Douglas Coupland has a new project: eating his own books. He recently chewed his way through a first edition of his novel Girlfriend in a Coma. “Mostly with my molars,” he says, helpfully pointing to his mouth, “the back teeth, here.” After reducing what may be his best-loved book to mush, he used it to fashion a replica of a hornets’ nest. The nest is affixed to a short twig like a Japanese lantern cut from a cherry tree. The twig is a nice touch, suggesting both authenticity and artifice.
Thanks to http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ for this edited article.
The following from http://coupland.blogs.nytimes.com/2006/08/31/.
Douglas Coupland’s words:
“Nests are beautiful objects — the inner combs in Koolhaasian layers, the striations of pulp that resemble avant garde Japanese fabrics. You can easily meditate on one for hours.”
“So after my nest meditations I took copies of my own novels and began pulping them myself, chew by chew, a slow, laborious process. Have you ever chewed a book? I doubt it. The first thing you need to know is that doing so really trashes your saliva ducts, and it takes about a week to get through one average-size book. The second thing to remember is to drink lots of water and spit regularly or your teeth will turn gray. Usually I’d chew while watching ‘Law & Order.’ (I’m an addict.)”
“To look at my own complete wasp nests raises odd issues in my head and, I hope, in the minds of observers. Is our bunkered mentality about the sanctity of books more genetic than cultural? Are we no different than wasps defending against intruders when we force students to read Henry James or Nadine Gordimer? What would wasps make of books?”
“How do wasps think of their role within evolutionary time? Do wasps have any sense of culture? Why does it feel so strange to see a book removed from our own sense of history and culture and inserted into a non-cultural slot where art or music or any other art form don’t exist?”
But thank you if you made it this far 😉
Please see my first post in this series for full explanation of all posts. Also see my first ‘Slogans’ post to understand #6.
Credits: thank you to Douglas Coupland and the Vancouver Art Gallery for images and wall descriptions.
First 4 photos by clinock, the remainder with thanks to http://coupland.blogs.nytimes.com/2006/08/31/.