By mixing together written and image-led forms of narrative, Horace Dorlan attempts to describe an individual's uncertain state of mind and how this affects his behaviour and impacts on the lives of others. Dorlan, the book's main protagonist, is an entomologist. His objective and systematic scientific approach is turned on its head by an accident and he begins to behave unpredictably, more like an artist, radically restructuring a much anticipated lecture.
The book's form, which has few literary precedents, reflects the scientist's instability. Written chapters are interrupted by pages of images that follow a logic not recognisably part of the story and the ground keeps shifting under the reader's feet. The mixture of text and images addresses the complexity of language and how it affects perceptions of reality. While writing often corresponds to an internal monologue, pictures are more ambiguous: who is the real protagonist and what is actually happening here?
Andrzej Klimowski worked on the project for more than three years, filling many notebooks and sketchbooks with fragmentary writings and drawings, both imaginary and from memory and observation. Initial plans to use duotone images proved too costly so he resolved to work with linocuts, partly inspired by Japanese woodblock printed books. Linocuts relate well as printed forms to the conventional columns of type (designed by RCA colleague Jeff Willis), allowing the idiosyncratic narrative to flow unobtrusively. Andrzej received valuable feedback from colleagues and students involved in Deborah Levy's creative writing workshop at the RCA in 2006.
Horace Dorlan was widely reviewed in the national and international press including The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph, both of which called it a "masterpiece". He has adapted a section into a short film proposal currently being considered by the Studio Miniatur film production company in Warsaw.