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A Book of the Book / Rothenberg, Jerome, editor ; Clay, Steven, editor ; McCaffery S ; Nichol bp ; Young K ; Smith K ; Stein G ; Blake W ; Perloff M ; Cendrars B ; Delaunay S ; Marinetti FT ; Janecek G ; Khlebnikov V ; Maizels J ; Breton A ; Ernst M ; Duchamp M ; Artaud A ; Carothers M ; Meltzer D ; Borges J ; Phillips T ; Drucker J ; Roth D ; Hamilton R ; Knowles A ; Cutts S ; Tyson I ; Kaprow A ; Finlay A ; Finlay IH ; Schneemann C ; Fahrner B ; Watts B ; Bernstein C ; King S ; Cobbing B ; Derrida J ; Jabes E ; Mallarme S ; Goncharova N ; Brown B ; King R ; Jess ; Spector B ; Bing X ; Lessick H ; Spector B ; Mottram E ; Curnoe G ; Broudy H ; Blaine J ; Bory JF ; Stein C ; Quasha G ; Four Horsemen ; MacLow J ; Oliveros P ; King S ; Howe S ; Barthes R ; Jess ; Upton L ; Ringgold F., 2000

Identifier: CC-34674-36375

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Scope and Contents

The subtitle of this book is "Some Works & Projections about the Book & Writing." It is divided into four sections" Pre-faces; The Opening of the Field; The Book Is as Old as Fire & Water; and The Book to Come. Marjorie Perloff contributes an essay from "The Futurist Moment" in which she describes "La Prose du Transsiberien" by Cendrars and Delaunay. The book Includes two fold-out pages that reproduce this work as well as an English translation of the poem (the original of this book is held by the Sackner Archive).Gerald Janecek contributed an essay from "Kruchonykh and the Manuscript Books" describing Old Fashioned Love,' 'A Game in Hell and 'World Backwards.' Johanna Drucker wrote, "The Artist's Book as Idea and Form" in which she describes the artist's book as "the quintessential twentieth-century artform. Artists's books appear in every major movement in art and literature and have provided a unique means of realizing works within all of the many avant-garde, experimental and independent groups whose contributions have defined the shape of twentieth-century artistic activity." John Maizels contributed an illustrated, biographical essay "The Phenomenon of Adolf Wolfli." Lawrence Upton described Bob Cobbing's "Writers Forum - Life by 1000 Books." Tom Phillips provided background for the making of "A Humument" and "The Heart of A Humument." Jean Francois Billeter contributes an inciteful essay on the Chinese Art of Writing.From Publishers Weekly: "From Blake, Breton, Whitman, Khlebnikov, Blanchot and Duchamp to Artaud, book artist Johanna Drucker and poet-critic Charles Bernstein, this massive collection houses a trove of essays, poems, prose text, illustrations and photographs that ponder just what a book is, isn't or can be. All are provocative. Poet and ethnologist Rothenberg (Technicians of the Sacred) and publisher and book dealer Clay present Derrida writing on Edmond Jab s, examining the differing sources of writing and speech and the role of inscription; critic Richard Sieburth on Mallarm and the latter's contention that the world exists to be in a book; Bernstein proposes language as the technology behind all technologies; and Jorge Luis Borges finds "the cult of books" evidenced in the world's religions. Generous excerpts from Jess Collins's O!, Tom Phillips's A Humument and many non-Western texts make this collection an eyeful, including the spectacular carved fonts in an imaginary language by Xu Bing. And bound into A Book of the Book is a gatefold on glossy stock of a poem by Blaise Cendars, illustrated by Sonia Delaunay. Rothenberg and Clay have intelligently structured their book, allowing the reader to move through the four sections and become increasingly grounded in an understanding of what the book qua book has become over two millennia. Just as wisely, they stay away from reducing this great effort to an appeal for recovering a tradition. (Dec.) Forecast: Every piece here deals in one way or the other with the book as object, whether phenomenological, cultural, historical, technical or aesthetic at a moment in history when the demise of books as we've come to know them is more than just cocktail-party chatter - it's boardroom chatter. If sought out and handsold, this book could be a hit with any literate reader; it will certainly find its way onto syllabi." -- Source of annotation: Marvin or Ruth Sackner.


  • Creation: 2000



0 See container summary (1 hard cover book + 2 pages (fold-out) (538 pages) in dust jacket) : illustrations ; 26.8 x 17 x 3.8 cm

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Physical Location

ref shelf linguistics

Custodial History

The Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, on loan from Ruth and Marvin A. Sackner and the Sackner Family Partnership.


Published: New York : Granary Books. Signed by: Steve [Clay] (l.r.- title page). Inscription: For Ruth & Marvin, there among the books! xox Steve. Nationality of creator: American. General: Added by: RED; updated by: RED.

Repository Details

Part of the The Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry Repository

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