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Re: book arts journals
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
- Subject: Re: book arts journals
- From: charles alexander <chax@THERIVER.COM>
- Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 08:37:41 -0700
- In-Reply-To: <199801151511.IAA01873@pantano.theriver.com>
- Message-Id: <199801151536.HAA17498@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.EDU>
- Sender: "Book_Arts-L: The list for all the book arts!" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
>In what areas do you disagree with Ms. Drucker ?
Primarily in that I think she sometimes discounts the value of the
more-or-less traditional book (handmade letterpress, handbound, etc.) as
dynamic contemporary art, yet I think in many hands it becomes just that. I
think Drucker tends to see things a little more from the point of artist as
bookmaker, rather than the reverse, bookmaker as artist. It's a rather fine
distinction, I know, but there are certainly many book artists I love which
are not mentioned in her book(s).
I also think her take on visual poetry is one primarily defined by
early-century typographical art, and by work later in the century by the
deCampos and a few others, but that there is a much broader network of
visual poets which she either does not know or at least does not embrace.
The same, I think, could be said for her lack of much mention of the
underground of xerox art, mail art, and more.
So, what she has said, particularly in The Century of Artist's Books -- I
don't have much disagreement with, in fact I have consistently endorsed
that book to many. Still, I do think there are some blind spots which I
would have liked to have seen addressed more, particularly in a book which
appears to be nearly encyclopedic in its discussion of this century's
One thing I absolutely DO agree with is, as you put it, her questioning of
the content of otherwise beautifully made artist's books. And I think she
extends this questioning of content (or sometimes, the seeming absence of
content) throughout the various kinds of artist's books out there.