Saturday, 2 June 2012

The latest BOOK by Stanley Donwood!!!

In September of 2011 Robert Macfarlane, Stanley Donwood and Dan Richards travelled to southern Dorset in search of a hollow way.
Moving south a mist lowered itself, wet smoke pooling in valleys and encircling hilltops. Southward was a descent, disorientating gradients rising as they fell. Elbowed hills reared up and the hollow way began to reveal its intentions; it would remove them from the everyday.
In an attempt to escape from the fogs, they climbed to the top of Pilsdon Pen, a sharp-sided hill now inhabited only by depressed cattle, but once some vital part of a vanished civilisation. The hill was indistinct, the fog was thick, the level hilltop seeming to float in the mist like a half-formed green raft. There was silence from the cows and a sense of waiting from the hill.
The three of them stood looking out into the void, gazing in the approximate direction of the valleys of the holloways. But there was nothing there, only wraiths, only shadows. They descended from the hillfort, feeling their way, each yard of country having to be uncovered, and all the while followed, haunted by silence.
Towards the close of the day they perhaps found the hollow way which they had been looking for. The everyday had gone, and night was falling swiftly. Things began to happen secretly around them, and the past conspired with the present, and those that had found the holloway before them were part of that present.

A book by Robert Macfarlane, Stanley Donwood & Dan Richards.
Typeset and letterpress printed in Oxford by Richard Lawrence.
48pp in Royal Octavo format (234 x 156mm).
Five full-page line illustrations by Stanley Donwood.
Typeset in 12pt Monotype Plantin Light.
Printed on 115gsm Somerset Book Wove paper.
277 copies sewn and limp bound; £27.70.
27 specially bound copies in a slipcase; price on application.
Expressions of interest to:
Richard Lawrence
50 Hurst Street
Oxford OX4 1 HD

Some time ago we made the decision to print Holloway using a Monotype caster, which essentially means that we use molten lead and a casting machine to make fresh lead type to print the book.
The font we chose is Plantin, a typeface named after the printer Christophe Plantin. It was first cut in 1913 for the Monotype Corporation, and is based on a face cut in the 16th century by Robert Granjon. Plantin is one of the typefaces that influenced the creation of Times Roman in the 1930s.

The type is made by using a huge keyboard to punch holes in a paper tape about five inches high; the roll of tape looks like something that goes in a player-piano. The text is input 'blind'; that is, the person doing it has only their memory to tell them where they are in the text and whether or not they've made any mistakes. All they have to show for hours of punching keys is a roll of white paper, speckled with small rectangular holes. The guidance for this task is provided by this slowly rotating drum: well as arcane information such as this:

The roll of paper looks like this. In no way does this resemble a book, or text, or a typeface, or, in fact, anything much at all. But it's where the book begins, as it contains all the information that will be needed to cast the type, which is done on an adjacent machine which uses brass dies to impress the typeforms on the molten lead.
And that is something I will leave until the next time I can get round to adding to this dubious and ignorant account of our slow and laborious progress towards the publication of Holloway.

minotaurs and psyche

minotaurs and psyche

 the Minotaur represents our basic nature: a complex mixture of animal, god, and human. Indeed, as mentioned in my prior post, the Minotaur was spawned from the liaison of a woman and a bull, and symbolizes this coincidentia oppositorum (meeting of opposites) of feminine and masculine, creature and human, rational and irrational, spiritual and instinctual, deity and demon, good and evil. The Minotaur also embodies both fate (our biological nature) and destiny (our freedom) and the integral interrelationship between the two. But why do we find it such a dreadful image? Because to confront the Minotaur in the dark labyrinth is to confront ourselves: our fears of the unknown, our ferocious, beastly nature, our rage, aggression, sexuality, mortality, the daimonic.  This self-confrontation is successfully accomplished by proceeding carefully yet courageously along one's own Ariadnean thread. The secret is that, metaphorically, we each have been given this thread to follow and lead us to our destiny-- but only if we are brave enough to do so.

Fundamentally, the Minotaur represents the primal fear of the unknown. Fear of the unknown is deeply-seated in the human psyche. It appears to be a genetic inheritance geared to guard and preserve our tenuous survival in a potentially dangerous universe, in much the same way as our biologically-rooted "fight or flight" response. Developmentally, all infants predictably pass through a brief phase of "stranger anxiety," and children a fear of the dark, a direct manifestation of this innate dread of the unknown. While we eventually more or less outgrow this stage, learning to trust, we never completely leave behind our instinctual fear of the unknown. Anxiety is one way we adults still experience this primitive fear. Indeed, it could be argued that anxiety is the subjective experience of the threatening unknown, whether we are facing or avoiding it.


The exhibition by Stanley Donwood, LOST ANGELES, is now in its LAST week.
 the City of Angels being destroyed by fire, flood and meteor storm, all in a quasi-Mediaeval style!
Marvel at a work of art so long that a special curved wall had to be built for it!
Covet artwork made with 24ct gold leaf!
Also showing is LONDON VIEWS, the original work that ended up as the cover of THE ERASER.
Both Los Angeles AND London destroyed! In the same room! Et cetera.
Telephone: (213) 213-0078

- 21st May 2012 

The new Taglibro 34 (you can have it in original size by clicking it and saving)