Prior to commencing my tentative venture into the innovative world of “A Humument,” I fully expected that I would find a “treated” book both distasteful and disrespectful towards the original author. Hours later, however, after emerging from an entanglement of selective literary prowess and seductive artwork, I found that my preconceptions had been shattered. “A Humument,” though anomalous and perplexing at best, serves to beautifully mutate the original Victorian novel into a unique artistic expression, transforming rather than destroying the initial meaning.
The primary themes evident throughout this text are those of erotic impressions (my favorite occurs on page 244, on which the text “ceaseless sliding tower burnished piston-rising and falling, fully the perfect skill of man” appears in the forefront of a not-so-subtle phallic “tower”), a certain “Toge” and his struggle with coalescing the struggles of love with the joys of art, connections to “Irma,” and expressions of creativity. The reoccurrence of these themes formed what I found to be a sort of false narrative. While there is a roundabout way to follow the subjects and ideas throughout the text, any direct proclamation of a storyline is, to me, incorrect.
I believe the main conflict within this work was that of how to express creativity. Is it through love, as is insinuated periodically, or is it best portrayed in art or poetry? By combining expressions of all three in this text, the author effectively conveyed this conflict, meaning the art ultimately added to the story.