Yale Center for British Art

Campbell, Ken, 1939-2022
A knife romance / [Ken Campbell].
Published / Created:
[Oxford [England] : K. Campbell, 1988]
Physical Description:
[60] p. : chiefly col. ill. ; 51 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
"It took four years to complete. I did 'In the Door stands a Jar' and 'Tilt' while 'A Knife Romance' was in operation ... It's about a knife, [but] it's got a lot of levels to it. It is a fact that I had a sheath knife, which I still have, that I bought as a Boy Scout. My mother kept burying it in the garden because she feared the crimes it might commit me to. This is partly because ... my mother feared knives. And partly as a kind of grotesque Freudian example of the mother trying to de-sex the son, or control him. I don't know if that is true, but I found it interesting, and I wrote a poem called 'A Knife Romance' ... I started to lay out elements of the book and to do things in a rather more musical way than I had done in any other book, very much more risk, very much more improvisation ... It's a book that didn't resolve itself for a very long time. I did a plate which was a kind of background that was supposed to look like skin, with cross-hatching and little follicle hairs coming out, and I was trying to work out what that was and I started to destroy that through the book. And at the time I realised my mother was dying, and I suddenly thought that this book was tracking my mother's death ... I wrote a poem called 'Widow's Song' and put that in the book, which I slowly accumulated and dismantled. That was recognition that this book was actually being done while my mother was dying; I finished it by the time she died."--Ken Campbell, from The word returned.
Subject Terms:
Artists' books -- Great Britain. | Campbell, Ken, 1939- -- Publisher.
Artists' books -- Great Britain.