An Invention, Brian Baker


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In An Invention, Baker operates surgically on all 100 pages of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, extracting and displacing meanings and temporalities. Through erasure, collage, and striking charcoal drawings, Baker tells the story of an airman in the Great War, exploring their own familial connections to the past, and contending with the trauma of war. An Invention is as inventive as its title promises, and as haunting as it is hauntological.

Published 2023
Limited edition hardback
A5, full-colour, 112 pages

In stock



Praise for An Invention:

‘Baker’s An Invention is the work of a remarkable reality surgeon. It passes a startling message through time about the profundity of ancestral trauma. Fracturing chronology, self, family & narrative, it reveals that the art of remembering flows in all directions, especially unexpected ones’ ReVerse Butcher, author of Kaleidoscopic Erasures

‘Fading childhood annuals of yesteryear are singed and sent backwards into the wars that follow wars…here, in a vast nowhere or when, is The Traveller: drawn to the rupture of trauma and convulsed into a journey where the end is when it all began. In Baker’s remarkable and memorial feat of redaction (with collage, over-painting and erasure), H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine (1895) is tunnelled through to find its darkly luminous prophecy in World War I – the wound from which history itself was exiled from time. In its 100 page duration, the gathering cultural turn towards, and as, modernism, alongside the horrors of war that further compelled and mutated its futurity from the rubble, converge with Baker’s own family archaeology. Consequently, An Invention becomes an act of visual poetics that threads the compulsive return of trauma into the turbulent aesthetic changes of art history’ David Spittle, author of Rubbles

Brian Baker is Lecturer in English at Lancaster University, UK. He is the author of Masculinities in Fiction and Film (Continuum, 2006) and Iain Sinclair (Manchester, 2007). He has published the Reader’s Guide to Essential Criticism in Science Fiction (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and Contemporary Masculinities in Fiction, Film and Television (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015). He has contributed to numerous books and journals, often on science fiction.

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