Thursday, December 25, 2014

a note towards the year's end

it may seem absurd to many who'll think 25 December is not a day to treat simply as 'one day among all the others', but for me is has been that for a very long time - as the year is 'drawing all too rapidly to a close' (from Beyond the Fringe, sometime in the 1960s, and the full quote is "I see the sands of time are drawing all too rapidly to a close"), I have time over the next month or so to reflect on a long history of writing/printing, and figure out what, with age & health more pressing than they used to be, I might do next for the long haul, and over the next year - it seems odd to buy more type at this late stage, but I have ordered 24pt Albertus Light, and 12D/14pt Gill Sans Light Greek (capitals only) from Offizin Parnassia in Switzerland (they bought the late Harold Berliner's type foundry, and I still have Harold's catalog, Types we can make in hot metal, Nevada City, California) - I have only seen Albertus Light used by Sebastian Carter at Rampant Lions, where he made brilliant use of it in Samuel Beckett's As the story was told (1987) - I have only seen the Gill Sans Light Greek used by Peter Koch in his beautifully austere edition of Herakleitos, translated by the wonderful Guy Davenport (1990) - interestingly, both these books are printed on the tan-colored Zerkall laid paper (Nideggen in Koch's, Silurian in Carter's, tho both papers look identical to me, and seem to be of the same weight & color) - Davenport's essays, The Geography of the Imagination, is on my reading list in the next weeks, it's a book I return to each year, and some of the shorter essays, just a couple pages long, are great to read aloud - in any event, the printer is resting over the holiday break (Pithecanthropus erectus desperate to sit down again! -