Posts filed under ‘Books’
I came across a copy of Paolo Soleri’s monograph Visionary Citiesat Powell’s and was deeply impressed. The content of the book is fascinating, but it’s the form of it that really struck me. The book was designed in 1971 by Donald Wall and W. Borek and exhibits a range of typographic experiments similar to those popularized two decades later by David Carson. The book also exhibits a kind of collaborative authorship—Wall’s design supplementing and enacting some of Soleri’s ideas—that is often attributed to the kinds of publications produced by Bruce Mau.
The book won’t fit on my scanner, so I can’t provide good images, but I found this flip through (which, unfortunately, fails to show many of the more interesting layouts that use overlapping type and imagery and really stretch the limits of early-70s photo typesetting):
[edit: Just found this article written by Rick Poynor for Eye Magazine regarding Donald Wall's design. At the bottom of the article are some images from the book.]
I’ve been a fan of Richard Brautigan’s novels for a long time. The words are great, but I also find his book covers to be compelling. They nearly always include a photo of Brautigan with a woman or just a woman alone. Apparently, Brautigan would invite friends, girlfriends or women he’d just met to model for his book covers. Here are a few examples:
When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up at 4:00 am and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for 10km or swim for 1500m (or do both), then I read a bit and listen to some music. I go to bed at 9:00 pm. I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind. But to hold to such repetition for so long — six months to a year — requires a good amount of mental and physical strength. In that sense, writing a long novel is like survival training. Physical strength is as necessary as artistic sensitivity.
The Paris Review, Summer 2004
[via Daily Routines]
Zadie Smith writes in the New Yorker about the role of comedy in her father’s life.
In birth, two people go into a room and three come out. In death, one person goes in and none come out. This is a cosmic joke told by Martin Amis. I like the metaphysical absurdity it draws out of the death event, the sense that death doesn’t happen at all—that it is, in fact, the opposite of a happening. There are philosophers who take this joke seriously. To their way of thinking, the only option in the face of death—in facing death’s absurd non-face—is to laugh. This is not the bold, humorless laugh of the triumphant atheist, who conquers what he calls death and his own fear of it. No: this is more unhinged. It comes from the powerless, despairing realization that death cannot be conquered, defied, contemplated, or even approached, because it’s not there; it’s only a word, signifying nothing. It’s a truly funny laugh, of the laughor-you’ll-cry variety. There is “plenty of hope, an infinite amount of hope—but not for us!” This is a cosmic joke told by Franz Kafka, a wisecrack projected into a void. When I first put the partial cremains of my father in a Tupperware sandwich box and placed it on my writing desk, that was the joke I felt like telling.
Enjoyed some toothsome pork belly and good company at Clyde Common last night. Diana and Scott were kind enough to bring us a copy of Fillip, a rather nicely designed art journal from Vancouver that features several inserted artist projects and some pretty thoughtful articles. Particularly liked the conversation between David Goldenberg and Patricia Reed on participatory art practices and Ron Terada’s kitten poster.
Image via Fillip: Patricia Reed and Societe Realiste, Manifesta 6.1, Dept III: Abschlussball/Contract of Discord, 2007. Contract of Discord was a collective project involving more than twenty of the people who were to participate in Dept. III at the canceled Manifesta 6 biennale scheduled for Nicosia, Cyprus. Photograph by Societe Realiste.
I had no idea that former Paris Review editor and sports journalist, George Plimpton, was the spokesperson for Intellivision back in the early 80s. I can’t help but read some irony into his endorsement of Intellivision’s “most exciting visual effect”…
Anyway, Random House published an oral biography of Plimpton last month that was recently featured in the NY Times Book Review. It seems the editors of the book gathered 200 of Plimpton’s friends, acquaintances and associates to recount stories and impressions of George.
There have been several welcomed additions to Berlin’s retail offerings in the past couple of weeks. One is the Image Mouvement video art space and DVD shop on Oranienbergerstrasse; another is the international magazine boutique Do You Read Me? Their website features highlights from current issues of some of the magazines they stock (and employs a familiar blog template).
A new addition to the Historical Fiction Press catalogue. Eriko Miyagawa’s casting photos from the Kite Runner, a film she worked on over a year ago. The photos feature faces of ethnic minorities from the Western Chinese province of Xinjiang. When we saw the photos, we were amazed by the diversity of ethnicities, ages and expressions.