Get the latest
Recent Posts

Rare Books Virtual Lecture — These Four Walls

“The tongue lies on the table, writing, writhing, spelling out the breath of its efforts in an unseemly desire to be seen.”

Johanna Drucker

The Word Made Flesh
Johanna Drucker
New York: Bow and Arrow Press, 1989
PS3554 R75 W6 1989

Kitty Maryatt
Claremont, CA: Scripps College Press, 2010
N7433.35 U6 A74 2010

The Rare Books Department invites you to view its virtual lectureThese Four Walls.

In the opening description of Arch, Kitty Maryatt, director emeritus at Scripps College Press, writes, “Architecture, like books, is a delicate balancing act between stability and motion, interior and exterior, aesthetic values, and structural practicalities. And books, like buildings, are fundamentally inhabited spaces. They are incomplete without human interaction…”

Typo Bilder Buch
Romano Hänni
Basel: Studio for Design, 2012
N7433.4 H3575 T85 2012

In terms of architecture, scaffolding is a structure used to support the work crew and other materials in order to aid in the construction, maintenance, and repair of buildings, bridges, and other structures. If we apply this to the architecture of the book, we might think of scaffolding as the structure which supports how meaning is conveyed, especially when a book lacks text. Visual scaffolding allows us to “read” when no language is present.

Collagebuch eins
Peter Malutzki
Florsheim am Main: Peter Malutzki, 2008
N7433.4 M358 C656 2008

In the early twentieth century the avant-garde experimented heavily with the concept of concrete poetry, or poems created in arrangement of linguistic elements in which the typographical effect is more important in conveying meaning than verbal significance. In addition to being read, these poems perform in accordance to their layout on the page, forcing the reader to navigate the typography like a map, and engage the text as a landscape of language. 

The Color System
Bianca Stone and Jenny Yoshida Park
San Diego, CA: Brighton Press, 2019
N7433.4 P35 C65 2019

The book architect thinks about the construction of the page; the scaffolding of language; the use of type, furniture, rules, bars, and bullets. For her, the pages of a book are empty rooms to build out and furnish, and inside these four walls she sees a limitless space across various axes. 

To learn more, visit the J. Willard Marriott Library YouTube page and view the full lecture, These Four Walls.


No Comments

Post A Comment