The Press of the Kelmscott Press
Overshadowed by the November sale of a copy of the Bay Psalm Book, another auction in New York ten days later illustrated much more recent—if not equally important—printing history. Christie’s handled the sale of Improved Albion Press #6551, the very machine on which William Morris printed The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer in Hammersmith between 1894 and 1896.
In a recent review in The New York Times, A. O. Scott describes a new film as “a peek at the genesis of a movement that would become a matter of cultural controversy and, eventually, academic study.” The film is Kill Your Darlings directed by John Krokidas, and the movement is the Beat Generation. Krokidas’s film joins two other Beat-related movies that debuted in 2013, an adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s late novel Big Sur, and the long awaited cinematic version of his iconic On the Road, directed by Walter Salles, who also made The Motorcycle Diaries.
Early American Novels
Twenty years ago, after reading Revolution and the Word, Cathy Davidson’s masterful study of the economics, reception, and impact of American novels published before 1820 (Oxford University Press, 1986), I vowed to myself that I would read the first one hundred novels published in our new republic.
Ed Ruscha and The Book
”I like the idea of a word becoming a picture, almost leaving its body, then coming back and becoming a word again”~ Ed Ruscha
Midwesterner Ed Ruscha burst onto the Los Angeles art scene in the mid-1960s with a series of books of photographs, beginning with 26 Gasoline Stations. He is now a world-renowned painter, photographer, and book artist. Thanks to a loan from the Broad Art Foundation, fans in the Northwest were able to see a handful of Ruscha’s newest work at the Portland Art Museum in the summer and fall of 2013.
The word indulgence may ring a bell for people of a certain age who were raised Roman Catholic. A certain number of days, weeks, or years were granted for saying prayers or performing religious devotions. This time could be subtracted from the amount of time the redeemed sinner had to spend in Purgatory after death and before ascending to heaven.
Zoroaster’s Telescope is a wonderfully strange book of oracle magic. Written in 1796 by André-Robert Andrea de Nerciat, a French author of Libertine genre, the text later appeared in a collection of German folk literature compiled by Johann Scheible from which this English translation was made.
The Ballets Russes and Its World. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1999. First American Edition.
Jacket illustration - Leon Bakst costume design for Nijinsky for his appearance in L’Apres Midi d’un Faune
Killing Color by Charlotte Watson Sherman. Published by CALYX Books in 1992.
Cover illustration “I am Free” by Jody Kim
Cover design by Carolyn Sawtelle
Book design by Cheryl McLean
Lettered Creatures by Brad and Mark Leithauser. Published by David Godine in 2004.
Jacket illustration by Mark Leithauser
Jacket design by Carl W. Scarbrough