Saturday, January 10, 2015

another sidetrack

it appears that the search for the fabled golden honeycomb has met the proverbial brick wall - an intriguing sidetrack for a while, but 1) no one seems to know who actually commissioned it, 2) no one has any information on whether Sir Edmund Hillary knew anything about it, 3) no one seems to know where it is - there is yet a fair amount of writing about it, and who made it and even about some of the processes - yet I cannot find anything concrete online about the goldsmith John Donald - I give up - 

I remember back in the 1960s when I was a proofreader at The Dominion newspaper in New Zealand, another reader at the paper was about to return to England on a particular passenger ship, when he inserted a small and definitely unauthorised paragraph into the Shipping News (these were the days when passenger liners were regularly in & out of the Port of Wellington) in which he noted that some of the facilities on board the luxury liner were of a poor standard, and the toilet facilities in particular were a bit nasty - over the next few days, the Captain & several members of the crew were interviewed about the toilets on board, as were some of the illustrious passengers - even the then prime minister (or, it might have been the governor-general) who had been taken on a tour of the ship was asked by industrious reporters what they (unremembered gender) thought about the toilets - no one, as I recall, enquired about the origin of the story - one can only marvel at how wonderfully gullible we can be about what we read - 

meanwhile, back at the bookshelf, here is a spread from the Rampant Lions edition of Samuel Beckett's As the story was told - the line of narrative running thru the middle of the pages does that for the whole book, and is set in 24pt Albertus Light, a bunch of which I expect to receive soon from Offizin Parnassia - the texts in red above the story line are either bits of related material from other Beckett writings or accounts of such connections by critics, and the texts below the story line are bibliographical notations showing textual variations from all the versions of the work - it's a lovely way of having a kind of solid, unvarying base for the book as a whole, which can then carry a great deal of typographical variation from spread to spread - one of my favourite books, designed & printed of course by Sebastian Carter -