Henry Darger: Outsider Art

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Hands of Fire

In the Realms...

Henry Darger was a reclusive nobody who lived in Chicago for most of his life yet managed to produce a 15,000 page novel called The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, as caused by the Child Slave Rebellion.

"The story recounts the wars between nations on an enormous and unnamed planet, of which Earth is a moon. The confict is provoked by the Glandelinians, who practice child enslavement. After hundreds of ferocious battles, the good Christian nation of Abbiennia forces the 'haughty' Glandelinians to give up their barbarous ways. The heroines of Darger's history are the seven Vivian sisters, Abbiennian princesses. They are aided in their struggles by a panoply of heroes, who are sometimes the author's alter-egos. The battles are full of vivid incident: charging armies, ominous captures, alarms and explosions, the appearances of demons and dragons."

This was not his only foray into the world of fiction. Darger wrote a sequel to the novel called The Further Adventures of The Vivian Girls in Chicago, comprising some 8000 pages!

Henry Darger's Room

He also produced over the years a massive collection of paintings, collages, and other graphic forms, eventually becoming a respected figure in the world of Outsider Art, but not until years after his death in 1973, a forgotten solitary man who died in a poorhouse.


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