Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Infinities - Inspired by Reading

So, it's time for another installment of the Inspired by Reading Book Club!  You can find out more about the group and see the reading list for the year over on Andrew Thornton's blog HERE.  We are always looking for more folks to play along.  You don't have to make jewelry either, any creative response is welcome!

August's selection was The Infinities by John Banville.  This book was a real challenge for me to make my way through.  In the course of 273 pages, you spend one day with a dying man named Adam, his family, their staff, and a few visitors and onlookers.  The narration of the story is confusing... it jumps from the dying, comatose man and Hermes.  Yes, THAT Hermes, also known as Mercury, messenger of the Olympians gods and the god of travel, roads, merchants, and thieves.  Another role Hermes played in Greek mythology was conducting mortal souls into the afterlife... and I'm assuming that's a big part of why he is watching over the family in this book.

Back to the story, though.  During the course of the book, nothing much really happens.  We get some of Adam's back story through his memories as he lies helpless in his sickbed and the gods mess around with various characters...but there is no real plot.  As I finished the book I couldn't help but wonder what was the point.  I don't want to spoil anything, but it just felt like the last chapter was spent hastily wrapping things up and saying "yup, the gods have watched you all and interfered but now they're going to make it all better...the end."

While I didn't find much to inspire me in the actual writing, I latched onto the idea of Hermes as a focal point pretty early.  I bought a filagree with a stamp under resin from Andrew Thornton.  I couldn't make out the details of the stamp on the tiny screen of my phone, but when it arrived I discovered that it was Hermes!  Divine intervention?  Maybe!

While I didn't really like or "get" the story, the last couple of chapters did give me some colors and imagery to work from.  Helen's sky blue dress and gold sandals, Petra's jade-green kimono, the red lining of Petra's razor box, the red satin pillow that the dog Rex had chewed, the clouds and rain, the green grove.  Ok, that's a lot of different colors, but I was determined to make something work!

I ended up focusing on the pale blues, deep reds, and some earthy tones to go with the color of the stamp.  I used a little hook and jump ring for my clasp, adding in some little wire wrapped teardrop labradorite pieces that made me think of the rain storm and a leaf charm for the woods.  While I mostly used Vintaj arte metal in this design, I did throw in a tiny bit of natural brass for extra interest.

Considering my lack of love for the book, I'm pretty darn happy with the end result for my design.  Thanks for stopping by... Please take some time to check out what the rest of the participants created this month too!

Jeanne Steck
Sarajo Wentling (you are here!)


  1. What a fortuitous purchase you made. Love how you put it all together. If I hadn't listened to the audio book, I don;t think I could have finished the book. But listening to it I could really appreciate the author's use of words.

  2. What a great design, Sarajo! The pendant is fabulous! And I love the asymmetry of the necklace with the clasp in front.
    I am so glad I am not the only one who struggled with this book. I thought maybe I had just been in first grade for way too many years to appreciate literate writing.

  3. This is stunning and I am so delighted that it features one of my pieces! Things do happen for a reason. I think Banville was trying to do a technique called Deus ex machine to end the book. Not very satisfying. While I'm not wild about the book, I am wild about your piece! It's great! And thank you so much for participating! You're awesome!