Between Lone Rangers and Double Agents

CMH’s postdoctoral fellow, William Viney, has contributed to a publication on the work of artist Toby Phips Lloyd. The book, a collection of essays about Lloyd’s enigmatic mixed-media installation ‘Desert Island’ (2013), is printed by Durham’s Institute of Advanced Study.

The Wonder of Twins

This short essay first appeared in Desert Island: Toby Phips Lloyd (Durham: Institute of Advanced Study, 2013), pp. 30–33. With special thanks to Toby Phips Lloyd, Simon James, and the IAS.

In 1979 Jim Lewis went in search of his twin brother. After six weeks he called at Jim Springer’s home in Dayton, Ohio, and discovered he had been leading a life in parallel. The ‘Jim Twins,’ as they became known, had been separated at birth. Both suffered from heart problems, were compulsive nail-biters, and suffered from insomnia. Both had married women named Linda, divorced, and then married women named Betty. One had named his son James Alan and the other James Allen. Both called their dogs Toy. Both had worked as deputy sheriffs, petrol station attendants, and at McDonalds, taken their holidays on the same Florida beach, smoked the same brand of cigarette, and drank the same…

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