The Uncertainty Principle

Published September 22, 2009 by Molly


“Clocks, calendars, timetables and guidebooks assure us: there is an order to things,” begins Dr. Clock’s Handbook. “In Dr. Clock’s absurd world, on the contrary, things are not always what they seem. Logic leads to surprise, paradox reigns with looking-glass rules, things quickly slide from the sublime to the ridiculous.”

Indeed. A hefty book of thick many-colored pages, Dr. Clock’s Handbook is a collection of absurdist writing and thinking published by the legendary Redstone Press. Among those represented are Ed Ruscha, Flann O’Brien, Franz Kafka, Damien Hirst and David Shrigley. No kidding!

To page through the book is to feel a rush of mental pops and fizzes. Concrete teepees! Zebra stew! Nonsensical proverbs! (”Cold meat lights no fire”.) Every possible form of off-the-wall thinking is included in this compilation, which combines photographs with recipes, manifestos, diagrams, charts and essays. The editing is shrewd––there’s no filler––and the content is endlessly generative. You could use this as a creative manual for any type of project; just keeping a copy perched on your desk could induce boundary-pushing ideas to bubble up from the ether. Dr. Clock’s Handbook is one of those volumes that you might read every day and never get sick of. A desert island book, for sure.

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One comment so far

  1. Matthew Beard says:

    Just bought it for 26p on Amazon Marketplace!

    I love checking into this blog everyday, you tie together all my favourite things. Just hope you keep it up after the film comes out!

    Thanks again.