The Table that Ran Away to the Woods tells the tale of a writing desk that one day ‘grabbed two pairs of shoes, ran downstairs, and took flight’, escaping into the countryside with its owners in barefoot pursuit. This is the first time the story – first published in a Polish newspaper in occupied France in 1940 and recreated in this exquisite collaged version in 1963 – has been made available to an English-speaking audience.
Lovingly republished, this will be an opportunity for a new audience to escape into a book which, as art historian Nick Wadley says in his accompanying note, ‘has all the innocence of a child’s song, as the table dances back to nature, and the liberated typography floats across the page’.
Stefan and Franciszka Themerson were leading Polish avant-garde artists and film-makers in the 1930s. They left Warsaw for Paris in 1937, and in 1940 Franciszka fled to London, where her husband later joined her in 1942. In 1948 they founded the influential Gaberbocchus Press, publishers of Kurt Schwitters, Jankel Adler and Alfred Jarry, among others.
Stefan Themerson, Franciska Themerson (Ill.)
The Table that Ran Away to the Woods
2012, Tate Publishing