end of June 2017
There are books which appear suddenly and unexpectedly. They should neither be devised nor designed, because they are ready, and all their elements fit each other perfectly. They don't need to be written, because they are written, everything you need to do is to rewrite them. Unfortunately, they need to be printed, because so far they haven't learned the art of materializing themselves. They used to appear in spite of all plans and intentions. You absolutely can't wait to materialize them – waiting, caused by plans and intentions, destroys them…. No, not destroy. They simply flow by and away and disappear. And never come back. Like clouds. Like butterflies. Like shimmering water.
Such a chance can't be missed. This is why for almost two months I've been rewriting (materializing) something which I can call, although with hesitation and for fun, a somnambulant crime fiction. The word crime is not the right one (fiction isn't either). However I don't know which word would be right, and if I ever found it. Most probably I would have to invent it.
The book has no title. It's intriguing. It has everything except for the title. This could indicate that the lack of the title (or hiding the title) is a significant piece of the puzzle. So, maybe the simple word puzzle would be the right word. A somnambulant puzzle.
Maybe this book has appeared as a reaction to the long and exhausting struggle with the angular world. Here there is no struggle. I just wait for the next part to be dreamt and I write it down. And that's all. Wish each book were like that…. Isn't it like that? Writing a book is like turning the reality into a dream. Writing this somnambulant puzzle is like turning a dream into reality.
In a few days I will go to a big city to take my books back. For more than two month they have been exhibited in the Beautiful Book Gallery. I will take back home one half. Another half will remain there. Now they will be standing on one shelf – they won't be exhibited, but they will be ready to be read or thumbed through. They will be among other beautiful books. This gallery is new, was opened this year in springtime, there are not many books in it so far.
Are my books in the right place? Do they suit this venue? Are my books beautiful? The presence of several old letterpress machines suggests they are not. Because they are not printed with metal types. They are not printed on beautiful, high quality papers. They are not really fine press books. Nor they are bound excellently. However such suggestion would limit the beauty of books to the craft aspect defined as hand work made according to the rules applied in the pre-digital era. Thus we would deal with a part of beauty only. How about the rest? What would the other parts of beauty be like? A beautiful book should be written beautifully. Probably first of all… A beautiful book should be imagined, thought up, beautifully, as a book, as a whole. No doubt about that… A beautiful book should have a beautiful construction, beautiful structure. Of course… A beautiful book should tell beautifully, and using all its elements, a story (a beautiful one, this would be the best though this is not necessary taking into consideration the simple fact that the majority of stories and histories are not beautiful). This can be understood… The beauty itself cannot be understood. Which can be understood. We always deal with its parts. We can never put them together. Always something is lacking, an important piece is lost. We always forget something. We always make mistakes (it would be great to make beautiful mistakes, but this is not easy and can happen very rarely, because beautiful mistakes are real rarities, besides we can't practise making mistakes – a mastered mistake is not a mistake)… Further considerations seem to have no sense. Many a book has been written about beauty. However we don't know if those books were beautiful. Probably not – undoubtedly the one I have at home are not. Should a description of beauty be beautiful? Oh, who cares….. So, it looks like making a beautiful book about beauty would have profound sense.
Because the Beautiful Book Gallery is in a great and important city where many important and great book people live, few of them were to come for the opening of the exhibition. Maybe with their help I could have answered the question whether my books were beautiful or not. However nobody of them came. It is supposed some important and big events prevented them from coming. Let's hope these events were beautiful, too. Thus as usually nothing big and important happened in the life of my books. That's good. That's great. That's beautiful. All the time the beautiful everydayness is going on. Still beautiful. And still going on.
My big laser printer is out of order. Suddenly, while printing a page of Kukuryki it began to rattle and roar terribly and shout for a new magenta toner which was absolutely unacceptable for the installed toner was more than half full. Instead of calling someone to look into the guts of this monstrous device, I bought a new inkjet printer. It has a new technology of permanent ink supply, it's much smaller and five-six times lighter, although can be fed with papers of the same sizes as the laser printer. Of course, it's slower and has only manual duplex (which is not a big problem in my case). And I paid for it even less than I would pay for a new original magenta toner. Well, maybe it's simply a bad luck, that right now, after seven or eight years, the toners for my laser printer are the most expensive ones, but it is not the matter of luck, good or bad, that using any laser printer you have to replace from time to time not only toners but also imagining units and some other parts, not cheap, generating by the way a huge heap of wastes. It looks like I was one of the numerous victims of the common conviction that you pay a lot purchasing a laser printer but then you pay almost nothing for a printed page, while inkjet printers are cheap but ink printing is expensive. As usually the myth and the truth turned out to be a contradiction. Of course, laser printer is faster, but I don't print tens of thousands of copies monthly… Anyway, these are economical and technical problems, important, no doubt, but secondary ones when compared to a problem of really profound philosophical nature: toner or ink?
