The Outsiders

••• John MacGregor Unlocks Henry Darger's Unreal Realms

John MacGregor has been on every page of Henry Darger's novel. There are 15,145 of them.
photo: John MacGregor
John MacGregor has been on every page of Henry Darger's novel. There are 15,145 of them.

As for MacGregor, he's leaving the field of outsider art entirely, after finishing a book this year on the mechanomorphic art of Frank Travis, a schizophrenic Canadian artist. "I've done what I wanted to do," he says of his sojourn along the border of the mind and what it makes, and through the realms of Henry Darger in particular. "I don't want to repeat myself. I'm walking away from the match, after I've just won Wimbledon." At 61, it's not too late for him to return to his other passion, East Asian art and archaeology; the Han dynasty awaits, as does a trip lecturing on the Orient Express. And so the man who never entered the room at 851 Webster without saying "Hello, Henry" is at last bidding farewell.

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