Friday, April 10, 2015

stocktaking 1

over the next few weeks I'll be running notes on Electio books that are still in print (which means that a copy or two is still available for sale), even tho 'in print' may mean there's only one copy left - above is the title opening of Jenson's Greek, based originally on a reading of Nicolas Jenson's 1480 Last Will & Testament - calligrapher Deirdre Hassed drew some wonderful enlargements of some letters from Jenson's Greek type (1471) and they became 'illustrations' for the book, each printed in a different color - some of the poems are poetical-looking accounts of fragments of the history of the types & Jenson's place in Venetian printing, some are rearrangements of parts of Jenson's Will & some nice oddities in the English translation, and some are a) a copy of the Jenson type, b) a resetting in Victor Scholderer's New Hellenic type, c) a rough transcription of a number of translations of the passage (from Plato's Gorgias quoted by Aulus Gellius in his Noctes Attica, printed by Jenson in 1472) - here's one of Deirdre's letters, hand-drawn and reproduced in the book using magnesium blocks - the pictures were taken by Robert McCamant -