Friday, May 31, 2013

setting up for &

setting up for a fresh book at speed is not my favourite or usual way of working, tho I have occasionally had to move quickly - it can work especially if a certain idea or ideas have been floating around in one's mind for some time, even without having taken notes or preliminary plans left to another day - in that sense some things can certainly look as if they had popped out of the blue, or wherever it is that things pop out of - so, a new type specimen book has been in my mind for a couple of years, and a book titled "&" likewise, but it is only recently that the two notions have come together, so that now the title of the next book is & another type specimen book - texts for type specimens are not always easy to come by - will I take quotes from various other great writings - will I prepare a nicely laid out alphabet - will I rummage among my earlier unpublished writings for whatever gems can be found there - will I write new texts, either little separate poems, or a longer poem spread over the several specimens - I decided to 'rummage' amongst my earlier writings and found I had picked out what looked very much like fragments from a longer love poem - I tried again, and found a series of small, somewhat gnomic sayings about the nature of the book itself - preferring the latter, I wondered if I should not actually use those fragments to write a new poem on 'the book' that would be spread across the specimen pages, but which could also be read as a single text - one of the little poems is -
        we have this arrangement
        with words

        they will arrange us
        in their order
it's still being worked on, and as the new paper is still to arrive, there is time yet to establish the specimen texts - with any luck, the weekend will see the poems completed, even tho, as the last one is likely to say - 

Friday, May 24, 2013

production halted on Jenson's Greek

there are times, and this week is one of them, when a risk one takes just doesn't pay off at all - the purchase of 120 sheets of handmade paper one's never used before - and I now find it is not taking the ink either like nice damped paper is supposed to do or as dry paper sometimes does - and naturally the paper is already cut to the sheet size of the proposed book etc - I hope Miriam can use it for drawing - and, &, AND, I have to admit that my Dante type, 12 on 14pt, is now too worn for a book - so Jenson's Greek will have to wait until I get fresh type in from the U.S. - and fresh paper from er, well, somewhere! - over the next few days I will therefore bring another book forward, for which I have had only the most rudimentary ideas and almost nothing 'down on paper' as they say - its title? - 


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

production started on Jenson's Greek

it's taken months of fluffing around trying to get a real handle on my next book, Jenson's Greek - I intended, to begin with, making a straightforward reproduction of Nicolas Jenson's Last Will & Testament (1480), translated by Pierce Butler & published by the Ludlow Typograph Company, Chicago 1928 - but when I found copies of it freely available online, it seemed that a handprinted reprint was somewhat redundant - in the meantime I had a couple of blocks made, calligrapher Deirdre Hassed had redrawn six of Jenson's letters at a large size and blocks were made of them also, and Bixlers in New York has set the type which I would then put thru the stick and re-space it all - since then it has been a struggle to figure out what to do - now, this aspect has been figured out : three 'poems' have been made by using words & phrases from the Last Will; a number of poems by yrs truly written; a fresh polymer plate of the original printing made by Nick Summers, and I have a book to print. . . here then, is Nicolas Jenson's Greek type as it appeared in his 1471 edition of Noctes Atticae, a commonplace book with commentary written by Aulus Gellius (second century), followed by three of Deirdre's six hand-drawn letters (tho the latter have appeared here last year -