War, the Musical condenses the written, visual, musical and interpretational aspects of the musical form into a small well-compiled book. Robert Fitterman and Dirk Rowntree have produced an ingenious collection of images, blank pages text and sheet music that can be examined in many ways. War, the Musical reads as a flipbook, allowing the carefully selected images to pass by you like a lively drama. Upon careful examination this collection has a plot and a score to accompany it. It is a wonderful, multi-faceted innovation in the written word.
From Publishers Weekly
Combining the cut-and-paste graphic art and radical typesetting of artist Rowntree with texts that poet Fitterman (Metropolis) has found, altered and composed, this hybrid work orchestrates a multiplicity of voices singing out against an ever changing backdrop. The result is a book that harmonizes the contradictions between lines like “all you can/ think about is there’s/ someone out there// trying to kill you or/ your buddy” and “Hunter satisfaction is of the utmost importance to us.” Rowntree offers up a profusion of incongruous yet moving scenes and figures. The text reads like spliced Internet chatter presented with strategic orthographic alterations. As elements repeat, they produce the disorienting sense of a business-as-usual homefront (“1 made the cheerleading squad 6ecause 1 yelled the cheer as loud as 1 could”) obliterating a real war with a mouse click.
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