The Marriage of Reason & Squalor

Jake Chapman


Book, 19.7 x 12.6 cm, 307 p, language: English, publisher: Fuel Publishing, ISBN: N/A.
Materials: ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2025/225).

Literary synopsis In his fiction debut, the notorious British artist Jake Chapman satirizes the standard paperback romance novel in his own inimitable way, slashing the genre down to bare bones and creating a disfigured version from the remains. The novel opens when the heroine, Chlamydia Love, is gifted a desert island by her fiancée, but develops a fascination with its rightful owner, the devilishly unattractive writer Helmut Mandragorass, instead. A battle begins over the ownership of the island and, ultimately, Chlamydia's love. This is a peculiarly ambitious book that at first appears to center on the complex emotional life of its heroine. Embedded within the main narrative however are a number of visual subplots which threaten to mutiny, or at least seriously redirect the course of the book: two glossy sections of ‘reproductions’ of Chlamydia’s naïvely pagan watercolors; a transcript of Helmet’s novel *Come Hell or High Water* and subsequent rejection letters from recognizably mainstream publishers. Relation of the novel to the artist’s practice *The Marriage of Reason & Squalor* is a corollary to the visual work for which Jake Chapman, in collaboration with his brother Dinos, is best known. It includes a number of actual rejection letters sent to Chapman from publishers. It also features 20 limited edition color prints by Chapman in the guise of Chlamydia Love, entitled *Visions of Morass*: images inspired by the island as she struggles with her feelings of agony and ecstasy. [Novel website]( [Novel website](

Authorship: Artist Author.

Creative Strategy: Fictional Artist Creates Artworks.

Genre: Erotic/Pornographic, Romance.

Publishing: Publishing House.

Theme: Ecstasy, Love.

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