Toner stays on paper. Toner is as if glued to the surface of a paper sheet.
Ink soaks into paper. Ink is in the paper.
Ink is noble. Toner is barbarian….
Really? . . . . . What does it mean? It does mean these are fundamental problems of the third rate. Deeply inferior issues. They will become primary ones only when tone and ink get the burden of meaning, of special function. Like colour. Like shape of letters. Like selection of adjectives. Like deformations of syntax. Like breaking the rules of punctuation…..
We could equally easily discuss endlessly another topic: pen or pencil or ballpen?
So, let's cut it short with a supposition being almost a statement:
it looks like Liberatory enters once again the epoch of ink
It's interesting whether the epoch of dot matrix printers will be back one day. As well as the epoch of typewriters.
It's interesting when I will print the first page with letters standing on it… or growing out from paper like grass blades are growing out from the ground.
And how about the zerory, the most superior, problem?
To print or not to print.
This is the question. And the answer today does still sound: to print.
This is the second book which I didn't plan at all. The next one which has appeared all of a sudden. The first one, 6/7 treatises on wood, I found in a stationery warehouse. I saw sketchbooks with sheets made of a manilla paper, nice and smooth, more brown than yellow, light brownish, and I said to myself: what a paper! excellent! looks like wooden…. I bought a few sketchpads, brought them home, hoping to use them one day. And I used them almost at once. Wooden paper. As if made specially to print a treatise on wood on it. Here and there wood is considered an element. It's not clear why. As well as metal. Does it mean I have to look for a metal paper? . . . . . . But at first I focused on this wooden paper. I remade Monodrum. Entirely. Thoroughly. All the time I had a feeling there was something wrong with it. So I threw the music and pictures out. I left only three tales. About cutting the tree down. About chopping the trunks. About cutting the branches. And I add three more: About whittling the sticks. About carving the blocks. About the shavings. And a fraction (of) tale about the sawdust . . . . . . . . This book came up so suddenly and unexpectedly that I even didn't announced its appearance. But it really did appeared. And it is. It is waiting for the next book about the next element. A treatise on fire. Oh, it's going to be absolutely elemental (if not elementary) book. It will. Readers will be burning of impatience waiting for the end. They will be burning down. Only ashes will remain. Cinder and slag.
This happened a few months ago. Then it seemed everything was on its usual track again. Some new texts for LIBERLAND. Everyday Fire writing. And suddenly hens. Why hens?
I was to buy a gift for my brother's grandson, three years old. I thought of a children book. So I went to a bookshop. Strange thing – bookshops have begun to threaten me. I enter them curious as ever. And almost at once, having crossed a threshold I feel lost. Too many books. Too many. I don't know what I'm looking for. I don't know what I am to trail, to hunt, to stalk. I don't know where to go. I don't know where to hide myself and what from. Yes, it's really strange, I feel like a bookshop is not my world any more . . . . . . . While a second hand book shop still is. Maybe because it reminds me my own home library where majority of books are not new….. So I went out, and decided to make a book for him by myself. Somewhere I had my poems stored. I would find them. I would collect them. And the book would be ready.
I found them. I collected them. They were not many. And they didn't fit. So, I had no book. I decided to write new poems. About what? About hens. Why about hens? Why not about silverfish? Many a poem has been written about hens, no doubt about that, while no poems has been written about silverfish, no doubt either. Or I'm wrong? I know silverfish. I can see them in my bathroom. And in my kitchen. I have never seen them in my library, and I know they like to eat book covers sometimes. A book about tardigrades, known also as water bears, would be even more exciting, for they are absolutely extraordinary, as if fantastic, unreal, creatures…… And hens? The most trivial and banal creatures? OK, let them be hens. The poems began to proliferate. When I had 11 or 12 I came to the deadline and I had to made a book. A booklet, so to say. I was drawing hens basing on my memory. They were sketchy, patchy, bit abstract. Malice and nasty hens they were. Although it was quite warm and no snow, they didn't come to our garden, as they usually do… I made three copies and I thought this was the end of my adventure. But it was not. I continued writing. When the number of poems approached thirty I decided: enough. I should keep some time and stamina for silverfish and water bears.
