Granary Books, 2000. Item #GB_79
6 1/2 x 10 1/4 in., 552 pp., smyth-sewn in wrappers.
“A collection for the general reader and the specialist, A Book of the Book is an accessible and erudite set of readings on the book as a mythic and material object. These texts comprise a vivid exploration of the poetics of the book, a multifaceted study nurtured by the literary and ethnographic scope of its editors’ vision, that argues compellingly for the continued survival of this most mundane and metaphoric of artifacts. In a moment when irresponsibly inflammatory ravings about the demise of print rage through the cultural landscape, this collection offers serious reflection upon the real profundity of the book as a symbolic force within the poetic and spiritual imagination that remains the wellspring of human culture. Drawn from diverse realms—of avant-garde art, anthropology, textual criticism, literature, and speculative thought —this will be the definitive collection for decades to come—a volume whose very physical presence in the hand performs the rhetoric of its pages in offering its riches to the reader.”
A Book of the Book is broken down into four sections: “Pre-faces” includes work by Rothenberg, Steve McCaffery & bpNichol, Keith A. Smith, Michael Davidson, Anne Waldman, Jacques Derrida, Edmond Jabès (translated by Rosmarie Waldrop), among others; “The Opening of the Field” includes work by Gertrude Stein, William Blake, Susan Howe, Maurice Blanchot, Marjorie Perloff, André Breton and Jerome McGann, among others; “The Book is as Old as Fire & Water” includes work on Guruwari designs, novelty books, pattern poetry, celestial alphabets, among others, while “The Book to Come” presents work by Tom Phillips, Johanna Drucker, Alison Knowles, Charles Bernstein, Jess (a complete re-issue of his 1960 work O!), Ian Hamilton Finlay, Barbara Fahrner, and many others.
Designed by Philip Gallo, with cover by Sara Seagull. Illustrated with over 200 black and white halftones, plus a full-color fold-out reproduction of Sonia Delauney’s and Blaise Cendrar’s La Prose du Transsibérien translated by Ron Padgett. Printed offset. This is from an edition of 4500 copies in paper wrappers (from both first and second printings); there are also 750 copies bound in cloth over boards with dust jacket. This title is out-of-print. A few copies in wrappers remain in very good condition.
ABOUT STEVE CLAY
ABOUT JEROME ROTHENBERG
Further reading: collected reviews and press, including Jeffrey Beam in Oyster Boy Review, Susan Shultz in Shark, Brooke Bergan in Samizdat Magazine, Christopher Alexander in Rain Taxi, Mitch Highfill in Journal of Artists Books (JAB), Raphael Rubinstein in Art in America, Corinne Robins in American Book Review, and Norm Thompson at CultureNet@CapilanoU.