“We seek the absolute everywhere, and only ever find things.” — Novalis
So begins Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry. What a lovely idea. What a lovely book. I think I’ll call this a grown-up, sophisticated graphic novel. It’s a fake auction catalog of the belongings of (fictional) Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, who met in 2002 and were together until 2006. Even though it’s just objects and letters, it’s still feels a bit voyeuristic to read. You get to see their notes passed back and forth during plays, the contents of their travel bags, gifts to one another at birthdays and holidays, silly things they pick up at vintage stores, Morris’s habit of writing song lyrics in the margins of his paperback novels, Doolan’s habit of jotting down everything she eats in a day. I love the weight that each object, typically insignificant on its own, carries when part of the collection, with its little commentary. The objects, and their brief, objective descriptions, convey so much feeling, from sappy early relationship hope to questioning to bitterness and the eventual end, as well as a good novel.
…And allegedly it’s going to be a movie starring Brad Pitt and Natalie Portman!