Of course, an interesting problem emerged: is it possible to describe a hen's world? Not from the outside, but from the inside. From the hen's point of view. Like a hen would do this if it could write. To write in a hen's way. In hen language. What would this language be like? Could it be translated into human? Provided that I would become a hen for some time and would remember this experience, how would I see it then in my human memory? Could I remember it in a human way?
Cock-a-doodle-doos are not the answer.
More and more often I think as follows: I am sixty. And what can I do? The only thing I can do is to create books needed by nobody. It is something, indeed, but it is only a little bit more than nothing. So very little bit more, that the statement „I can do nothing” is only a very little less than truth.... Well, the fact is I have been writing all my life and I can's write a proper / decent / good / solid / hearty / reliable / true / right (I can't make up my mind which one of these adjective is the most suitable) book.....
I've recalled a history I read somewhere. When Paul Cezanne's father was dying, the artist wanted to draw (or maybe paint – I don't remember) his portrait. Then the wife advised him to ask a decent, good painter to do this. It was not the right time for tomfoolery (most probably she didn't say that, but she could).
For some time the feeling of indescribableness has been stronger than usual. Words keep swarming in my head while fewer and fewer of them can be found on paper. Liberland has been growing very slowly. Slower than usually. Having described water and wood, I began to describe fire. I will be describing it till spring, till the end of the heating season . . . . . . . But is it indescribableness that really matters? With no doubt I work slower now yet this is not the point – and this is nothing surprising (at least shouldn't be, but I am surprised though not taken aback) although I should work faster and faster since I have less and less time. Maybe the point is that there is too much of everything, and will be even more, definitely.
Oh, probably the point is that I don't know what the point is.
BIGGER AND BIGGER UNCERTAINTY . . . . . every day bigger . . . . . That's the point.
Being the result of deeper and deeper awareness of enormous complexity of everything?
Is it something wrong?
No, of course not.
This book appeared by surprise. Absolutely unexpectedly. I hadn't been thinking of it. Nor I had been planning it. Which doesn't mean it dropped down from the sky or moon. Or was blown here by a wild gale. Well, suddenly one book transformed into another. That's all. As if a pupa transformed finally into a butterfly. Or a larva into a pupa? I'm not sure.
Monodrum or A Fractale about Wood Chopping turned into 6/7 Treatises on Wood. Very short treatises, indeed.
There are books, which can change their bodies without changing their souls (if body-soul distinction has any sense – of course, it has, it's easier to write and talk about some things and to imagine these things, though it's not more true then). Monodrum had changed its body once, not changing its soul. And suddenly it changed totally. There is no more DVD now, nor pictures, nor drumming. A book-record became a book-book.
I wonder what will this book-book transform into.
What does a butterfly transform into?
Monodrum was to be a drummed book. A book-concert. It was not to be a book-record, but it became just that.
An idea to write a treatise on wood chopping-hacking-cutting had appeared in Łysopisy, so much earlier than an idea to play a sort of monodrum. It was to be a fractale (according to the following equation: fractal + tale = fractale), and when it was finally ready it was a sort of DVD box, a cover for DVD, and this DVD was to show the dance of hands above the drums. Everything has mixed up.
Now the monodrum is the monodrum (and will be – if I ever play it again) and the fractale is the fractale.
The butterfly has flown out from the glass-box
January - February - March 2015
When nine (nine?!) years ago I displayed my books in this window, I arranged a special exhibition – old typescripts and typewriters, first printed copies, notebooks, different versions of each title.... And I wrote a special text.
Now, this time, I prepared nothing. I just brought the books. Many more books, though only the most recent versions of them. And there was not enough room for them. I didn't write any special text, either. There's nothing to explain, isn't it? Well, also partially because the proposition surprised me and I had time only to print a few copies of lacking titles. That's good.
Yes. There's nothing to explain. It seems so. Is there any better place for books than a window in a book shop? Of course there is – reader's hands.... But let's come back to the window. It could seem the dream came true. It could seem so.... So many times, when I enter a book shop and see so many different books around me I think: and just here, among all those books, there should be mine? what would they look like there? would they fit? they are strange, bizarre, so different.... So, where would they fit? Where is their place? Only here? In Liberland?
