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Re: Book Arts?



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Charles wrote:
>       I did not subscribe to this list to be subjected to yet another =
>   political editorial section.
>       I am a bibliophile and binder and am interested in things pertaining =
>   thereto.=20
>       If I wanted editorial comment I would subscribe to the Grunge Report =
>   or some such.
>       I don't care how "esteemed" some of these subscribers are in terms =
>   of their alleged expertise in our field, but I do wish they would take =
>   their non-book-related commentaries elsewhere and leave the rest of us =
>   to our craft and its substance.
>       Enough, already!

Generally, I agree that I subscribed to the Book ARts list (or PageMaker,
Graphic Arts, Art Crit, and a number of other lists) for its particular
specialty. I wouldn't want to wade through innumerable posts about Gary Condit
or Bush-v-Gore and the Butterfly Ballot or Clinton's very public private
indulgences--all of which have been interjected into threads on the lists I
subscribe to. Ususally, they go away on their own; sometimes someone would
have to say 'Enoughl, already!' to get the off-topic comments to end.

But this topic is qualitatively and quantitatively different in all respects.
The attacks in New York and Washington involved everyone in the US and
ultimately will involve most of the world in one way or another.

The on-line discussions have been strained, have been emotional, have been
provocative and difficult--but they occur in the context of a 'community' of
other writers whom we have already 'met' in cyberspace. The ramifications of
the attacks will redound on everything we do, from the trivial in
inconsequential to the profound.

For me, going to a chatroom or commentary site to exchange impassioned
opinions with other people with whom I have nothing in common reduces my
remarks to a display of exhibitionism to cyber-voyeurs. On the other hand,
commenting to people whom I have already conversed about, in this case,
bookmaking exemplifies the important fact that all of life in one thing,
unitary, connected. On the Art Crit list or the PageMaker list, the concern
about the nature of representation or the intricacies of electronic layouts is
subsumed in the total context of our lives, *just as it is here on the Book
Arts list.*

If you want to talk about binding materials, fine. That's trying to refocus
your energies on the quotidian commitments of life. But asking people to talk
about the attack somewhere else, please, because you don't want the topic to
interrupt your shop talk really trivializes both your own craft and the issues
of life and death that the attacks and the war preparations embrace.


-------------------
Michael Brady
jbrady@email.unc.edu   http://www.unc.edu/~jbrady/index.html

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