He went on to use a combination of acrylic gouache, pen and inking, typing and fragments collaged from elsewhere in the book to pick out words and phrases and form unexpected links using the rivers of white snaking between the type. To read, A Humument is by turns humorous, poetic, aphoristic, erotic and pleasurably baffling. It is also a key text for anyone interested in tracing the relationship of deconstruction theory and experimental print. At its lowest it is a reasonable example of bricolage, and at its highest it is perhaps a massive deconstruction job taking the form of a curious unwitting collaboration between two ill-suited people 75 years apart. Twenty variations were teased from a single page. Over the years, Phillips has used Mallock to generate a small cottage industry of spin-offs.
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Shelves: graphic-novels , poetry Like most projects that end up lasting half a lifetime, this started out as idle play at the fringe of my work and preoccupations. I had read an interview with William S. It seemed a good idea to push these devices into more ambitious service. I made a rule; that the first coherent book I could find for threepence i.
At this propitious place, on a routine Saturday morning shopping expedition, I found, for exactly threepence, a copy of A Human Document by W. Mallock, published in as a popular reprint of a successful three-decker. It was already in its seventh thousand at the time of copy I acquired and cost originally three and sixpence.
I had never heard of W. Mallock and it was fortunate for me that his stock had depreciated at the rate of a halfpenny a year to reach the required level. I have since amassed an almost complete collection of his works and have found out much about him. He does not seem a very agreeable person: withdrawn and humourless as photographs of him seem to confirm he emerges from his work as a snob and a racist there are some extremely distasteful anti-semitic passages in A Human Document itself.
He has however been the subject of some praise from A. However, for what were to become my purposes, his book is a feast. I have never come across its equal in later and more conscious searchings. Its vocabulary is rich and lush and its range of reference and allusion large. I have so far extracted from it over one thousand texts, and have yet to find a situation, statement, or thought which its words cannot be adapted to cover.
A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel