Asemic Writing in Shaun Tan’s Graphic Novel ‘The Arrival’

The Arrival (2006) by Shaun Tan is a wordless graphic novel (which can be read here) that tells the story of an immigrant’s life in an imaginary world. It consists of small, medium, and large panels – as well as pages of full artwork – depicting a world that sometimes resembles our own but which…

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Book Review: Why It’s OK to Love Bad Movies by Matthew Strohl

This is a book I didn’t know I needed. But I’m interested in both philosophy and bad movies, so when I found out there was a book making a philosophical case for bad movie love, I had to get it immediately. Why It’s OK to Love Bad Movies (2022) – written by philosopher of art…

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Asemic Writing and the Desire for the Esoteric

Asemic writing is, by definition, meaningless. It is wordless writing. But what attracts artists and viewers alike to the art form is the way that certain marks can appear meaningful. The scrawls and strokes can be so reminiscent of a natural language or system of glyphs that they look as if they could be read…

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Pseudographia: Automatic Asemic Writing

Pseudographia is the term I use to refer to either the practice of automatic asemic writing, that is, wordless, artistic writing created in an unconscious way, or the unconscious drive to engage in such writing. I have recently been revisiting the work of the Belgian poet and artist Henri Michaux, as I feel his asemic…

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Asemic Writing: The Drive to Create Imaginary Languages and Alien Alphabets

I have long been fascinated by the artistic drive to create imaginary languages. Countless numbers of them exist. And some of them have made their way into public consciousness since they have been integrated into the fictional worlds and universes portrayed in popular books and television shows. These fictional languages include Elvish in the works…

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