Front / back portrait of Robot Gilbert Adair

Simon Manfield, 2011, pencil drawing on paper, 42.5 x 39 cm

Let me begin with the same question as before. You have accounted for the history and status of the transtextual, but how did you proceed practically? What were the mechanics of appropriating Lewis Carroll’s voice, for example? How did you begin? 

Were one to see a horse with a man’s head, one would not cry, “Look! A horse with a man’s head!” but “Look! A centaur!” And were one to see a woman with a fish’s tail, one would not cry, “Look! A woman with a fish’s tail! ” but “Look! A mermaid!” A centaur is a centaur, a mermaid is a mermaid. Mythological (in the word’s more orthodox usage) as they are, such creatures have come to possess in our eyes (or in our imagination) their own compact and specific identities: if they are “singular,” then it is in the sense both of uniqueness and oneness.

–“Gilbert Adair Continued,” James Langdon, Bulletins of The Serving Library #7, 2014