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Twisted Spoon Press

PO Box 21 - Preslova 12, 150 21 Prague 5, Czech Republic

Book details:
The Transformations of Mr. Hadliz

[ excerpt ]

Czech writing

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Listen to Novák's
sound poetry

  the transformations of mr. hadlíz

by Ladislav Novák

translated from the Czech by Jed Slast
artwork by the author

Ladislav Novák was one of the more remarkable and versatile figures in Czech art over the past forty years. A pioneer in sound and concrete poetry, he became best known for the techniques he developed in the visual arts. Though a solitary figure, he is properly associated with Surrealism, to which he maintained a close affinity throughout his life.

The Transformations of Mr. Hadlíz is a combination of poetry, prose, and image. The twelve pictures, taken from a Danish calendar for 1976, are created by "froissage," a particular method that Novák invented of interpreting the random lines formed by crumpling paper. The text to the art was written in the spirit of automatism virtually overnight, and some sixteen years later in 1992. The volume is completed by poems from Novák's alter ego, Mr. Hadlíz, as well as a conversation between the author and his subject.


What others say:

It is clear to the poet's eyes that it's impossible to separate imagination from reality, because the former is just a more beautiful aspect of the other, it's hidden projection behind the external shape of things. Reality as we see it indifferently spread over the pages of glossy magazines of unified look and shallow color is nothing more than a charge for Ladislav Novák. He removes all that is superfluous in it to let out the shining miracle trapped inside.

— Edouard Jaguer

After experiments with collage, conceptual art and "earth art" — he once painted the surface of a frozen lake — Novák, in the '60s, developed his current medium which he calls froissage. These delicate watercolor fantasies are made by crumpling paper, straightening it out and washing the surface with diluted ink to bring out the random linear patternings formed by the creases. Among these lines the artist hunts down hidden images, fixes them in with pale delicious watercolor.

— Jo Ann Lewis, The Washington Post

[F]inely wrought — a small, delicate (if surrealistic) gem.



ISBN 9788086264165
60 pp.
14.5 x 20.5 cm
12 full-color images
softcover with flaps
prose : poetry : art

release dates:
UK: January 2007
US: July 2002

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