Cartoon Molecules (Lulu, 2017) is a brave philosophical and poetic exploration of humanity and the universe, advancing theories of time and space and technological utopias as well as questioning the singularity of humankind.
Hislop’s insightfulness is exuberant. He combines the analysis of the universe through the appreciation of the ephemeral instant with a variety of poetic forms. For instance, he provides sequences of human (or humanoid?) thought, by intelligently staging verse recurrence, notably in the poem “Human Simulation”, when the intertwining of shared words throughout several stanzas provides the baseline of the animation that the alterations of patterns depict, as in the form of sketches for TV cartoons. He also works with infinity mirror effect. The result of this experimental language is a reflection on the relativity of syntax and an invitation to imagine how advanced forms of computers would realise thought.
The cultural references, explicit and implicit, of this book are also worth noting: Kill Bill, the Luddites, Soap operas, Jesus, The Cradle Will Rock, Goya, Alice in Wonderland, Fitterman’s poetry, or Solaris place this book in a constant intertextual conversation full of irony and refinement.
With its ontologically congruent, meaningful and exciting modernism, coupled by more light and luminous verse, such as in the poem “Abandoned Island”, which I had the pleasure to translate into Spanish for CRÁTERA (Autumn 2017), alongside “Dream of the machine”, Cartoon molecules undresses humanity to the barebone to show its place in a world that we believe under our control.