It was quite nice day in August, though in the morning clouds were swarming wildly above our heads and that day could easily be not nice at all, when we opened a reading room in the loft. At last – the idea to have somewhere here a place where somebody could freely, not hastily, not disturbing us and not being disturbed by us, spend some time and read my books, and maybe in a moment of delight, rapture and madness buy one of them.... yes, we had been thinking of something like that for really long, but only now we succeeded to transform a part of the attic in such a place. There was the opening ceremony and party (or a kind of ceremony and party – I'm not keen on both ceremonies and parties), but nobody could learn anything about this event neither before nor after it. We invited only friends. In terms of promotion it was sheer absurdity, nevertheless such choice gave us one big advantage: we had to explain nothing. The chosen strategy of minimal promotion, it means just to give a concise information and let it be heard through the grapevine, not necessarily must be a bad one. It's not that hard to notice we have less and less time, so we shouldn't waste it – we should spare it. Of course, expecting that a lost and confused reader can find this site seems extreme naivety. However this madness, like any other madness, can be a method. What method? I don't know. Maybe finding this site can be a kind of initiation, rite de passage, or rite de venir (rite of inbound)... We are thinking of printing leaflets. When we think this issue thoroughly through then maybe we will print them in the beginning of winter. Well, you know, if on a winter's night a traveler...
A few days before the opening a big bough of the old apple tree broke off due to heavy rain. On the leaves still fresh and green I wrote with white paint:
przez piekło burzy
do nieba poezji
a potem na stos
ach cóż to za los
co niszczy i nuży
It means, more or less:
through the hell of storm
to the heaven of poem
and then to bonfire
a fate to be admired
which destroys and bores
Finding this poem, learning it by heart and then reciting – this was the ticket to the reading room. Of course, nobody controlled the tickets, yet some guest felt really happy to get such a ticket.
Then I played a concert with my friend, Mieczysław Litwiński (a fiddler and singer, also great book reader), on the porch, and on the occasion of our 118 birthday (he is just one month older than myself and the opening day was just between his birthday and mine).
We have created a profile on Facebook. For a few days I have been thinking what I should write in it. Today morning I thought I knew, but when I set to writing I found I didn't know. Maybe I will write I don't know what we created the Liberatorium's profile for? We are supposed to set up an author's book gallery – if I have neither interest, nor strength, nor money to go with my books to various fairs, festivals and exhibitions, it means to go with books to people, let's make people come to us, to our books. But this intention is only an intention. Who will come here? Who will want? Who will dare? Who? We have begun to tidy the garden, to tame and civilised this incredible jungle. Will we put benches in dusky green tunnels for stray readers so much astonished these bizarre books can be read?
I was asked to make the bibliography of my works. I did it. This bibliography was to contain also works which were not known widely. It contains them. I understand those who asked me meant books which could not be found on Liberatorium website due to various reasons. For example works which are unique and will never have any edition (because they must be unique), or works which are typescripts and will remain typescripts (because they must remain typescripts – they are not worth publishing). I thumbed them through. I was a bit surprised they existed for they should have been destroyed. Many years ago I made a kind of stocktake. I had read all these pre-books (or proto-books) and found in them nothing that would justified their existence. They did their job and they could sink into oblivion. It's much easier in the case of music – if it is not recorded, nothing is left. Nothing is left after hours of painstaking practising. But manuscripts and typescripts are left. So do cripple sketches and drawings. Requests, begging, orders or last wills of the authors not to publish (exhibit) them posthumously have no power at all and usually are not respected. It's good then to tidy up everything earlier. And I did so. However it turned out I hadn't tidy up everything. A few copies of typescripts I found in my parent's library when I was closing their old apartment down. For quite long I was pondering how I might use them. Especially those describing my early and crazy journeys. To overlap old descriptions with new commentaries? Finally I found such ideas not really good. They seemed underpinned with stinking sentimentalism. Nothing wrong will happen if they disappear. Sometimes amazing, sometimes hysterical, usually unbearable descriptions will disappear, that's all. The images I keep in my memory will not disappear. I have checked this. They are there. Clear and sharp. Enough clear and sharp to describe those journeys once more. Better. One day when I can travel only through my memory. And if I can't travel through my memory either, nothing wrong will happen. Supposedly entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity. So far I have multiplied enough entities... And in a beautiful June morning I transformed the pile of yellowish paper leaves into a pile of black ashes. It's better fate that to be tortured by someone who would like to solve with their help the mystery of my bizarre books.
