The Resurrectionist Review
The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black is a combinations of two extraordinary books in one beautiful made book that was published in 2013. The first part of the book the is a fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black, detailing his childhood spent exhuming corpses with his father, his medical training, traveling with carnivals in nineteenth century America, and the mysterious disappearance at the end of his life. Most of the story is told through journal entries, newspaper reports, diaries and letters, making this pseudo-history seem surreal and strangle realistic. I found myself consistently feeling the urge to google some of the information represented in the story. The story does feel a little sparse at times but it does make Dr Spencer Black more enigmatic and mysterious.
The second book is Black’s magnum opus: The Codex Extinct Animalia, a medical anatomical textbook for mythological beasts – dragons, centaurs, Pegasus, Cerberus – all rendered in meticulously detailed anatomical illustrations. You need only look at these images to realize they are the work of a madman. The Resurrectionist tells his story.
I read this book in a single sitting, the first part of the book is a fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black and it is not a long read but it is extremely gripping and vivid. The story runs though his childhood and ends abruptly with his disappearance. The first part of the book was good, but the best part of the book are the sketches in the second part. I spent hours looking at all the sketches, lost in my imagination of what could have been. This is what photographers need. We need inspiration to make us see the world different. We can only shoot what we see, so we should be consistently training how eyes to see different and this book does that in extremely well. I loved this book for that reason and I will be returning to the sketches in the future to rekindle my creativity if I am every stuck in a rut again.
If you are looking for a good read, a book to spark your imagination, I strongly recommend that you give this a try.
A quick page throug of the book.
The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black by E.B. Hudspeth
Published 2013 by Quirk Books