Host Finding Strategies

Host Finding Strategies

204 pages


Genre: Nature, Nature Writing, Science, Nonfiction, Biology, Literature, Poetry, Art, Fiction, Grafic Novel

Perfidious masquerade ? Misleading the enemy ? The strategies of host finding are as gruesome as they are wonderful. Whether predatory rotifers or unsuspecting larvae - parasites such as mites, ticks or carnivorous plants master the game of camouflage and mimicry in such a disturbingly fantastic way that they seem to have sprung more from horror literature than from biology books. "How the parasite / from a heap, / the host animal / injected cells maturing, / drives its mischief, / say: roots, / recreating / inscribes itself / in the host body, / excites admiration, / in which disgust is mixed." In her cheerful parasitology, author and illustrator Brigitta Falkner approaches these amazing organisms from ever-changing angles of view and hatching. More than 200 full-page picture and text panels create a subtle web of fact-saturated knowledge, its intoxicating visualization and poeticization, in which natural history merges with elements of the graphic novel. In the symbiotic interplay of image and text, the dividing lines between fact and fiction blur just as shimmeringly as those between parasite and host body - a unique epic about the wondrous world of parasitism.


Hot List Prize 2017 SWR List of best Books 2017 Short list of the Austrian Book Prize 2017

German title: Strategien der Wirtsfindung
ISBN: 978-3-95757-402-2
Publisher: Matthes & Seitz Berlin
Publication date: 2017
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Sample translation

Complete German text available

Brigitta Falkner, born in Vienna in 1959, writes books, produces short films and makes comics and drawings. Her work has been exhibited so far at Marta Herford 2002, Kunsttempel Kassel 2005, Literaturhaus Graz 2015 and Literaturmuseum Wien 2016, among others. She was awarded the Heimrad Baker Prize in 2010, the City of Vienna Prize for Literature in 2011 and Textfilm made in Austria in 2014.

"Poetry, philosophical-biological textbook, graphic novel - Brigitta Falkner's beguilingly beautiful book provides delightfully alienated and crawling hours, as it is dedicated to all the little parasites that nest and rule around us, rotifers, mites, ticks and everything else that escapes our eye." - Wiebke Porombka, Zeit Online

"There is no continuous plot in the 'Strategies,' even if the aesthetic impression is reminiscent of a graphic novel. The individual parts resemble serial comic books, but do not resort to the classic strip form, instead ranging from full-page illustrations to complexly framed arrangements of images and text blocks on a double page. Clarity, precision, and verifiability are among the highest maxims of a writing that stands in refreshing contrast to the optionally subjectivistic or political literature of states of mind that is the order of the day. The not inconsiderable wit that characterizes Falkner's text and image production always owes itself to a concise concept." - Klaus Nüchtern, Der Falter

"What is presented here on the highest printing, typographical and graphic level is a hybrid, a book total work of art. 'Strategien der Wirtsfindung' is a picture book, an art book, an encyclopedia, and it is to a large extent a graphic novel - though the terms graphic poem or graphic epic would probably be more accurate. Falkner works at the boundaries between fine art, book art, and literature - and in the process dissolves those boundaries with relish. One could also see the book as a catalog of an intermedial exhibition." - Wolfgang Straub, Ö1/ORF

"A subtle, poetically applied natural history about the world of parasites." - Daniela Strigl, anzeiger

"A witty, wonderful synthesis of the arts, in which one as a reader gladly and willingly transforms into the role of the parasite." - Werner Krause, Kleine Zeitung

"The laconic exactness of natural science becomes in this book a language full of gentleness, poems on the brown tree fish and the zip frog, the grunt perch and the brittle star." - Paul Jandl, NZZ

"[...] a unique, poetic look at a spectacular section of the natural sciences that is often impossible to discover with the naked eye." - Oliver Mitesser, ekz Bibliotheksservice

"Brigitta Falkner oscillates between said body horror, scientific quotations from Humboldt etc. or Ernst Mach, lets image and text complement each other without merely illustrating each other, and fortunately has appended a detailed glossary. Her "new metamorphoses" are a successful experiment between art and science, whose unsavory content makes it all the more an almost ambivalent book-artistic pleasure. A unique thing." - Jonis Hartmann, fixpoetry

"On the one hand, one would prefer to have Brigitta Falkner's new book securely slammed shut - not to have anything crawl out. And on the other hand, you always want to keep it open because it's so beautiful. Crossing the border is his theme on all levels. Thus, when reading his entries, one imagines oneself in a biology book one moment, and in literature the next. The author, who is also a visual artist, has also provided the illustrations throughout." - Michael Wurmitzer, Der Standard

"Brigitta Falkner succeeds with the book 'Strategien der Wirtsfindung' a pictorial and linguistic playful Gesamtkunstwerk, which combines poetry udn science in a singular way." - Christa Gürtler, Die Furche "'Strategien der Wirtsfindung' is great poetry: highly complex and highly topical. A subversive game - composition and contamination - masquerading as natural history." - Marie Luise Knott, Perlentaucher

"In a total of 12 "strategies," Falkner combines facts gathered from many sources with her visual and poetic reflections in such a way that the book becomes a comprehensive interdisciplinary experiment of graphics, poetry, and science." - Simone Klein, Library News

"In addition to describing semi-parasites and full parasites, the author thus creates her very own "aesthetics of the ugly" with her texts and images, which is so beautiful and instructive to look at that one gladly accepts the itchiness that accompanies the reading at times." - Simone Sauer-Kretschmer,

"Each page represents its own, mostly self-contained work of art." - Larissa Tetsch, Laborjournal