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A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel Paperback – 26 Jan 1998


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Paperback, 26 Jan 1998
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Product details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd; 2nd Revised edition edition (26 Jan. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500280282
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500280287
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 7.6 x 18.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,926,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'Weird yet compelling... brilliant and readable'
-- The Week --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Tom Phillips RA has worked widely in many media. Among his previous books is The Postcard Century, published by Thames & Hudson in 2000. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By chrisaliz@ukgateway.net on 11 Nov. 2000
Format: Paperback
I wish I had found Tom Phillips' book sooner.
Its title neatly describes what, verbally, he has done. He has dug into the text on each page of an extant Victorian novel, "A Human Document", sometimes obliterating all but the fragments he wants us to read, sometimes allowing us to make out more or less clearly their original context, in order to create a much odder narrative. On each page, the new texts are hilarious, surreal, poetic, quite often even absurdly and astonishingly moving, and, though the thread of a new tale emerges, these pages each have a life of their own. A new hero is created in the reshaping of the text: Bill Toge, his surname lifted from the word "together". As he moves through dooms of love, he encounters other characters, some of whom swim up to the new surface from the sunken original novel.
But this is only the half of it: every page is also a little work of art, a visual treasure in its own right. Integrated with the work Phillips perfoms upon the text, are cross-hatchings, rich, delightful colour washes, subversively referential images and odd, sometimes comic and sugestive shapes.
For all the joyous editing of the Victorian story, this is not a short book and one of its amazing strengths is its power, page by page, to find ways of sustaining its capacity to surprise and delight, verbally and visually. It will not wear out after one read, like so many essays into the comic in bound form. This is for everyone with a love of word-play, of poetry, of considered wit, and of the visually rich.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By HC on 3 July 2010
Format: Paperback
Tom Phillips is one of my favourite artists, and his work is really quite beautiful. His altered text is an inspiration to anyone.
I saw this book almost ten years ago, so I'm not sure if this is a different version or re-printed, as I know he made many volumes. His poetry is brilliant because it has been formed from somebody else's words, which to me makes it even more sophisticated. Don't worry though, this is abstract, sad and understandable poetry!!

This book inspires me in my own work, and in my teaching. I think more students should explore this book. Its handy little size means it can fit anywhere, and be read anytime! As far as I can remember, this book arrived very quickly, but even if it didn't, it would be worth the wait.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. P. G. Pott on 16 July 2010
Format: Paperback
What an incredible adventure of an art-piece - every page is different, exciting and inspiring
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dizzy on 24 Jan. 2003
Format: Hardcover
I saw Tom's exhibition at the Turnpike Gallery in Leigh whilst I was still at high school and I feel in love with his original, yet Warhole-esque style. He took an old Victorian Novel and on each page picked out words he felt significant and created with the words, colours and art techniques, a complete new story and made a work of art worthy of anyone's wall out of every page.
Obviously some pages are more aesthetically pleasing than others, but that's all down to personal choice. I have never seen a book or work of art quite like this before or since and I'm really glad that my Mum bought me a copy of this book back in 1989 as a passing my exams present, as I really couldn't afford to buy it now. You want to buy my copy? Well, even at £125.00 £250.00 or £1000.00, it's not for sale!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
This Book Stands Alone 20 Jan. 2002
By William Heavenor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I own multiple copies and give them away to worthy friends. Visually, artistically, and intellectually stunning, this masterpiece is unique in the world of art/literature. The author/artist Tom Phillips began this work in the 1960s, and first published it in book form in the 1980s. He called the result of his decades of effort The Humument and it is a completely illustrated version of W. H. Mallock's 19th Century novel A Human Document. Each page is a well conceived and compelling work of art. On each page the author leaves only a few of the original words revealed. These surviving phrases tell, in prose and poetry, the pathetic love story of Bill Toge. Symbiotically linked to the art itself, the preserved text, and its tale of Toge, reveal a story Phillips found submerged within the original text, a story which Mallock neither wrote nor intended. Phillips calls his work `mining for meaning'. Everyone who has received this book from me has had great difficulty putting it down until they had read/absorbed/experienced/lived/studied it from cover to cover. If there is such a thing as a priceless book, The Humument would be a good candidate for the category.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Fun stuff 29 Nov. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I expected this to be arty rubbish, but I was greatly surprised. It's a unique and strangely beautiful experience -- and not only that, but the picture-per-page structure makes it ideal to dip into during spare moments. Whether it actually has any deep meaning is open to debate, but each page has something on it to provoke thought. I love this thing.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating mixed media autobiography of the author/artist. 10 Oct. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Incredible treatment of a victorian novel using techniques of modern illumination to create a autobiographical love story. All written from within the context of an existing novel. Great graphics by one of England's best living artists. Surely unlike any other piece of literature you'll buy this year. See the Tom Phillips web page.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A highly original work 26 July 2001
By Stephen Waller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I love this book. I first learnt of Tom Phillips when he recently did the cover of an album by a band called Dark Star, and then was introduced to his work whilst on work experience last summer. I hunted down a copy of this book, and then devoured it completely. at times moving, at times funny, and all the time completely incredible to just look and marvel at. the art work is great. ingenuitive, original and inspired. this book seems to be getting harder and harder to find... buy one while you can.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Amazing gift 18 Dec. 2001
By R. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I received this book as a gift about 10 years ago and have yet to tire of it. It is beautiful and funny, surreal, creepy and profound.
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