Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel

A Humument, by Tom Phillips (1970) is one of my favorite treated books. It's been long out of print, but it looks like there is a new paperback edition printed recently.

Here is a website where someone has scanned beautiful copies of each and every page of the 370 page book.  And here is the official website for the new edition of the book.

 This is some history on the book from Wikipedia:
A Humument: A treated Victorian novel is an altered book by British artist Tom Phillips, first published in 1970. It is a piece of art created over W H Mallock's 1892 novel A Human Document whose title results from the partial deletion of the original title: A Human document.

Phillips drew, painted, and collaged over the pages, while leaving some of the original text to show through. The final product was a new story with a new protagonist named Bill Toge, whose name appears only when the word "together" or "altogether" appears in Mallock's original text.
When asked about the book, Phillips replied:
"It is a forgotten Victorian novel found by chance ... plundered, mined, and undermined its text to make it yield the ghosts of other possible stories, scenes, poems and replaced the text [he'd] stripped away with visual images of all kinds."
Here are five pages that are taken from the first thirty pages of the novel.

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