Flaming Pea on Fancy Cushion: Weird Re/Searches?

It struck me today, during an email brainstorming thread with John Coulthart, Ann, and Gio Clairval that started with “Jeff, I don’t know that just an illo of a pea works” and resulted in the possibility of art in the Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities that will depict a pea ablaze atop a fancy display cushion…that most days in the book business are fairly damn hilarious, absurd in the best possible way. (For the last volume, I remember our frantic search for a translation into Spanish of a section of Nathan Ballingrud’s contribution, so it could be presented as a fake page from a supposed Borges-edited Spanish-language version. Crazy.)

But it also made me wonder who out there, in following their creative destiny or at the behest of others, has found themselves involved in strange or hilarious research/searches and not even realized how far down the rabbit hole they’ve gone until they were in the midst of it? (Please keep it PG-13, thanks.)

Speaking of which, last week it was “We need bug armor, and we need it ASAP–and give it teeth! Thanks.” And the amazing Ivica Stevanovic delivers (this is just a small detail from the full-on composition.)

armor

Comments

  1. Jess Nevins says

    You mean like spending six hours scanning through four Gothic novels of the early 19th century to see if they used primates as protagonists or antagonists?

    That sort of thing?

  2. Jess Nevins says

    Or translating around 10K words of Finnish–with a dictionary, this was before online translators–just to confirm that the sidekick of an obscure Finnish pulp hero from 1910 was in fact a dwarf?

    (I have an unfair advantage here: pretty much all I’ve been doing since 1997 is going down the rabbit hole while researching).

  3. Jeff VanderMeer says

    Ha! That’s awesome, though.

    Over on this side of the crazy we just finished recontextualizing a microscopic view of a lichen as somebody’s strange fingerprint. And a certain writer now has a “metamorphosis attache”.

  4. says

    Well, there was that grad seminar several years ago where the discussion briefly turned to discussing if Hitler were “fully equipped,” but that might be a bit too risque for this blog. Then again, no cannibalistic ponies were involved, so maybe it’d just be dull and boring instead for these parts.

  5. F. says

    For the last volume, I remember our frantic search for a translation into Spanish of a section of Nathan Ballingrud’s contribution, so it could be presented as a fake page from a supposed Borges-edited Spanish-language version.

    a mí nadie me dijo nada. y pude haber ayudado a que fuera menos frantic la search. :P

  6. Ian says

    I did a paper on Gorky’s “Doctor Zhivago” when I studied Russian Literature that involved ‘composite literary creatures,’ based upon my hare-brained idea that Lara was a piece of sexist collage. I brought in Frankenstein’s monster and Nabokov’s “Scenes From the Life of a Double Monster (have I said monster enough yet?), as examples of intentional collage (or is it pastiche?). I got a ‘B,’ I think.

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