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Re: Text In Book Format?
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
- Subject: Re: Text In Book Format?
- From: charles alexander <chax@THERIVER.COM>
- Date: Sun, 5 Apr 1998 00:27:37 -0700
- In-Reply-To: <199804041213.FAA23299@pantano.theriver.com>
- Message-Id: <199804050727.XAA16772@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.edu>
- Sender: "Book_Arts-L: The list for all the book arts!" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
For a lot of people, including some designers, the idea of nearly infinite
flexibility in how text might be laid out is novel, even incomprehensible.
Smith makes us see, in Text in the Book Format, a variety of possibilities
for the display of writing in books, and as such, gives artists who write
text for their own books, a new tool. I think this is very important. Yet I
agree that his other books have been more directly useful for me. And, as a
poet familiar with Mallarme's Un Coup de Des (and Mallarme's marvelous
essay on the book as spiritual instrument) and with poets who have been
working with "composition by field," as Charles Olson called it, I don't
know if Smith added to my notions of the possibilities of text as a spacial
element in books or literary work -- but he certainly complements works by
poets, and, I imagine, reaches far more book artists and visual artists
than such poets reach. I don't think Bringhurst has nearly such open and
imaginative possibilities for text in books, and I don't know the Williams
At 07:13 AM 4/4/98 EST, you wrote:
>I loved Keith Smith's bookmaking books, but was totally
>unimpressed with his "Text in the Book Format." I got much
>more out of Robert Bringhurst's "The Elements of Typographic
>Style" and Robin Williams's "The Non-Designer's Design Book."
>I'm very new at all this. Can anyone please tell me if I'm
>just missing something?
>Thank you very much.
> All things work together for good
> to them that love God.
> Romans 8:28
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