Obeliscolychny by David Avery

Obeliscolychny by David Avery

Obeliscolychny

David Avery

Please call us at 707-546-7352 or email artannex@aol.com to purchase this item.
Title

Obeliscolychny

 
Artist

David Avery

  1952 - PRESENT (biography)
Year
2013  
Technique
etching, typset, binding 
Image Size
etching: 27-7/8 x 4-5/8" platemark; book (closed): 8-1/2 x 6-3/4 x 3/4" 
Signature
pencil, colophon 
Edition Size
9 of 20  
Annotations
 
Reference
 
Paper
etching: Van Gelder Simili Japon wove; book: Hahnemuhle Warm White Copperplate wove 
State
published 
Publisher
Panmuphle Press 
Inventory ID
DA147 
Price
$1,200.00 
Description

David Avery wrote about this work:

“Obeliscolychny?” you may be tempted to ask.

And with good reason. Arguably one of the most obscure and rarely used terms to be found in literature (or anywhere else), but with, perhaps, undue influence relative to its obscurity, obeliscolychny was invented/appropriated by Francois Rabelais (@1483-1553) and used in books IV and V of his sprawling tales of Gargantua and Pantagruel. Possibly derived from Aristotle’s Politics, which used it to describe a kind of spit used by soldiers to hang lamps on as a metaphor for…well, something or other, it acquired a meaning somewhere along the way of a lighthouse in the form of an obelisk.

Centuries later, Alfred Jarry (1873-1907), poet, playwright, critic, puppeteer, and subverter of objective reality, discovered the word while reading Rabelais and became enamored with it, using it (pataphysically, of course) in several of his novels. That these works tend to be as convoluted and recondite as the origins of obeliscolychny itself was part of what provided grist for the mill of this project.

In picking the texts for this project, I tried to include every literary reference that either included or alluded to this recondite word, making for a very thin book (six in all). Of course, in subsequent years, I discovered two more—George Perec’s parody in Life A User’s Manual, and another in Jarry’s Caesar-Antichrist. Perhaps there are more…

 
Please call us at 707-546-7352 or email artannex@aol.com to purchase this item.