Telling the absurd, or rather recounting this world


Enrico Dal Buono_1

Product Description


Over the centuries, from the nineteenth-century classics to today’s TV series such as Black Mirror and Twin Peaks, the techniques and tools used in the art genre known as “grotesque-paradoxical” to make the incredible credible and the impossible believable have never changed. The basic principle is always the same: deform certain aspects of reality, distort them, twist them and take them to the extreme. Think about the bureaucracy of Kafka and Bulgakov, the performance anxiety of David Foster Wallace, the care for outward details of Gogol’, the fascination of evil in Twin Peaks or the whole world which becomes a reality show in Black Mirror.
The trick is simple and it works, because grotesque and paradox can show the true colours of the reality in which we live more profoundly than realism. That’s right, this sounds like a paradox too, but it isn’t! Because there is an unbreakable rule to play by so that everything has its balance: be able to make the absurd more credible than the truth.
In other words, we all believe that Gregor Samsa has transformed into an insect. This is not so much because of the description of his metamorphosis, but rather because, while he is lying with his back on his bed, Gregor has another problem, which is almost banal, but we can all empathise with it. He cannot sleep because he is used to sleeping on his right side but having become an insect he cannot turn over.

In our lessons, we are going to talk about the various techniques in constructing paradoxical worlds and, at the same time, gaining credibility in the eye of the reader. We are going to experiment in the distortion of reality and understand that we can show the hidden essence (horrific at times) of the world while taking some of its contradictions and senselessness to the extreme. Students are going to try to apply theory to practice and, in the end, you are going to write an “impossible text”, a long story that contradicts the social and scientific laws that we accept in the real world. All this will require a certain amount of recklessness and agility, but if you do well, whoever reads your words will be surprised, excited, unsettled or terrified. But at that point, as Gogol’ used to say, “it is no use to blame the looking glass if your face is awry.”

Lessons will start in February and will go on for three months.

I’d like to enroll, how can I pay?
If you want to make a bank transfer, email us at classify@scuolaholden.it, and we will send you the details. If you want to pay online with PayPal, add the course to your cart and follow the instructions.

How does Classi-fy work?
You’ll have to follow a weekly timetable of appointments, which can be video lessons or notes to read. You’ll have deadlines to write and share your homework on Classi-fy website. You’ll read what your classmates write and you’ll be able to comment or receive feedback on what you write. You’ll be able to meet each other and talk about the lessons on the forum – ok, we already know you won’t only talk about that, but that’s part of the fun. Sometimes your teacher will post a video in which he publicly analyses the work of the class, but you’ll receive your personal evaluation also from your classmates, during the debate.

What about the course timetable?
You’ll know it pretty soon: lessons will start in October and will last three months.

What are the technical skill necessary to take part to the course? Do I have to install a special program on my computer?
You’ll mainly work online, therefore all you need is the internet connection. On classi-fy.it website you can share your documents, watch the video lessons, download teaching material and text your classmates.

What does it happen at the end of the course?
The class will come to Scuola Holden, in Turin, in order to attend the final lesson and collect your diploma. Eventually you’ll meet everyone and, if everything is right, you’ll have a beer together in Borgo Dora to celebrate.