July 25th, 2003

Q & A

Italian Journalist Oscar Pantalone Interviews John Palcewski:

Q. Tell me, John, what brought you to Forio?

A. I came to the island of Ischia in November, 1999, to gather material for an “imagenovel trilogy” I’m writing, based on the life of Maria, my girlfriend, who grew up in Buonopane. I believed that in order to fully understand her, I should spend some time studying the culture of the island that shaped her character.

Q. What do you mean by imagenovel?

A. It’s a new literary form I’ve created, in which my photographic images are used not merely as illustrations, but rather as an essential part of the novel’s narrative structure. In other words, the pictures convey as much information as the text itself.

Q. How far have you come in the project?

A. Books I and II of “Vittoria’s Island” are complete and in the hands of my literary agent in America, who is showing them to major publishers. Book III is in progress. Meanwhile, I’ve put Book II on a website, here.

Q. Am I correct in presuming that you’ve named your main character after the famous Vittoria Colonna?

A. Correct. I think that extremely talented Renaissance figure serves as an excellent model, one that my Maria would be happy to emulate.

Q. In an earlier conversation with me, John, you mentioned that in the course of writing this trilogy you came across some rather surprising information. Can you elaborate on this?

A. Yes. Originally Maria’s story was that of a conventional love triangle. A married woman meets another man and falls in love, which sets up a struggle between husband, wife, and lover. But things took a wholly unexpected turn that made it a much more compelling story.

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