Rob Kovitz creates bookworks and web projects that consist of texts and images he collects from various sources and recombines through a meticulous but highly subjective process of editing, ordering and juxtaposition. In addition to Ice Fishing in Gimli, he has published various other bookworks including Pig City Model Farm, Room Behavior and, most recently, According to Plan. He currently lives in Winnipeg because of its very interesting weather.

“Now, these are useful books,” he said, looking around his cabin. “So far as I’m concerned, no book’s worth reading that doesn’t offer information of practical use to the reader. What kind of books do you like, Andy?”

Eric McCormack, First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women

Rob Kovitz, Ice Fishing in Gimli
8 volumes, 6" x 8" x 4750 pages

“Ice Fishing in Gimli is a unique hybrid fabrication …”

Jeanne Randolph, Fuse Magazine

“Ice Fishing in Gimli is to Manitoba what Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project is to 19th century Paris. Kovitz, like Benjamin, uses volumes of found images and text to create a complex, labyrinthian narrative …”

Sigrid Dahle, The Gothic Unconscious

“The ice-grey volumes of Rob Kovitz’s epic accumulation of text and illustration, his mute yet clamouring, self-proclaiming ‘novel’, Ice Fishing in Gimli, are stacked on a table twenty feet from my keyboard. They look like a low-rise, concrete-block building from five hundred yards away. I keep them at a distance because they are dangerous.

"It’s a sweet danger, but a danger still. If the books are near to me, I will take them up and read around in them. At which time, it will become almost impossible to disengage myself from this white tar-baby of a book … Ice Fishing in Gimli is a white (w)hole.”

Gary Michael Dault, Ice Fishing In Gimli: Bibliophilic Rapture In The Cold, Or, Twilight’s Last Gleaning

“When the novel started out in the 18th century, it was called novel because it mixed up stuff. A whole lot of it was literal reportage about real cities and real streets … and imaginary people who were very often identifiable with real ones. And the novel was novel because it didn’t fit any generic shape. That’s why it was called a novel.”

Alexandra Gill, A Stranger in Seattle: Interview with Jonathan Raban

Evocative, wry, enigmatic, disquieting—a densely built dream association in the guise of the meticulously documented and verifiable—this is a book unlike any you’ve ever read before, with lots of pictures for when you get bored. So cast your hook and hold your breath—you never know what will get dragged up in Ice Fishing in Gimli.

“Is this a new form of discourse in step with its multivalent, chaotic times, or just an excuse for intellectual laziness? Only the author knows for sure.”

Marco Polo, Canadian Architect

“I would guess there has never been a poetic work in Canada that has undertaken on such a profound scale the advancement of understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and so on and so on and so on, without a single original sentence from the author.“

Jeanne Randolph, Fuse Magazine

“The Great Canadian Novel you’ve been waiting for. Don’t argue—just read it.”

Ice Fishing in Gimli
by Rob Kovitz
8 volumes, boxed set
4750 pages, 6" x 8"
ISBN 978-0-9812869-0-7
Published by Treyf Books

Retail price $475.00

Publisher's direct price:
$350.00 Cdn (includes S+H)


PDF edition (258 mb download)

ISBN 9781927923047

Publisher's direct price:


ice fishing in gimli
a novel

by rob kovitz

“Imagine being outside time. That the past and future are revolving around you, and you cannot place yourself properly. That your body, your receptacle, has been numbed free of history. Because I feel this way, I can see clearly when and where the evil started …”

Richard Zimmler, The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon

“Book — Always too long, whatever the subject.”

Gustave Flaubert, The Dictionary of Received Ideas

Ten years in the making, Ice Fishing in Gimli is an 8-volume image/text montage bookwork by Winnipeg artist/writer Rob Kovitz. Set in and around a strange small town and a large frozen lake in the uncharted center of Canada, it’s an epic citation saga of desire, ambition, weather and landscape; of drownings, freezings, murder and cannibalism; of alien architectures, bizarre conveyances, inscrutable soothsayers and esoteric ice-fishing techniques; of the search for enlightenment, the poignancy of fish-flies and the indeterminacy of maps; of prairie writer and double-agent Frederick Philip Grove, Gimli-born Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stephanson, and numerous other quixotic characters both real and imagined; of boredom, failure, madness, nothingness, unrequited love, best-laid plans, the Wandering Jew, the House of Squid and mysterious things that may or may not be hidden beneath flat, frozen surfaces, to name a few things ...

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