“Some naive lovers of semantics believe that if only our rulers, our saviours (of all sorts), could understand the meaning of their own pronouncements, they would amend their ways. What an illusion! They, the saviours, know the mechanism of Language much better than all the Semanticists, Linguistic philosophers, and Logical formalists put together. That’s how they know how to use it to play upon the prejudices of the mob: you and me.”
—Stefan Thermerson (from his essay “The Aim of Aims”)
Stefan Themerson (1910-1988) defied simple categories; he was a legendary European writer, publisher, philosopher, and filmmaker. Together with his wife, Franciszka, they founded Gaberbocchus Press, the gold standard for avant-garde literary presses. This collection, edited by Paul Rosheim, gathers previously hard-to-find texts dealing with many of his principal concerns: ethics, semantics, conformity, misguided prejudice, and intuitive human decency. Also included are drawings by Franciszka, and an insightful introduction by art historian Nick Wadley.
PRAISE FOR STEFAN THEMERSON
“This writer is in the company of Carroll and Queneau, a master of controlled inconsequence…” —Guardian
“What an extraordinary writer Stefan Themerson is.” —Punch
“Stefan Themerson has an absolutely elegant sense of humor.” —New York Times