I have left two typescripts. The most early ones. I was thinking to leave maybe only one, but I considered them somehow related. They are important, because they are bizarre. The very first text and at once bizarre. The very first text and imagined as a whole, not as a textwork but as a bookwork: the leaves are seamed not on the long side but on the upper short side, the text ragged right and left... This text was to flow like a river, it was to be a river with banks covered by bushes of drawings.... Drawings were not made. But right after (of before) this river-flowing text, another one was written – a text with a train going across it, because it was to be a train travel.... Fortunately both texts are short. The river turned out to be a brook, while the train arrived its destination quickly
A Chromatic Concerto – what a strange book it is: finished, completed, and as if not finished, not completed. All my books are finished and completed. With no “as if”. Closed. Even if they have errors and mistakes, and have a lot of them, I can correct some of them here or there, provided that I find it and it is correctable. Even if some of my books got after a period of time a new “body”, their “soul” is the same (Hasa rapasa has been transformed from square triangle into pentagonal trapezium, while the third part of Non-description of the World has three versions: accordion, sand-glass (dos-à-dos) and calendar – only the latter one is being produced, the previous ones, especially the first one, are too complex and time consuming to be made now). I completed, printed and bound the Concerto and at once I thought that it should have been different. It is not what it should be like. I began to ponder what it should be like and I keep pondering. For example the problem of vanishing text. Of text being depleted. How should it be solved? Less and less sounds = less and less letters? How can I push the story into silence keeping on talking (loudly) at the same time? Now everything what happens in relation to this book will not be as it should be like. The first public presentation of the Concerto was not as it should be like – I don't know when, how and why everything went in a wrong direction, in a direction it shouldn't have gone. Not as I imagined it. Maybe I shouldn't have imagined anything.... Like I shouldn't have expected everybody would boast or criticise the Concerto loudly. There should be no silence, while it is silence.... But it should be silence. A Chromatic Concerto like any other concert ends with silence. Can't end any other way. Provided that something like silence does exist...
Not so long time ago, a month maybe, I found I could print covers for my books. Up till that very moment I was sure it was impossible – I was so sure I didn't even try to imagine how this could be possible. Finally, and as usually accidentally, I discovered this possibility. It's very easy, really. It's so easy I wonder why it took me almost four years to find this option, why I didn't notice it at once. Of course, the covers are made of colour extra thick paper, so I can print only my name, a title and the logo. Which is enough. Absolutely enough. Ascetic aesthetic – that's the point. Minimalism warmly welcome. I like more printed titles than the stickers I have been using so far. However printed covers need more simple logo. The present one is composed of too many elements, there are too many thin lines in it. The logo must be simple and black. No doubt. So, I have come back to the letter B. A supine B. A supine B is something much more than just a letter that has tumbled down. It pretends an open book. But you can see in it many other things. For example: the outline of the non-described hill.... A few years ago I used to stamp the supine B on the wooden slip-cases for my books. So, it's not a brand new logo. I have done no revolution. Instead I have found a new B. Very interesting one. Having much better look. You can see in it even more things. That's good. Now I must make a small “reBranding”. Very nice one indeed.
I took part in a small, very local book event. A literature book event. A kind of fair. Only poetry and prose. Only a few local publishers and writers. Due to unexpected coincidence I was alone in a room – the rest of participants were in the adjacent one. Maybe it was so because my books were bigger and more numerous, and needed more space. Such topography helped me to realize how different my books were, in spite of all my efforts to consider them not-different. Yes, they come from a different world, no doubt about that. From Liberland. Now I can give lectures on history and essence of Liberlish literature.
I have decided to write a novel..... Or: a novel has decided I would write it.... It means: a novel has entered my head and has been staying in it so far, doesn't want to leave it, so writing seems to be the only way to get rid of this insolent novel.... OK. Let it be so. It has chosen me. Thus the problem is not mine. I'm afraid the novel will regret this decision. It is, or it is to be, a normal, ordinary novel, while I can't write normal, ordinary novels, I will never learn to write such novels, so I won't even try to learn, for this would be but a sheer waste of time and energy. I will write this novel, and then it will turned out this is not a normal, ordinary novel, this is not a novel at all, as usually this is nobody-knows-what. And then this novel will go away to look for somebody else who will write it as it should be written.
