Kamal, Book One, A Novel in Verse (Paperback, 352 pages)
with an introduction and footnotes by Bernardo Winson, Ph.D.
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Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches
Told entirely in rhyming verse by a middle-aged poet, Kamal is the story of Kamal, a teenage boy who couldn’t be happier with his life. Kamal loves his family’s beautiful estate in Bel Air. He loves to paint and chase butterflies. He loves his parents. And he loves his teacher, who encourages him to pursue happiness above everything else. But Kamal has one love which surpasses all others — and when this love causes his paradise to fall apart, the distraught Kamal begins an epic journey across modern America, true to his teacher’s philosophy, always pursuing the “greater happiness” wherever it may lead him.
A Note about the Transcription of Zireaux’s Work:
The works published by Immortal Muse were recovered from a box of 198 small, red-covered, 100x160mm spiral notebooks and transcribed by the publishers. The leaves of these notebooks, fifty per book, are neatly ruled in blue (21 rules per page) and Zireaux seems more or less frugal with space, only occasionally skipping lines. A typical Zireauxian stanza of just 12-14 lines, however, can end up scattered across 15 pages or so in a tangled wreckage of arrows and scribbled deletions.
To further complicate one’s attempt to rescue these lines, whatever text survives — often circled or starred or just laying there quivering beyond the crash zone — is further crippled by Zireaux’s difficult penmanship. And even then, even once a stanza is compiled and stretchered to safety, Zireaux rarely composed his verses chronologically, forcing one to decipher his unique numbering system in order to rehabilitate the stanza to its correct position within the larger context. Two more books, Kamal, Book Two and Res Publica, Book Two are still in the process of transcription.