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Howard Barker's alter-ego Eduardo Houth first materialised as the photographer of publicity images for Barker's theatre company The Wrestling School, one of many fictional identities assumed by the playwright to screen a range of his activities, including set and costume design.
Writing of himself in the third person and in the historic tense, Barker/Houth achieves a fluency and an uncommon measure of objectivity, though objectivity is scarcely the sole intention. The result is a unique exercise in self-description, partisan but without the shrill self-justification so common in a mere autobiography. Barker/Houth's A Style and its Origins is very much a literary creation; it is also a totally original document and a rich history of the dramatist and his aesthetic.