Most probably the novel would be titled “A Chromatic Concerto for Piano”. Or “A Chromatic Concerto” only. It will tell a story of a man, who decided to play all possible scales. He starts practising with the chromatic scale, and then he eliminates, deducts the succeeding notes, one after another. But this won't be one more novel being a recipe how to organise one's life, how to spend one's life and not make it boring, to pretend it has any sense. This will be one more tale about a man, who is not worried at all that his (and anybody's) life has no sense, as well as looking for its sense has no sense at all. He just likes practising. He loves practising. This will be a story about the beauty and magnificence of practising, about the left hand chasing ceaselessly the right hand (and vice versa), about the right hand running away from the left hand (and vice versa). Or maybe about the ecstasy of practising? Or about something totally else.... Of course, we should not expect that when he masters all scales, he will die, or reach the state of enlightenment, or the world will end. Nobody knows what should be expected and what should not..... So, what's the point? To create a masterpiece as gorgeous and ravishing as useless, needless and unnecessary? This is what his concert (or practising) would be like – this is what my book will be like. What an astonishing, almost ecstatic consonance.... Anyway, the very first sentence goes like that:
Before me there are seven octaves, eighty five keys, thirty five black ones and fifty white ones.
A dozen years ago I visited an artist, who used to turn into books everything he created. Sketches, drawings, notes, poems, prints, written and painted commentaries – he combined them into cycles, into series, stitched and glue together assembled in portfolios, sometimes made from them installations and objects. He applied various formats and techniques of painting, graphics, even ceramics, however the overwhelming majority of texts was written with an ordinary pencil, quickly and easily but surprisingly legibly, what made me a bit jealous. He used various materials, though looking around his studio I didn't feel like encountering chaos, like entering a dump. There was a method in this madness and probably this method caused that his works, seemingly so different, fit each to the other like pieces of one jigsaw puzzle. Almost all his books (or almost-books) were one-off, unique, and there was more than one thousand of them. Their number horrified even the author, because he suddenly made a vague gesture indicating the fully packed shelves and asked a question, more himself than me, a question which he probably repeated at least once a day: what shall be done with all these books? After a while of thoughtful silence he asked next question which was rather a supposition, or maybe a kind of uncertain statement: sometimes I've got a feeling this is just one huge book, and I'm but adding next pages to it, more and more pages, I can't complete it, I don't know how all these pages should be assembled, I don't know what this huge book should look like... In those days it might seem to me his remark in no way referred to myself, but now, a dozen of years after we met I begin to feel the same concern. If a book is a library where books are letters, words, signs printed in this book, and if a library is a book where letters, words, signs are books collected in this library (and I don't see any reason why it couldn't be so), then what book is the library of my books? And if the library of my books could be but one sentence only, a tiny, haiku-like poem (well, I will never catch him up, even if I was living thousand years or longer), it's interesting what this sentence would be like? Is it possible to read anything now? Provided that it is not just a random, chaotic set of words, not large enough to compose itself into a poem. And if it composes itself into a dull dictionary of cripple phrases? The possibility of such a solution can not be excluded. It may turned out that I have done so far only punctuation marks, some brackets, periods, commas, semicolons.... Yes, it may turn out so....
An artist visited me. A book artist, mainly, but certainly not only. For some time acquainted. He is a lecturer at the Academy and is going to be a professor in the future. Well, to become a professor he must write a number of papers, and one of them is going to be about my books – this is the reason why he came here.
He asked a very interesting question that nobody has asked me before: your books are very “rich” inside, but very “poor” outside – why is it so? (Of course this remark does not refer to those books of mine whose covers are simply the result of the entire structure and construction of the book – it does refer to the books which have regular codex form, and could have “richer” covers, not so simple and primitive. The accuracy of this remark is astonishing especially in the context of what we can see now in bookshops: the overwhelming, absolute majority of them are “rich” outside and “poor” inside, or is “far richer” outside than inside.)
