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Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Mythical Memoir Explores Magic and Dreams

Where the Bird Sings Best

Alejandro Jodorowsky’s memoir, Where the Bird Sings Best has been translated into English for the first time and depicts the sweeping, vivid reflections of the surreal filmaker, revered for his comics and his dark and dreamlike imagery. The memoir deals with his return to his childhood home of Tocopilla in Chile where, as a child of Ukranian Jewish immigrants, he made his first forays into art. The title of the novel is taken from a line by Jean Cocteau: “a bird sings best in his genealogical tree.  Jodorowsky explains, “Our genealogical tree is the trap that limits our thoughts, emotions, desires and physical life, but it is also the trap that captures the greater part of our values.”

After a hiatus from filmaking, Jodorowsky wrote a series of novels. One that has been translated, Albina and the Dog Men,  has been called “a sprawling modern myth in which sexual desire appears as a dangerous, generative force that mutates and transforms, unraveling identities and rending the social and moral fabric of a small town.”

His fiction is characterized by dreams and healing through channeling psychomagic. In France, Jodorowsky is well-known for his surreal comics. Film critic Roger Ebert wrote in 1989, “In France, comics are regarded as a serious art form, and whole stores are devoted to hard-bound collections of them. Jodorowsky is to comics what Camus is to French literature.”

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