Monday, May 10, 2010

FEATURED: A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel


Tom Phillips, A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel
First Revised Edition, Paperback, 1987 (out of print) $75.00

In the mid-1960s, Tom Phillips took a forgotten nineteenth-century novel, W.H. Mallock's A Human Document, and began working over the extant text to create something new. The artist writes,

'I plundered, mined and undermined its text to make it yield the ghosts of other possible stories, scenes, poems, erotic incidents and surrealist catastrophes which seemed to lurk within its wall of words. As I worked on it, I replaced the text I'd stripped away with visual images of all kinds. I began to tell and depict, among other memories, dreams and reflections, the sad story of Bill Toge, one of love's casualties.'

After its first publication in 1980, A Humument rapidly became a cult classic.

‘An art book of almost mythical significance … each page sublimely embellished … a creation that is something rich and strange’









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