The Architect

The Architect[Reading] ➸ The Architect Author David Antonelli – The Architect is the story of Stephen a vaguely dissatisfied young man living abroad in London and working as an apprentice to an architecture firm In need of money he begins to toy with the idea of a The Architect is the story of Stephen a vaguely dissatisfied young man living abroad in London and working as an apprentice to an architecture firm In need of money he begins to toy with the idea of accepting a loan from a group of three eccentric criminals in exchange for helping them out in an art theft whose only motive seems to be the bizarre belief of one of the three men that destroying art is the highest ideological principal attainable by Man Stephen balks at the idea at first but after a series of unusual and disturbing experiences including a surprise letter from an ex girl friend who abandoned him years ago a potentially disastrous attraction to a teenage girl a late night mugging and an ill fated one night stand he comes to believe that through accepting the offer and becoming a thief he will undergo a metaphysical transformation and ascend to a higher plane of spiritual perfection So he accepts the offer and after this his world becomes gradually unhinged until the final climax where the theft goes wrong and his life is thrown into a state of complete peril With its cast of bizarre characters including the belligerent and hilarious Fat Man the chilling Seducer and the delusional Lindvist The Architect is a daring take on the moral implications of the unmotivated crime Refreshing and imaginative it brings to mind Kafka in its blend of absurd humour with an exploration of alienation and Joseph Conrad in its psychological analysis of the corruption that lies in the hearts of deviant personalities and grandiose social misfits. This was actually the first book I wrote carefully worked over in many drafts when I lived in LA and had just moved there from Oxford perhaps the memories of the Victorian buildings of London still lingering in my mind It came from a desire to write a novel about the so called unmotivated crime as in Dostoevsky or Gide but I wanted to blend it with my love of Kafka or Conrad's The Secret Agent poetic impressions of the film Wings of Desire and moral disgust of The Cook The Thief his Wife and Her Lover as well as my experiences hanging out at gigs and in art galleries in London and LA So it has its roots in an eclectic mix of influences and for that reason it took many many drafts to finally reach a balance between the disparate elements The main problem was developing the characters to the extent that the premise of stealing art only for the sake of destroying it represented a kind of moral transcendence and for that I freuently turned to Kafka who could twist reality to an extent that it was a distorted mirror but still a mirror of life And the sections that are written from the so called other side or world of the Seducer who was incidentally inspired by the Joy Division or Warsaw song that goes I walked in the room I could see all your faults which I always imagined to be about a character who sees through people and manipulates them were inspired by Peter Handle's Absence Stephen came from Lafcadio in Gide's novel and his experiences with his bedsit came from my own personal experiences When I finally finished it my literary agent at the time remarked 'It is amazing Stephen is like Richard IIIhe is seduced by evil and falls but somehow you feel for him which made me happy because it meant that my efforts to meld together the disparate elements into a cohesive whole were not wasted So in this sense I feel I did better than Ian Banks in The Bridge because I was able to make it all fit together without sacrificing the mystery or a novel that is presented in a series of panels or mirrors that don't seems uite to fit together in the beginning and finally it that sense it draws on Borges So phew A lot of literary references here but please excuse me as that is the truth and that is what I came up with one spring in LA as the tiara of burnished smog hung over the great valley of palm trees and tanned bodiesBut first and foremost The Architect has wings and flies when you read it so don't think you need to know all these works to enjoy it which I sincerely believe and hope you will