What would happen if you took the 37,971 words that make up Woolf’s feminist polemic A Room of One’s Own (1929) and rearranged them into a work of fiction? And what would happen if that text was then turned into a work of visual art?
Kabe Wilson rearranged Woolf’s words into his novella titled Olivia N’Gowfri – Of One Woman or So. Set 80 years after the publication of Woolf’s essay, it tells the story of a young woman’s radical challenge to literary conservatism in the elitist environment of the University of Cambridge, according to The Guardian.
His work has now been turned into a piece of art, a 4 by 13-ft. sheet of paper displaying the novella’s 145 pages, with each word cut out, individually, from a copy of A Room of One’s Own, and reformed to duplicate the novella.
“[T]he real fun” of the project “was in multi-layered wordplay and finding connections between words – linking different meanings across separate historical periods,” Wilson told The Guardian.
Listen to an interview with the author, who spent four years on the project in which he used computer word lists to make sure he used every word in the original text to tell a new story.
And listen to the author’s explanation of the novella and its concept: