Imagine all your favourite mythic creatures: pegasus, mermaid, centaur, sphinx, minotaur. Now imagine them laid out on a mortician’s table: dissected, given Latin medical labels, and analyzed in terms of their unique muscular and skeletal makeup. This is what we’re offered in the second part of E. B. Hudspeth’s The Resurrectionist in the section titled The Codex Extinct Animalia.
This intriguing novel does its best to defy categorization. Part One reads like a nonfiction textbook piecing together the biography of controversial 19th-century surgeon Dr. Spenser Black. Through reproduced letters, newspaper clippings and exhibition flyers we chart Black’s life: his early career as a stellar young surgeon, his marriage and the birth of his son; and then his rapid descent into infamy, gaining a reputation as a splicer of anatomies and an eccentric who believed that the creatures from our myths are in fact our evolutionary ancestors. Part Two presents his extensive drawings and writings, though it is left up to the reader to decide whether Black was a visionary or a madman.
The book’s beautifully macabre images capture the imagination instantly, but where Hudspeth really impresses is in the utter believability of Dr. Black’s story. The narrative is furnished with a fictional note from the publishers, and Black’s biography neatly intertwines with real 19th-century events. The Resurrectionist channels the aesthetics of Edgar Allan Poe while playing with form in the manner of Jorge Luis Borges. While the novel’s publisher Quirk Books has given us a wealth of visual treats in the last few years, The Resurrectionist still feels like the most immersive and fully realized book in their catalogue.
– Damien McLaughlin
The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Spencer Black
by E. B. Hudspeth
2013, 192 pages, 7.8 x 10.8 x 0.8 inches
$16 Buy a copy on Amazon
See sample pages from this book at Wink.
I spy (a brand new junk portrait of) Pee-wee Herman at the :29 mark Exciting news: Jason Mecier, the artist who makes celebrity mosaic portraits in junk (or other objects like candy or cereal) has announced his first book. It’s called Pop Trash: The Amazing Art of Jason Mecier and it’s due out July 17, […]
Candles that smell like a bookstore, old books, or a musty old cellar? Pal, you sure like books! My home is filled with books, and pets. Guess which one lends more to the olfactory nature of my domicile? Frequently, especially after running the carpet deep-cleaner, I’ll want to light a candle… or burn a sage […]
What follows is the most mind-altering first chapter I’ve read in a long time, from biomechanist Katy Bowman’s latest book Movement Matters: Essays on movement science, movement ecology, and the nature of movement. These items —an electronic car unlocker and a tea bag— are convenient. But what I’ve realized is, when we say or think “convenience,” it’s […]
Our world is a colorful one, and when it comes time to repaint the house or create a new design, many of us look to our surroundings for inspiration. However, matching colors from the outside world to our canvas isn’t the most precise process when we’re just eyeballing it. The Nix Pro Color Sensor removes the […]
You probably remember the Twisty Glass Blunt since we love to write about it. And you may also remember its little buddy, the Twisty Glass Mini. Well, today we’ve got a fun surprise that isn’t so little. Less isn’t always more, and on those days when you need to decompress with a good smoke, the Twisty XL […]
Another year, another iteration of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphone—except this time around Samsung sought to redefine what a smartphone can do completely. Boasting a 6.2″ Quad HD+ Super AMOLED (2960×1440) infinity display, and an elite 10nm 64-bit Octa-Core Processor with 6GB RAM, the S9+ is an absolute powerhouse with a price tag to match. However, you […]