Deconstructing the Novel: The Critical Function of the Artist’s Book
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This essay explores how the genre of the artist’s book, especially the appropriative manner of artist’s book, may be used as a method of literary criticism. The central argument of the paper is that the book artist, when using a preexisting work of writing to form their own artist’s book, has the potential to not only create an object of interest and beauty, but also a work of intimate and scathing criticism. To demonstrate this point, the paper analyzes three separate artist’s books: A Humument by Tom Phillips, Tree of Codes by Jonathan Saffran-Foer, and Legendary, Lexical, Loquacious Love by Eve Rhymer, each of which represents a different method by which the book artist is able formulate a critique of the original text they have altered.