The Four Corners
Christian N. Usera
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Buy *The Four Corners* by Christian N. Usera online

The Four Corners
Christian N. Usera
112 pages
September 2009
rated 2 of 5 possible stars

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The Four Corners is a quartet of stories illustrated by the author through the use of various techniques in the abstract and surreal paintings. Each story is a folktale based on myths blended from different cultures.

The first story, “The Ones,” rings of creation myths but with variations. We are introduced to Nothing and Infinity, who create Everything. Inside Everything we find a “tiny, tiny ball where there was just water.” Inside this tiny ball, we see the creation of fish and animals. Everyone is content until Everything becomes lonely, and Father Infinity and Mother Nothing suggest that Everything make a creature - but one, they warn him, that “cannot create.”

Everything creates a creature called “Man” but, forgetting his parents’ warnings, gives him the ability to create. Man lives peacefully in his space at first but becomes more and more disgruntled and challenges the rules of the space around him as his numbers grow and grow. Everything begins to feel sick as the space within him fills with an uncontrollable man. Then, one day, “Man dreamed and when he dreamed, he thought of all the things that could be.” And Man creates Anything. Anything is a woman, beautiful and compassionate. When Everything sees Anything, his fever breaks and he is no longer sick. The love between Everything and Anything creates new creatures called “The Ones.” Sometimes called “Gods” or “Angels,” these guides give humans everything they need to live. The wisest of all, they know that “in Nothing Lies Everything.”

The second story, “Gate to Eden,” tells the story of a tribe of colors. The colors wonder about a land outside their space and send Red, the strongest color, to investigate what lies beyond their world. Red meets the Darkness – “Naked and Innocent. Coy and Strong.” She tricks Red into taking a body. The other colors look for Red and one by one also fall “to the flesh.” They spend the rest of their journey trying to find their “land of White: where all things are known.”

The third story, “Power of Three,” deals with issues of human civilizations and their rules, laws, powers and what is good for the community as a whole.

The fourth and final story, “The Elders,” deals with the essence of wisdom - how it grows with knowledge and experience, and how dreams and dreaming nurture wisdom.

Although all these stories have aspects that can be identified as originating from myths and folktales of different cultures, and the “point” can somewhat be extrapolated from the story, there are so many philosophical metaphors and messages that many aspects of each story are confusing. The illustrations vary from childishly simplistic to abstract and captivatingly surreal, which makes this aspect of the book more bearable than the convoluted metaphors of the story. Probably the hardest to forgive is the format, and the varying size of the text and inconsistent font size, use of the word with as well as w/ and w/out and misspelled words distract from an already existential anthology of stories.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Maya Fleischmann, 2010

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