Fragile. Johanna Drucker. Chased Press. 1977.


Chased Press, 1977. Item #3495

6 1/4 x 6 1/4 in. Accordion fold with cardboard covers attached to first and last leaves and bound with twine across the covers. Title label mounted to cardboard cover secures twine in place. From an edition of 200 copies.

Drucker recalls "
Fragile was printed as a protest and assertion. I had begun working at the West Coast Print Center in the winter 1975-76 and had met an enormous number of young writers, poets, and publishers. My sense of myself as a writer changed dramatically in that environment. The poets around me challenged me to define the project of my work, and to position myself within a lineage of poets. I had always been more of a prose writer, and my sense of literary identity and history were far more clear to me within those traditions, but I had written poems quite extensively in the early 1970s, finding the condensed form, shorter lines, deliberate form of their structures conducive to a certain discipline. This book was published on my birthday in 1977, at least, it was printed all on that day, out of a desire to show that I had a history to my own writing. At that time, to be able to point to work that was five years old or more seemed a measure of maturity and development. I distributed the book among the poets I knew, to make them aware of that history. Did it make any difference? Not really, not to their perception of me. I was hard at work on From A to Z in that summer, and that work was so completely, obsessively focused on exposing aspects of that scene that Fragile felt like a small thing, which it was, even to me. No one much knew that I was working on A to Z, and that, after all, is another story and belongs in another file. I certainly felt the poems in Fragile demonstrated my relation to language poetry, even written as they were before I had met any of the poets so intent on defining themselves and their work under that rubric." (Johanna Drucker, Artists Books Online.)

Fine with sticker unbroken and twine still tied. 

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