Romoland: A Pictonovel

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39 West Press
Publish Date
8.0 X 8.0 X 0.44 inches | 0.94 pounds
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About the Author

Ben Stoltzfus is Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature and Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside. He is a novelist, translator, literary critic and internationally recognized inter-arts scholar. He has published 12 monographs of literary criticism, five novels and one collection of short stories. Romoland, a pictonovel, his most recent publication, was written in collaboration with Judith Palmer, the artist. He has received many awards: Fulbright, Camargo, Gradiva, Humanities, Creative Arts, and MLA. Stoltzfus lives in Riverside, California, with Judith Palmer, his wife.
JUDITH PALMER is a printmaker whose work is in the tradition of Jasper Johns, Cy Twombly, and Richard Diebenkorn. She explores the language of art and the process by which art's sign-system communicates its message-line, texture, color, and image. Palmer collects found language--numerals, words, sentences--from streets, walls, or waste paper, transfers their photo images onto zinc plates, and combines these elements with traditional, more rigid patterns and techniques of etching. The result is a dialectic: a movement back and forth between spontaneously flowing arabesques--that represent energy, aggression, and rebellion--and the rigid, straight lines of confinement and restriction. This combined language of spontaneity and restraint generates movement and tension between the different parts--form becomes content. Palmer's art is housed in the permanent collections of galleries and museums in Santa Monica, California; Knoxville, Tennessee; Riverside, California; and Pomona, California. She has received many awards, including the Margaret R. Hanenberg Award from the University of California, Riverside; the Ink and Clay Purchase Prize Award from California State Polytechnic in Pomona, California; and the Jurors' Award at the Pacific States Print Exhibition. Her line drawings for this volume are a departure from her more stylized, post-modern work.


Romoland's "originality lies ... in its gendered, multilayered, culturally allusive presentation of the compelling and complex encounter within and between picture and word." -Roch C. Smith, Professor Emeritus, French, UNC-Greensboro, American Book Review

"Romoland is an amazing collaboration between two artists: a woman and a man, a wife and a husband. The woman's visual strategy, in conjunction with the man's witty "ecofeminist" text, plots the liberation of women--persistently and playfully." -Ai Ogasawara, Associate Professor, Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan

"In this delightful work, received ideas about the separate domains of masculine and feminine, inner and outer, line and mass, visual and narrative art, ruler and ruled, master and servant are playfully and seriously inverted to reveal that our unconscious sexual coding of space, time and form is coming undone." -Juliet Flower MacCannell, author of The Hysteric's Guide to the Future Female Subject

"Echoes in Romoland can be traced to Surrealism's use of dreams and the unconscious to create art, to the playful disruptions of Dada, and to the Situationists' conception of art as pollitical performances of revolt. [It] appeal[s] to ... those interested in the relations between ... fiction and critical reflection on the nature and purposes of the arts." -Lynn A. Higgins, Edward Tuck Professor of French, Dartmouth College, The Comparatist