Book - 2014
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Perseus Publishing
An art book that combines typographic design and poetic-erasure technique to address complex issues of race in Western pulp novels.

Award-winning Nisga’a poet Jordan Abel’s second collection of poetry, Un/inhabited, maps the terrain of the public domain to create a layered investigation of the interconnections between language and land.

Abel constructed the book’s source text by compiling in their entirety ninety-one western novels found on the website Project Gutenberg, an online archive of works whose copyright has expired. Using his word processor’s Ctrl-F function, he searched the compilation for words that relate to the political and social aspects of land, territory, and ownership. Each search query represents a study in context (How was this word deployed? What surrounded it? What is left over once that word is removed?) accumulating toward a representation of the public domain as a discoverable and inhabitable body of land.

Featuring a text by independent curator Kathleen Ritter – the first piece of scholarship on Abel’s work – Un/inhabited reminds us of the power of language as material and invites us to reflect on what is present in the empty space when we see nothing.

Publisher: Vancouver, BC :, Project Space Books ;, Talonbooks,, [2014]
Description: 1 volume (various pagings) ; 22 cm
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780889229228
Branch Call Number: 811 Abe
Additional Contributors: Ritter, Kathleen,


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Apr 02, 2018

A "work of art," meant to be looked at, not read. Only a PhD supervisor could love this work.

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