Time is like a fashionable host
That slightly shakes his parting guest by the hand,
And with his arms outstretch’d, as he would fly,
Grasps in the comer: welcome ever smiles,
And farewell goes out sighing.
– Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida
It is with both sighs and smiles that I thank you all for joining me over the last few weeks, and offer hearty welcome to new digital poet in residence, Clare Shaw.
My residency couldn’t have culminated in fitter fashion than by visiting the Oxford Fine Press Fair at the weekend. Bustling rooms, stands brimming with rare riches – I completely ran out of time. The Fine Press Book Association blog lists this year’s prize winners. My own highlight was Susan Allix’s A Prospect of Gardens, a multi-textured, kaleidoscopic adventure through the Gardens of Ancient Egypt; Early Persian Gardens; Illusion and Reality in Roman Gardens; Giardino Giusti; Mughal Gardens, Lost and Found; and Jardin Majorelle. Sumptuous. More images can be ogled on her website.
At the other end of the scale was The Sonnets Watch Book, which blinks out two of Shakespeare’s sonnets in Morse code. The fair caters for all tastes!
I haven’t been quite so nonpartisan over the course of this residency, in my quest to champion the ‘beautiful book’. For intrigued aesthetes and budding bibliophiles, I have compiled a partial bibliography to help steer further reading. Please add any you think worth recommending in the comments box below. Do look out for the forthcoming ‘digital book’ that will showcase all the marvellous Aesthetic Experiments from the Open Workshop. And as for me…
And as for me, thogh that I can but lyte,
On bokes for to rede I me delyte,
And to hem yeve I feyth and ful credence,
And in myn herte have hem in reverence
So hertely, that ther is game noon,
That fro my bokes maketh me to goon.
– from the Prologue to Chaucer’s Legend of Good Women
A BIBLIOPHILE’S BIBLIOGRAPHY
MAKING: Mechanics & Craft
A Companion to the History of the Book
Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style
Gerry Cambridge, The Printed Snow: On Typesetting Poetry
Cleeton/Pitkin/Cornwell, General Printing
Matthew Crawford, The Case for Working with Your Hands
Simon Garfield, Just My Type
Eric Gill, An essay on Typography
Seamus Heaney, Feeling into Words
Richard Kennedy, A Boy at the Hogarth Press
Fiona MacCarthy, William Morris: A Life for Our Time
Joseph Moxon, Mechanick Exercises
John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice
Richard Sennett, The Craftsman
K. Silem Mohammad, ‘Notes on Craft and Failure’, Poetry Foundation Harriet Blog
Beatrice Warde, ‘The Crystal Goblet’
Crafts: The Magazine for Contemporary Craft
The Crafts of Freedom blog: http://craftsoffreedom.blogspot.co.uk/p/blogs.html
DRESSING UP: ‘Aura’ & the Visual
Age of Enchantment catalogue
Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
Megan Benton, Beauty and the Book
John Berger, Ways of Seeing
Michael Clark, (ed.) Revenge of the Aesthetic: The Place of Literature in Theory Today
Clarence Day, The World of Books
Johanna Drucker, The Century of Artists’ Books
Tom Lubbock, English Graphic
Peter Mendelsund, What We See When We Read
HOARDING: Libraries & Collections
Walter Benjamin, Unpacking My Library – A Talk About Book Collecting
Alice Crawford (ed.) The Meaning of the Library: A Cultural History
Sheila Markham, A Book of Booksellers: Conversations with the Antiquarian Book Trade
Tusculum Rare Books catalogue
The Wormsley Library catalogue
Thank you very much for your bibliophilic blogs. I have enjoyed them and shared them with other book and paper loving friends. The bibliography is a welcome leaving present for us.
Thank you, Linda! How nice of you to say so. I’m very pleased you’ve enjoyed the past few weeks, and hope you have lots more bibliophilic fun in the future!