By Michael Moon
Henry Darger (1892–1973) used to be a sanatorium janitor and an immensely effective artist and author. within the first a long time of maturity, he wrote a 15,145-page fictional epic, within the nation-states of the substitute. He spent a lot of the remainder of his lengthy existence illustrating it in magnificent drawings and watercolors.
In Darger's unfolding saga, pastoral utopias are time and again savaged by way of severe violence directed at youngsters, quite women. Given his aggravating material and the intense solitude he maintained all through his existence, critics have characterised Darger as eccentric, deranged, or even risky, as an interloper artist forced to create a delusion universe. Contesting such pathologizing interpretations, Michael Moon seems to Darger's assets, to the narratives and fabrics that encouraged him and infrequently chanced on their means into his writing, drawings, and work.
Moon reveals an artist who reveled within the burgeoning pop culture of the early 20th century, in its newspaper comedian strips, pulp fiction, illustrated children's books, and heavily produced non secular artwork. Moon contends that Darger's paintings merits and rewards comparability with that of contemporaries of his, akin to the "pulp historians" H. P. Lovecraft and Robert Howard, the oz. chronicler L. Frank Baum, and the newspaper cartoonist Bud Fisher.
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Henry Darger (1892–1973) was once a medical institution janitor and an immensely efficient artist and author. within the first many years of maturity, he wrote a 15,145-page fictional epic, within the geographical regions of the bogus. He spent a lot of the remainder of his lengthy lifestyles illustrating it in awesome drawings and watercolors.
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Extra resources for Darger’s Resources
As a scriptive form, legend is always already engraved in stone. I have begun with the story of Jennie Anges because it is not only a representative one but a narratively compact one. The other Dargerian revision of the standard girl-martyr legend I want to consider is that of Annie Aronburg, which is much less clearly or efficiently narrated. Rather, it occupies a diffuse and oblique relation to narration. Indeed, it is presented as constituting the engine driving the entire massive narrative, for it is what Darger himself 34 .....
Or have the children now playing in the picture escaped from massacre (at least this time) to find (at least temporary) shelter in this cozy interior with its flowery curtains? As is the case with so many of Darger’s paintings, how can one be sure of the difference? In a number of Darger’s other paintings, the Christian armies decorate their interior spaces with such familiar Roman Catholic devotional images as the Sacred Heart, the Virgin Mary, and St. Teresa of Lisieux (known as the Little Flower).
Drawn as he is to her, Darger finds himself unable to yield (512, 516). At the end of In the Realms, General Hanson (the character who had once opined that Darger “must be a nut” to believe that there was a causal connection between his loss of a photograph and the Christian armies’ bad fortune) comes riding up to “general Henry Darger” to inquire: “Do you fully know any more of this Aronburg mystery, H? How about the return of the lost photograph? ” “No sir,” he replies, “and I’m sure that I’ll never find it.
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