(Bigus, Richard)

Ode to Typography.

Bigus, Richard (illus.)

(Torrance): Labyrinth Editions, 1977. Translated by Enrique Sacerio-Gari. Tall quarto. (15)ff., frenchfold. One of 100 copies. Neruda's long poem celebrating the joys of the printed letter arranged in concrete typography by Bigus, who learned the craft of printing under the tutelage of William Everson and Jack Stauffacher at U.C. Santa Cruz. There he printed a few books of his own verse as well as broadsides of concrete and haiku poetry. For him, the visualization of the word became paramount. "Ode to Typography" was produced as his thesis for the Master of Fine Arts from Yale. This is his first true book, and it created a sensation when it appeared. The controversies of the modern press movement that had begun with Everson raged anew with the arrival of Bigus. For our part, we believe that "Ode to Typography" is a stunning tour de force, and through the test of time it will come to be regarded as one of the most important books of this era. Neruda's magnificent poem provides the essence of the design with its grammatical usage. The lines are handset at five different angles, changing direction at each period, colon and semicolon. Thus the movement of forms—black type and negative white space—becomes as pure as the geometry of letterforms themselves. To quote Bigus, "This design gives form to Neruda's poetic breath." Mint in oriental-sewn gray marbled wrappers and housed in a chemise portfolio with ribbon ties and a paper spine label that is a trifle stained. Item #28914

(5 Fine Printers, 1979).

Price: $1,750.00

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