excellent pictures and an excellent blog. a way not to forget great authors, like éluard, péret and so many others.hugsjorge vicente
Thanks Jorge. In the near future, I plan to do a group of posts on Eluard, Desnos, and Mansour, in relation to the wonderful series of translations from Black Widow Press.I also scared up some images of old Peret books which I will post here.
Beautiful, indeed!! Thank you... I'll have to spend more time with this and many other recent posts this holiday weekend...
totally stunning wonderful amazing images!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!
OK, I'll bite, since no one else will. What in the devil are they?
I'm reading the book now. It's possible the explanation already sailed over my head, but if not I'll definitely share what I learn.
What utterly beautiful diagrammatic plots - why read the books when you can just look at the patterns they make?
The scenario I'm imagining: the author presented scribbles on cocktail napkins to the typesetter, who then spent sleepless nights producing these treasures.
You're right - these call for the best typesetter who ever lived. Charles Dickens advised authors to cultivate bad handwriting, because then their manuscripts would be given to the best typesetter, who would make the fewest mistakes. Of course typesetters in those days were mostly illiterate, and were simply following the shapes of letterforms
I would love to read a story about an illiterate typesetter "following the shapes of letterforms."Baudelaire was reportedly maniacal about correcting "printer's errors," even for newspapers on a deadline. I think I read this in a book on Poe's reception on France. I'll dig it out and post the quote.
Yes, it sounds like something out of Borges, doesn't it? Or Melville, perhaps. Or Poe. Dickens did write something about a broken-down, destitute old typesetter (I'm pretty sure), but I've had to email a friend for help finding the passage, as all my specialist Dickens books are inaccessible at the moment. Illiterate typesetters could become incredibly quick and accurate, and there's something very poignant about the idea of someone setting a book without any idea what the text means. Of course a lot of English-language typesetting is done in India now, and the typesetters don't necessarily see English as anything more than a series of shapes. Seeing as I don't have the Dickens reference to hand, I'll wander slightly off-the-subject with the story of a 19-year old typesetter on "a celebrated London morning journal" (The Times, I imagine), interviewed by Bracebridge Hemyng for vol. 4 of Henry Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor (1862). Like many poorly-paid women in Victorian London, she was a "dollymop" who supplemented her income by occasional prostitution. She told Hemyng, "I sometimes go to the Haymarket, either early in the evening, or early in the morning, when I can get away from the printing; and sometimes I do a little in the daytime. This is not a frequent practice of mine; I only do it when I want money to buy anything... I've hooked many a man by showing my ankle on a wet day." She was engaged to be married to a colleague, but told Hemyng that, "I shan't think anything of all this when I'm married." She said, "I'm only a mot a who does a little typography by way of variety." It's interesting how slang terms mutate, isn't it? Dollymop still exists as dollybird (the mop bit meant fish, apparently), and even the word mot is still used, in its backslang version of tom, as a current English term for a prostitute.
Ah the penis in those days, was actually called a 'dolly' , hence a dollymop, mopping the dolly? I use it as my nickname, but I added an extra 'p' to not get lost in searches. I found this blog whilst looking at stats on mines, and dollymop came up!
I now want to map all the books I love like this. These are fantastic little pieces of abstract information design (I say abstract because I'm trying, but I can't figure them out ... does it help if you understand German?!)