Komma (After Dalton Trumbo’s Jonny Got His Gun)

Antonia Hirsch, with essays by Maria Muhle and Kristina Lee Podesva.

A modified facsimile of the original book’s first edition, the project re-imagines Trumbo’s novel, Johnny Got His Gun, through its syntactical idiosyncrasy: the omission of all commas. The word “comma” is derived from the Greek komma, meaning “something cut off,” reflecting eerily on the plight of the fictional protagonist Johnny—a young American soldier who has been brutally mutilated as a result of combat. Hirsch commissioned a proofreader to add commas to the text according to the Chicago Style Manual, then removed the text leaving only the commas.