About Silent City
Two very different books combine to form the inspiration for Silent City. The first is a well-known novel, The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Mid-century Barcelona is a character in the book, heavily stylized to suit the story’s mysterious gothic atmosphere. It’s an impressive feat of literary world-building that gives sunny Barcelona a convincingly haunting countenance.
The second book, called Urville, by Gilles Trehin, is an obscure title that features world-building of a different sort. In Urville the reader is given a visual tour and history of the mega-city for which the book is named. The only difference between this book and say, a visual history of London, is that Urville is a made-up invention of Trehin’s, who has built the city with drawings and words for over twenty years.
Standing with one foot on each of these books I began my own experiment in world-building using photos taken during my travels. In some of the images several photographs are collaged to create the atmosphere I wish to convey, making Silent City a partially fictional work. Since the first rule of writing fiction is that it needs to be believable I held back on digital flights of fancy and made images that could conceivably exist in real life.