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Another about the Author

Dale Edwin Wittig
13 × 20 cm
24 pgs
Contemporary Art

Some twenty years ago I made a short book that I playfully titled About the Author. In a sense it may have truly been about me, but only to the extent that every book a writer writes is a reflection of that person. Of course the subject of this booklet was the concept of the Author, and its relation to the one reading its book. In large part it was inspired by the writings of Isidore-Lucien Ducasse, also known as Comte de Lautréamont, the author of Les Chants de Maldoror and Poésies. The texts in the book also refer to Herman Melville and Jean Genet, among others. One might notice in the choice of these latter two a decidedly Queer bent that was wholly intentional. Last autumn I was asked to make a book for this series or permission to reprint the twenty year old book About the Author. I decided to make a kind of sequel to the earlier book, something more carefully structured and consistent in its aims. Each section of the book that follows is an attempt to render the life of a given author of some historical significance in a sentence or two (but without naming them.) The authors whose lives are thus reduced range from Wu Cheng’en to Jules Verne and from Gaius Petronius Arbiter to Irving Rosenthal. I seized this opportunity, so generously given to me by Ho Tam, in large part because it gave me the ability to make a book in color, something I could not afford to do on my own except in severely limited editions. The intricately collaged pictures, in which the numbered texts are embedded, are not intended to illustrate the words, though they were certainly inspired by them. The sources for these images refer to old theories about our planet and the various species that inhabit it, and to other naïve ways of looking at the world as reflected, for instance, in the worlds of super-heroes that appear in the pages of comic-books. The two books which are most consistently referenced in these images are Journey to the West and Journey to the Centre of the Earth. I suppose I am searching here for the origins of those things that made my younger self want to be the reader that I am now.
-Dale Wittig

Saddle-bound, full colour.

  1. Another about the Author

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