Komma (after Dalton Trumbo’s Johnny Got His Gun), Antonia Hirsh
Includes an accompanying pamphlet with essays by Maria Muhle and Kristina Lee Podesva.
The companion piece to a 16 mm film installation by the same title, Antonia Hirsch’s book is based on Hollywood scriptwriter Dalton Trumbo’s seminal anti-war novel Johnny Got His Gun. As a modified facsimile of the original book’s first edition, the project re-imagines Trumbo’s novel through its syntactical idiosyncrasy, the omission of all commas.
The word “comma” is derived from the Greek komma, meaning “something cut off,” reflecting eerily on the plight of the fictional Johnny—a young American soldier who has been brutally mutilated as a result of combat.
Addressing issues of silencing, censorship, and instrumentalization, the project is refracted through the original novel’s historical context and Trumbo’s personal history. Komma proposes to represent the suppressed or “negative space” of the novel by isolating the text’s missing commas, rendering visible a subtext that the author made traceable only through an absence.
14 x 20.3 cm, 316 + 16-page pamphlet
Published by Fillip Editions, an imprint of Fillip, Vancouver, specializing in books of critical writing and artists’ publications.
Available for Distribution.