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Re: Leather quality thread...
- To: Multiple recipients of list BOOK_ARTS-L <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
- Subject: Re: Leather quality thread...
- From: Bonnie Borthwick <bonsai@WORLD.STD.COM>
- Date: Sat, 4 Jan 1997 16:20:48 -0600
- Message-Id: <199701042115.NAA21056@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.EDU>
- Sender: "The Book Arts: binding, typography, collecting" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
At 13:25 1/4/97, Scott Kellar wrote:
>People (including ourselves) are continually being 'educated' with or
>without their consent. If all people are exposed to is 100% bonded leather-
>gold-embossed trash, then that is what they will believe is the top of the
!! If they're ignorant, or simply unconcerned, maybe they'll believe that,
but I think everyone else will be able to figure it out if so inclined.
But your statement is a perfect illustration of the attitude I sense from
some quarters in this debate -- the attitude seems to be, "if people don't
want top quality, it must be because they're not educated enough in the
materials and processes." Uh... maybe there are people out there who just
don't *want* top quality, for whatever reason (though it's usually cost I
>line... (Just as when a child is continually exposed a less-than-desireable
>family environment.) Kindness is when friends, associates and tutors open
>for us the possibilities of increased knowledge and understanding. Not to
Absolutely agreed, with the caveat that kindness of this nature turns
quickly to condescension when the person on the receiving end of the
lessons is aware of his or her own level of knowledge and understanding,
and content with that level.
>rant at length, but the super-mall mentality where our 'choices' are
>carefully pre-selected and monitored by corporate America is more than a
Why is this less annoying than "choices" that are carefully pre-selected
from only the highest-quality, longest-lasting materials?
This is my whole point -- top-quality materials are certainly something to
strive for and definitely a worthwhile expense *in many applications,* but
they are not *always* appropriate or necessary, and I think the world would
be a sad place indeed if my _only_ choices were (to use a timely example)
to buy a book made with 100% archival everything and $25/sq-foot leather,
or to write things down on the back of a paper napkin!
>The single underlying goal? Commercial gain. If our
>education of produced objects is primarily originating from these bright and
>motivated people, then the sun is truly setting. However, there is that
>'quality' thing that Peter was talking about. A direction that might lead
>one to contemplate such unprofitable things as authenticity, functionality,
>endurance, beauty, integrity, purpose, minimally processed natural
>materials, etc. Should the "end-user" (sad title) be educated in these
>things then he or she may have something to work with in feeding their soul
>or even selecting a well-bound book. It's not a matter of 'trusting' the
>"end-users" but whether we care enough about them to share something we have
Unless you mean "sharing" and "given" in the literal sense, the problem I
see with the unfaltering insistence on top-of-the-line materials is that
you will never get that object into the hands of the person who can't
afford it, and so they will still be deprived of its benefits as well as
any educational value it may impart.
>From what I've read in this discussion so far, I think those who argue for
"top quality" fear that an "uneducated" person will be turned off for good
if he happens to get hold of a poor-quality item; maybe so. But it's at
least as likely that this person will know the joy of using something made
by hand, and inspired by the item's affordability and appropriateness, will
become interested to learn about this craft, its materials and processes...
and then will be in a position to choose his next acquisition from a more
educated perspective (and that education will have been self-motivated,
which always leaves a better taste in the mouth ;-).
::: ::: ::: ::: ::: ::: ::: ::: ::: ::: ::: ::: ::: ::: ::: :::
The best things in life...
... aren't things.