and self-conscious, still manages to be effective, because Zee himself can only make sense of his world by piecing things together in a patchwork way. As Zee works at the archives, cataloguing the journals and letters from Robert Edwin Peary's 1909 voyage to the North Pole, he falls in love with a hustler named Mark. He also reflects on his grandfather's past-including the older man's troubling role in turbulent Yugoslav politics. When the world and its pressures get to be too much for him, Zee loses himself in his collages. Though the narrative doesn't quite gel in the end and some of the writing flirts with clich?, Wojtasik has crafted a compelling experiment that manages to pack some emotional punches. "What do you say to a young man dying?" Zee asks throughout the novel. His assorted memories and reflections are a noble attempt at an answer. (May 30) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved