We offer the following extract from a catalog of an obscure art gallery. Our interest right now is drawn to Item 15 (below), on the found poetry of a man who derived that art from torn-off page numbers from books. Enjoy!
Wiltin & Wanton Gallery
Archivist-Artists of Intellectual and Cultural Archaeology
A Collection of Significant Materials and Artifacts in the History of Literature, Science and Intellectualiana
The Catalogue of the Traveling Exhibit June 2009 – January 2010
Featuring the Following Installations
- William Gaddis’ Martinis vs. the Slouchy Suburbanite
- The United States in a Jar
- The Real Pseudonym of America's Most Famous Yellow-Backer Outlaw
- The Sweny Chemist Door of Leopold Bloom
- The St. Elizabeth Window of Ezra Pound
- Virginia Woolf’s un-buoyant Friends
- Thomas Wolfe’s Refrigerated Collectibles
- Picasso’s Puzzle to Rimbaud
- The Holy Pants of God
- The Convict Letter Collection
- Archive of the Great Shadow-Sickened and Pretended “Firsts Prioritizer”
- Babe Ruth’s Post-Intellectual Hommage on Locating Lost Sound
- The Stolen House
- A Superb Broken Hanger Collection
- The Great Shirt Diarist
- Sigmund Freud’s Dream Book
- Malevich’s Childhood Building Blocks
- The End of Roundness in Van Gogh's Eye
- Bartleby’s Checker
- Acoustic Museum of Childhood Sounds
- Kurt Goedel’s Psychiatric Cheat-Sheet and the Formalization of Boredom’s Logic
- The Transcripts of the Woman Who Spoke to People Only Once
- Diary of the Man Who Forgot Nothing
- Michel Foucault’s Word Engine
- The Broken Correlation Poetry of Found-Wordist Hignatio Norme
PAGE BREAK//Skip to pages 7-12 of the catalogue, items 14 and 15.
Warren Frieda Namaton, Shadow-Sickened Art Historian and Forger
Obsessive Art Historian and Forger who altered Paintings to Suit his Theory and History
On the first depictions of (a) shadows (b) stirrups © forks (d) reflected images
Notices of Namaton’s (1930-1988) fame appeared in 1962 when he proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he located the earliest depiction of a fork in western art (this in Ambo Boyz’ (Flemish, fl 1470-1520) “Mock Muscle Flag-in-Absentio”). Namaton used a simple jeweler’s loop to discover what had already been apparent to the naked eye—that a fork was visible on the thigh of lazy gentleman in a protohammock. This discovery fueled Namaton’s career. In a career that rocketed through 12 suburban colleges in less than 15 years, Namaton went on to establish the vaunted “Firsts” priority in some 30 fields—a record in the art world until the recent troubles with authentication—including the recognition of the first depiction of broken spectacles, faux agony, subtle grief, confused belief, bewilderment caused by pain and stupidity, and so on.
His great recent work was on mirrors, reflected images, and, of course, his masterwork on the appearance of shadow and shadows.
Namaton’s fame fell when his estate was released from a cold-storage security locker in Alexandria,Virginia. The bulk of his notes, his collection of prints and many hundreds of small oil paintings were acquired by a resident bookseller who was struck by a bus and killed while removing the estate. It was in the sale of the bookseller’s estate that the Namaton notes came to the attention of Quiver McQuimby, a noted but retired historian of art historians in the new mixed field of the Baroque Revitalizers of Pre-Deconstructionist Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He was astonished to find many examples of famous works of art to which Namaton had playfully (?) added shadows. (There are more than 2,322 works of shadow-adds in this category in the collection).
Poetry from Found-Wordist and Book Pathologist Mr. Ignatio Norme
Hignatio Norme, Found_Wordist and Page Number Collector (Boston, Mass.; 1923-1988)
The man who found obscure phi-related connectivity between random word placement, page number and the poetic ideal.
Mr. Norme’s work first came to the attention of the literati in 1922 when Dallas Headman of Case Western described it as “a unique approach to creativity”; this would be the only phrase ever used to evaluate Norme’s efforts in every review from 1922 to 1975, when his work stopped being noticed. In a spectacularly prolific career Mr. Norme produced some 8,000 poems, most of which were produced on broadside sheets of paper or large pieces of wood. The combination of the materials of production and the many tens of thousands of books led to Mr. Norme’s house being an internal castle, letting in neither visitor nor light, a friendly singularity for his pursuit. As his utilities and taxes were paid decades in advance, Mr. Norme’s death, and the discovery of his corpse, was not discovered until 2005, seventeen years after his passing.
According to his unpaginated journals, Mr. Norme’s pattern of poetic creativity and discovery involved removing all page numbers from the book he was reading and then choose a number of the “poem lugs” at random. He would then reverse the number, go to that page of the book, and then add the page number and go to that line of the book, and tear out the number of words as indicated by the page numbers ending numeral. The bits would then be assembled, and the page numbers glued to the walls of his house. (We estimate that there were some 60 million page numbers glued to all surfaces of Mr. Morme’s home. The house itself has been purchased by the
Museum of American Art, a full room of which will be on display in that museum’s Outsider Art collection in the Henry Darger wing.)
Mr. Norme found poetry everywhere he found it, seeing in the simplest verb the most compound noun; even when the poetry seemed not to find an external logical sensate, the internal phi-correlated word relations played in the mind behind all phases of knowledge, an unheard neuro-music that encapsulated the idea of unknown “correctness” in the vision of the poem.
We are proud to offer this example, “Primo VI, the Analysis of Man//Fantasie brillantes” from 1945.
The poem is transcribed below:
Primo VI, the Analysis of Man//Fantasies brillantes
In a former treatise I imagined
upon their reflection from worship
be lost it might lie in oblivion.the ram of Helle, and the Life.
Helius, Hyperion’s sons
were the children of Mania;
they hjad the character of
an evil being past.
We all get wrong the moments we forget
Some art to impress
Belief for divine beings, when it interposes between them and our souls,
was sometimes expressed
and not difficult to be understood.
The story worlds are condemned by them as free
governed by certain principles
mentioned as the Mother of all beings
consecrated to the sun and planets
drawing light if existence, must have
Divine attributes distinct
At every act of worship
Penance after death,
Even in the midst of careless happiness
Imposes a cruel restraint,
The opposition which
More effected , shroud for the landscapes;
To sanctuaries of another nature.
Midnight is not a Ambiguity,
Glowing ambition and high.
I have mentioned, that great confusion
Has some allusion to those rites
By some, were esteemed the offspring of
The analysis of a child;
We may possibly discover their
Means by saying
Numberless absurdities arisen to the ruin of much good history.
H. Norme, 1945.