Henry Darger

In conversation with Kiyoko Lerner by Klaus Biesenbach, curator KW Institute for Contemporary Art.
Thunderstorms and Atrocities: Writings of Henry Darger (Excerpts of “The Realms of the Unreal” and “The History of My Life”)
Exhibition catalogue. ISBN 3-9804265-3-x
213 pages, color, illustrated. All texts in English.
Published 2003 by KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin.
Out of stock at Magasin 3. Available through D.A.P / Distributed Art Publishers www.artbook.com

The Realms of the Unreal by Henry Darger

(…) Nearly all day long their eyes were filled with tears. A month had already passed since they first saw the child labor horrors and knew the little girl called Jennie was a raving maniac, and never before had the Glandelinians witnessed such a crazy child. She was exceedingly dangerous, and always carried a dagger, seldom letting it fall down from her hands. She was stark naked and once in a while she would chew at her arms and shoulders. The worse she got, the crueller were the darts of sorrow that pierced the hearts of Violet and her sisters.

It was a surprise to Violet and her sisters when the Glandelinians came running into the room with the cruel king Procile cIosely pursued by Jennie, who came with leaps arid bounds, screeching like a demon and brandishing the horrible dagger, while foam fell from her lips. Violet and her sisters even ran for their lives as Jennie changed her coarse and came directly for them. Every now and then, she would stop to chew her arm or shoulder, which certainly did frighten Violet and her sisters. Violet had a sudden impulse to shoot Jennie but she cold not, as she wouldnÕt get time as it was too dangerous to face the maniac a single minute. Joice only prayed for her recovery, though it seemed utterly useless.

Nearer and nearer drew the demented child, then made a sudden spring at Angeline. But Angeline had been watching closely, and as Jennie made that spring she dashed to one side, so that Jennie landed on the back of a Glandelinian instead. After a furious attempt to throw her off, but as he tried to grab her by the throat, she glided out of his way. He could not hold a naked child, for naked ones are very slippery. Jennie with a scream now made at the Glandelinian with her dagger, but he eluded her spring and struck her such a blow that it laid her flat on the floor, but did not knock her senseless; it only increased her fury. (…)

Excerpt from the catalogue text Thunderstorms and Atrocities: Writings of Henry Darger (Excerpts of “The Realms of the Unreal” and “The History of My Life”), page 205.