Back in January, I encountered the works of a miniaturist painter, Dina Brodsky. Some of you may have read an essay I wrote about her project, “Cycling Guide to Lilliput,” this past May in KoreAm Journal. Simply put, I love her work. And when I love something, I want to write about it. Which is what I did, but it turns out I wasn’t done.
Thanks to the editors of Juked, you can now read ten tiny short stories based on ten of these Brodsky paintings. This year, I’ve interviewed Dina twice to hear about her cycling journeys. These stories of mine are based on her trips, but they are also works of pure fiction. If that sounds like a contradiction, you’re right. I’m not sure what is real and what is not anymore, as the tales she recounted and the tales in my head have fused together.
During the submission of these stories, an editor from another journal taught me a new word: ekphrasis. Apparently this is what I was doing. Wikipedia’s definition is “a graphic, often dramatic, description of a visual work of art,” but what I really love is the etymology of the word: “From the Greek verb ekphrazein, to proclaim an inanimate object by name.”
To proclaim an inanimate object. That’s it, exactly. That is why I have written these stories, because I wanted to make these paintings come alive in my own mind, in the best way I know how, the only way I know how.
And now it’s your turn. See the paintings. Read the words. Get on your bike and take a ride.