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[BKARTS] Books without Thoughts


I thought this subject was going to be "Thoughts without Words," but the
above title came out of my keyboard, without thought....

>> Thoughts are constructs of word meanings, are they not?
>> Gerald

> Or are words the constructs of thought?
> celia

Some people may think in words, others find words to express thoughts. The
nature of metphor is finding a way to communicate notions that transcend
words, for which words have not yet been invented, or for which a medium
other than words is appropriate. Some authors use words to create
metaphors. Some use music. Some use images.  I don't know if "thought" is
always involved in the creative process. I rely more on inspiration and
serenditpity. The materials sometimes just appear in front of me and seem

Here are some examples of bookbindings that employ material as metaphor
that may or may not have involved "thought":

In 1973 a client brought in a copy of Pettigrew's History of Egyptian
Mummies (1834) for repair-- the hinge was broken and the cover was off. I
had just bought a couple of yards of airplane linen at Talas. It was
obvious what I had to do. I was afraid to tell the client in advance of
doing it, as he just wanted his book repaired. So everything was done to be
reversible. Fortunately he loved it, so I didn't have to do it over. It was
featured in the exhibition "The Object as Poet" in 1977, and became one of
my most influential Works:

One of my apprentices gave me a skin that he had acquired in Montana or
some such place, and Barton Benes asked me to bind his book "The Dog Bite"
at about the same time:

It was clear that the commercial binding on a book by the queen of punk
rock was inappropriate, but the right material was not available. I had to
go to England and learn leather tanning to make my own alum tawed ratskin
for Patti Smith's "Babel" (with safety pin clasps):

The Trilateral Commission's 1975 book "The Crisis of Democracy" said we
need to curtail personal freedom. When their candidates were all the
choices in the 1980 election, I saw the barbed wire keeping the Yippies out
of 10 Bleecker Street and clipped some for my binding:

and I suspect most subscribers to this list have read about "The Birds of
North America":


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