He surprised me. I was thinking for quite a while, then I said:
As usually there are a few reasons. Since the very beginning the covers have been a problem for me. It seems that mainly of technical nature. A cover must be quite stiff. Thick. Much thicker than pages. For long time I used to bind my codex books hard. Home computer printers can't print on hard linen covers, not they can print on canvas alone. At first I had tried to glue on them a kind of cut-out symbol-title, but soon I stopped. Only the colours remained. The material is not important, can be any: extra thick paper, cardboard, canvas, linen. The colour does matter: this book must be green, that book must be brown, or black, or blue, or red. The colour is important, because it is symbolically, semantically, aesthetically related to the pages.... Well, it's strange, but I have never thought of dust jackets – I could print them easily, yes, no doubt, but I couldn't coat them with laquer... However, the non-technical reason is more interesting. I have never known what should be put on the cover, as well as whether putting anything on the cover would have any sense. Empty mind – empty cover.... To some extent such robust covers are an afterimage of those old books which had but a title and author's name printed on the cover, if they were soft bound, sometimes with a decorative frame, and if they were hard bound, then the letters were debossed.... Well, it looks like that's all. Can I add something? Oh, I will tell you a story how I wanted one of my books, an hour-glass bicodex, to have the cover inside, and how I didn't succeed...
At the opening ceremony of the book art exhibition in Płock I met a friend of mine, a graphic artist and designer, who from time to time makes also books. I do appreciate what he makes due to a special purity and delicacy of his works. The book he presented at the show was of that kind. As usually his book had no words at all, except for the title. Also he was interested in my latest books – we meet rarely, once a few years. I told him I had come back to drawing lately and made quite a lot of sketches, mainly landscapes, although not as many as I would like to; in my next book there would be as much drawing as writing, and maybe finally I would make a book which would have only drawings and sketches, however with haiku-like titles. He reminded me, a bit mockingly, that years ago, visiting his exhibition in the capitol city I stated, a bit dismissively, that a book with no text was not a book.... Well, I can't deny.... But I mean a drawing which is like writing. Drawing which is writing. Which is text. To make it so there are no differences between drawing a view from my window and describing it.
Anyway, the next book is going to be a map. A written-drawn map, like it is in the case of maps. Sometimes page-maps appeared in my books. Yet I have always been dreaming of a book-map. Probably it will be titled Flattering the Flatness.
December 2011 – January 2012
Each of my books has its beginning in one of my former books. A word, phrase, thought, page layout, graphical element, or any other part of a former book can be a germ of a new book. Then the germ, like it is in the case of a germ, grows, fast or slowly, sometimes it is in dormant stage for quite long, gathering forces, accumulating energy, getting mature. And then it explodes, sprouts, blossom and a new book appears – like those freaky plants which can wait so long under the ground surface until great fire cleans the place, then they start growing like mad to do everything they need before other plants appear, carried by winds and in birds' bellies, to colonize the fertile wilderness..... Having been so satisfied and delighted with such attractive comparison I must shake off and ask a standard question: where has the very first book come from? Unlike it is expected the answer is very easy: from the abundance and diversity of my primordial writings, which have never turned into books and have been preserved, or not, in old copy-books and manuscripts, however it might happen that the germ of the first book had never been written down but had been only spoken and it is gone like galore of spoken, or only thought, words and phrases which preceded those written ones – a hypothesis that a scribble made by the not yet skilled hand had been more important than any word can not be excluded as well.
If this is really so, then my new book is not mine, because it has no beginning in any of my books I made so far. Finally the exception has proved the rule. This book appeared unexpectedly. Absolutely suddenly. From outside. It was not planned. It was not supposed. It had no germ, no seed patiently maturing inside me, accumulating energy, waiting for its time that would come inevitably. I haven't been thinking of this book at all. One day I saw on the screen on my monitor some sumi-e paintings made by Venantius. They showed dancing people.... It's interesting, but I couldn't explain why I saw just these very paintings, why out of numerous drawings, paintings and sketches made by Venantius just these ones appeared on the screen. It would be rather stupid to suspect the event was the result of sophisticated and extremely complex intrigue. Nor it was a result of our encounter which had taken place a few years ago, lasted a few hours, and during it we had not been discussing dance, ballet nor butoh, definitely not. Solving this riddle could be a nice topic for a spy story which would probably be printed and sold in edition of many thousands, not just in a few hand made copies..... Nevertheless I won't try to solve this mystery, because some other, much more fascinating issues are waiting for me.
