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Re: Odd structures inquiry


>   I want to make it in a seven pointed
>   star, a symbol of Islam. the structure is pages glued
>   together at the foredge to make an accordian and then
>   sewed thru the valleys so as to make a spine.

How many leaves (fronts-and-backs, since it is an accordion fold)? Seven?

>   One thing I think about a lot is how
>   structure can express something about the content.
>   however, I am not sure that my reason for the star
>   book is worth anything--simply that it came into my
>   mind and then it tied in that the seven pointed star
>   is an Islamic symbol.

What exactly is your reason, besides connecting your book with an Islamic
symbol? For Christians, a corresponding thing would be to make a book in the
sahpe of an equilateral triangle (the Trinity) or a cross. The triangle may be
problematical, but right away, the cross-shaped book would be easily connected
to Christianity, whether the maker wanted that connection or not.

>   and I liked the way it could be
>   fully opened

If you sew it in the valleys, can you then still open it like an
accordion-folded sheet?

or stored like a "regular" book. so I
>   guess what I am asking is for those of you who use
>   unusual structures, what kinds of reasoning are behind
>   it? is it sometimes as flimsy as I feel mine to be? or
>   do most of you have deeper philospophical reasons I
>   can't at the moment fathom for these things? :-).

Offhand, I generally find "unusual structures" to be so eye-catching that it is
hard to get past the abnormality of the structure to find what the structure
expresses. I don't make books like this, so I am thinking of art works. Maybe
you can contemplate the shaped canvases of Frank Stella's major paintings,
consider how he uses the basic geometric shapes that form the "image" part, and
perhaps make a correlation to your book.

What, by the way, will be on the pages? Writing? Printed text? Images? Nothing?
Flat color?

It seems that this will be a one-of-a-kind book, not meant to be mass produced
on a production press, and, I suppose, displayed more as a work of art than as a
book of school text or scripture. Is that what you have in mind?

>  ... but
>   has anyone dealt with people who really have no clue?

Oh, yes, many times!

>   I mean far less clue that your average American or
>   European who has seen books which are odd for various
>   reasons (even to just minimal text).

Actually, the clueless that I have encountered are the thoughtless: they think a
book is a sequence of pages each with a certain fraction of the author's ideas
on it. Many authors I have worked with think layout, type design, etc., is a
mere utilitarian thing that designers exalt to keep themselves in jobs. They can
set their book manuscripts in Word using Arial and Times, or Courier in a pinch,
so why should anyone take extra trouble to use any other fonts?

What you are proposing is way way beyond their ken. And I am sure I would not
ever see many of them in an art gallery where books like yours may more likely
be found.

Cheers and good luck on your project.

Michael Brady
16 Pedestal Rock Lane
Durham, NC 27712
Voice  919 471 9554    fax 919 962 2707
jbrady@email.unc.edu   http://www.unc.edu/~jbrady/index.html

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