Sunday, July 26, 2009

Take Your cornucopia

From Ann Coulter's "Take Two Aspirin And Call Me When Your Cancer is Stage 4."

Tom and Ann, BFF

The coincidences keep multiplying. I just learned by Googling that there's another Tom Phillips who is chairman of the National Conservative Campaign Fund (NCCF). The NCCF site has photos of Phillips schmoozing with guest speaker Ann Coulter during a 2003 fundraiser. Caption: "NCCF Chairman Tom Phillips raises a toast to conservative victory with Ann Coulter."

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Keep Food Away From Reading Material

• Oscar Wilde's copy of W.H. Mallock's The New Republic has a jam stain on page 30 (as I learned via Jenny Davidson's Light Reading). Biographer Thomas Wright wrote that Wilde "gorged himself on books and food simultaneously."
• The inverse, in a way: Ed Ruscha's 1966 painting, Annie Poured from Maple Syrup.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Googling Mallock

Google Books scanned the Stanford University Library's copy of W.H. Mallock's A Human Document. Through some glitch, an ectoplasmic blur partly obscures the book's title. The revealed fragment (UMENT) suggests the question, "You meant?" — a suitable epigram for Tom Phillips' game of playing with authors' intentions.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ann Coulter and W.H. Mallock: Stranger Than Fiction

• In 2006 The New Republic published "A Defense of Ann Coulter," which some liberal readers took to be a satire. Mallock's first novel was a satire titled The New Republic.

• Coulter: Slander: Liberal Lies Against the American Right (2002). Mallock: A Critical Examination of Socialism (1908).

• Mallock's 1889 article, "Cowardly Agnosticism: A Word With Professor Huxley" argues that Darwinian science constitutes a "new religion" — almost exactly the thesis of Coulter's Godless: The Church of Liberalism (2006).

• In a 2007 CNBC interview, Coulter said that Christians "just want Jews to be perfected," prompting one conservative blogger to call her a "rabid ANTI-SEMITE" ( Mallock's A Human Document contains "extremely distasteful anti-semitic passages" (Tom Phillips).

• Mallock wrote the cryptically titled A Human Document. Coulter is Legal Affairs Correspondent for the oddly named website Human Events.

written to say the least

From Ann Coulter's "So Much for Wise Latinas."


Q. What's the point?
A. It's a simple word game, invented by Tom Phillips, where you take a text and erase everything except a few words forming random phrases the author never intended. This site uses Ann Coulter's weekly columns, as they appear on the web (left). No text is added, but it's okay to use part of a word (right, where Hispanic becomes panic).

Q. Who is Tom Phillips?
A. Tom Phillips is a British artist and poet best known for A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel (first exhibited 1973). After reading about the cut-up technique of William S. Burroughs, he found a used copy of a 1892 novel, A Human Document, by W.H. Mallock, and began a project of crossing out or painting out most of the text, leaving chance phrases. The result, a key work of concrete poetry, has been extensively exhibited and published several times in facsimile form. You can find a lot more about Phillips on his site and blog.

Q. Who is Ann Coulter?
A. Ann Coulter is an American writer and pundit, known for conservative political views and a caustic persona. Trained as an attorney, she writes a syndicated column, is a best-selling author, and is frequently seen on American television. You can find out more at her site and in the Wikipedia entry.

Q. What is a "humument"?
A. It's Phillips' contraction of "A Human Document," from the running heads in Mallock's novel. This image, from page 5, shows the origin. Phillips felt that humument "had an earthy sound to it suitable to a book exhumed from, rather than born out of, another."

Q. Why pick on Ann Coulter (if that's what you're doing)?
A. I have a blog recording that odd kind of dream in which you get an idea that seems completely brilliant in the dream. The next morning, you realize how stupid it is. On the Fourth of July 2009 I had this dream:

Everyone was talking about the clever new website that takes Ann Coulter's words and subjects them to the Tom Phillips A Humument treatment — producing random phrases of great wit and poetry.

In the morning, I realized that this idea (though stupid) was easily realized. This site is the result.

Q. Why are there two different images for each Coulter column?
A. Each is half a "treated" Coulter article. Blogger and some browsers have problems displaying tall, narrow image files, so I split each in two.

Q. Who is W.H. Mallock?
A. British novelist William Hurrell Mallock (1849-1923) wrote numerous well-received novels, articles, and polemical works. Today he is remembered, if at all, for his unintentional role in A Humument.