Wednesday, January 13, 2010

fine book, lousy binding


this small and huge book, turning leaves of mind is, what chela metzger called, eye candy for book workers. purchased from granary books, the first time i opened it the spine glue cracked crazily, the yellow glue ripped some pages. so i tried with much care to rid it of most of the mess, and as you can see the sewing is fine. the cover is now separate. but oh, my, this is one wonderful book.


the authors nora ligorano, marshall reese structured this book so that the text, a poem by gerrit lansing, meanders around the pages that are photographs of old bindings. the end papers are notes which are a poem of sorts. is it irony that the beauty of this book about decay is itself glued up poorly? 

and, for me, the only readable bits are the poem, all the handwritten words from the books themselves are indecipherable. i study and study it, and find it rich. 

10 comments:

mjc said...

I have a copy, and it's one of my all-time favorites as well...and the same thing happened to it!
I thought it was because I'd gotten it half-price in the MOMA bookstore (it was a display copy, the only one they had in stock, and I HAD TO OWN IT IMMEDIATELY when I saw it. The cover was still intact but fell off the first time I shared it with a class - we were all grinning at the irony as well).
The irony is excellent for opening up a dialogue, though...so I haven't repaired it.

Velma said...

chela's copy was broken, and i hoped my new copy would be ok. it wasn't! do you think it was glued badly on purpose? a publisher's issue or the authors' intent?

Joei Rhode Island said...

curious-er and curious-er

jude said...

i was thinking intent but what a plan that would have been if so...

neki desu said...

omg!!! they worked at the North American institute here in Barcelona at the same time i did !!!
at that time they were into video arts.

book's wonderful and yes,i think intent too.

Velma said...

after the little bit of research i did i think this book's a one-off. but what a collaboration!

Velma said...

maybe i shouldn't call it a one-off, it was i think the only time this team worked in book format.

deemallon said...

what if it were more 'installation' than book -- meant to decay even as the text describes its own process? is that giving them too much credit, do you think?

mjc said...

I'm late to get back on this, but my entire class did discuss the possibilities of intent...and performance, rather than installation.

Velma said...

this does make for good discussion! in your class and here.

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