(A review of 'Forth on the Daydream'
A novel by Boris Vian
Review first written on May 22, 2019)
More like 3.5 stars. It has a kind of Disney reality in which animals, for example, talk to people and there is that somewhat infantile humor. The book begins in a kind of innocent world of some young people who haven't come across the suffering yet. The characters resist and are afraid of things that are for grown-ups - especially having to earn a living. The girls want to buy pretty things and boys want to be able to buy those things for them. As the suffering in its countless forms raises the ugly hand for the four youngsters that are central characters of the book, they struggle to keep the happiness they had gained in their innocent times.
The surreal art, as far as I understand, tries to use elements from the unconscious mind, and since 'meaning' is an invention of the conscious mind - everything surreal must be definition be meaningless or at least have a meaning that is very difficult to put in words. I am not sure surrealism is the word for strange occurrences of the book. They are more like literary devices used by the author to color his prose n the same innocent shade with which its main characters are made. Even as the characters themselves struggle against the suffering of the world, the prose continues to retain the same Disney shade until the very end.