A Labour of Moles

‘I found myself in the thick of things. I shut my eyes experimentally, opened them again. If I was dreaming, the scene should change – but no, everything was exactly as it had been before.’ So begins A Labour of Moles, a small comedy of meaning that unfolds between words and images. Ornan Rotem’s design combines gorgeous colour washes by Num Stibbe and intriguingly detailed line drawings taken from a 1937 edition of Duden’s famous Bildwörterbuch.

Labour of MolesSylphA Labour of Moles
designed by Ornan Rotem
Centre for Writers & Translators,
American University of Paris /
Sylph Editions, 2011
ISBN 978-0-9565092-8-4

More at www.sylpheditions.com


Before I set out, the Murderer directed me to a wooden box and instructed me to open it. Inside was a neat coil of string.

      ‘I’ll hold this end,’ he said, ‘and you take that one with you. When you reach the end of your tether, as it were, you’ll know you’ve gone a mile.’

      ‘And then?’

      ‘Just tug on it like this’ – he jerked out a quick SOS – ‘and I’ll reel it in and put it back in its box.’

      ‘I don’t suppose there’s a league lying around here somewhere?’ I asked. ‘A league would fill me with the spirit of adventure.’

      He did not bother to answer.

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