A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel

Front Cover
Thames & Hudson, 2012 - Art - 367 pages

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. It 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 book form in 1980, A Humument rapidly became a cult classic. This new fifth edition follows its predecessors by incorporating Phillip's latest revisions and reworkings, and celebrates an artistic enterprise that is forty-five years old and still actively a work in progress.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

About the author (2012)

The English painter, writer, and composer Tom Phillips curated the groundbreaking exhibition "Africa: The Art of the Continent" at the Royal Academy in 1992. He is himself a collector of African art, specializing in the arts of Ghana and the Ivory Coast. His other books include The Postcard Century.

Bibliographic information