Fancy Clancy

The Winedark October

Fancy Clancy is a piece of American cold war pulp fiction, dressed it in the trappings of something more sacrosanct.

The book is bound in an enlightenment-era Latin tome entitled Dux Spiritualis, published in 1745. The leather jacket bears the trails of centuries worth of bookworms (the literal version). The subtitle furthers its gravity: The Perfect Contemplation and Unity of God (“De perfecta contemplatione & unitione with Deo”).

The guts of the orginal book were carefully removed, created something of a book taxidermy. Then, like any good piece of taxidermy, it was restuffed with the aged guts of the titular Clancy paperback. Aging the novel was a process of repeated baking, soaking in tea, and exposure to sun. It provided great insight into our fetishisism of antiquity to watch the prose grow suddenly austere as the pages brittled and browned. Properly dresesd, even one the most frivolous of writers can make a convincing statesman.

Finally, I rebound the aged pages in the 250 year-old jacket and inscribed the front cover with Clancy’s title, filling the incisions with gold leaf only to rub the leaf away, as would happen over three centuries. The end product looks remarkably like a c. 1745 edition of The Hunt For Red October.

MATTHEW FARGO, 2014

Shibuya, Tokyo.

mfargo@gmail.com