So, I saw the pictures, and a while later there was a book ready in my mind. CorrespondAnce. About the correspondence of mind and body. Image and text. How the mind keeps dancing with the body. How the text keeps dancing with images. It was supposed to look like that: in the beginning texts were to be distinguished very clearly as texts and images as images (drawings as drawings, paintings as paintings). On each following page this distinction was to be less clear, less obvious, less sharp – the text was to look more and more like drawing, while the drawings were to become more and more the text, until they, texts and drawings, would merge into oneness. It was to be like that, but it is not. Well, it is like that only partially. Which means I did not succeed, as usually. The fact I didn't succeed indicates undeniably this book is mine, as well as this book is a germ of other books to come – I wonder what books....
Venantius Pinto in an Indian artist based in New York. I would like to express my deep gratitude for his talent, for his open mind and open heart.
Thank you, Venantius, thank you one hundred times (as people use to say in Poland).
Something what could and should have happened long time ago has happened finally. Finally I have got a reason to be proud and really glad. At last somebody wanted and tried to steal my books. With no doubt I would be even more proud if the theft was a success, for both Road Nonsigns and Treatise on Pageography, the books which were to be stolen, can be made quite easily and the production is not very time consuming, so the sorrow caused by the loss would not be deep enough to overcome the feeling of satisfaction. It happened at the exhibition of my books during the three-day long “confrontation of arts” in a culture centre. The lost books were found in the adjacent room, a kind of chill-out space. They were brought there by two young participants who maintained they had “wanted to read them a little in a less noisy place”; however they didn't say they were to bring them back – what were their intentions? what were they going to do with the books after reading? We don't know. It's hard to suppose they were going to destroy them, tear into scrapes and burn down. More probably they would bring them into even “more quit place” to end reading. Nevertheless these are but suppositions. By no means not unpleasant.
They say that history likes to repeat. Maybe it does like, but it does not repeat. The second copy of NOrWAY TO KVIKAKO arrived where it should have arrived. It will remain a mystery why two weeks later than the first one, since they had been sent together, at exactly the same time. Maybe one day somebody will write a book about it.... Maybe myself?
I haven't been writing for a year. A several very important and serious conclusions can be drawn from this very simple, even trifle fact. For example: this blog (if this is a blog – well, this is called a blog, but names not necessarily tell the truth – probably I won't exaggerate writing that names very seldom, if ever, tell the truth) belongs to the most boring and awful blogs. The truth is, the life of books is very boring, so how could the blog describing the life of books be exciting? The overwhelming majority of books spend the greatest part of their lives standing motionlessly on shelves. Even the process of creating a book (although itself very fascinating – how a cloud of vague thoughts hovering inside the writer's-artist's head gradually or rapidly materialise) is boring, too; if somebody would like to make a film honestly and straightforwardly telling the history how a book has been created, nineteen twentieth of this film should show but a writing writer; of course, he could do some others, more or less dramatic actions, like phone calls or drinking a cup of tea, or getting furious or delighted, but first of all he would be tapping the keyboard or scribble something in a copy book, depending on his likes, habits, needs or necessities. Unfortunately, books don't write themselves, and the quantity of letters and words composed of them and needed to make not so bulky book is really enormous. And adding some editing-composing-designing actions... forget it...
However sometimes a fluctuation really inexplicable can happen. But because such fluctuations happen very seldom (much more seldom than entries in this blog), they should be mentioned also very seldom – of course it is the other way round since people are deeply convinced that just such rare events are extremely important and make history, so only they should be described. Moreover, these rare events are used to build of them extraordinary constructions, and houses built from playing cards seem strong and solid like Egyptian pyramids when compared to them; strange, but very logic and easily explicable, those constructions are more durable than the pyramids – well, they are not flogged with sandy whips of desert winds...
And here is such an event.
After toilsome and boring, as usually, and absolutely fascinating, as usually, process of creation, I finally made a few first copies of a new book NOrWAY TO KVIKAKO. Because I had promised to send it to where the idea of this book had been born (but not to the place described in this book, because this place is a bit somewhere else) or to Mundal in Fjaerland in Norway, I did so. I decided to send two copies. Each copy was carefully packed in exactly the same way, on each envelope I put exactly the same address, I paid the same money and I glued the same stamps. I don't know if the seals were put in the same places - I didn't notice, and I should have done it, since it could be the reason of what happened next. And thus two twin letters went-flew northward. (Why did I send the books separately? I am not so sure about it. The financial reasons were not so important, although I was informed that sending them together, as a parcel, I would pay more, which was not right, I checked it later – could this be evidence of deliberate misleading? rather not, because since the very beginning I wanted to send the books separately.) I was expecting the books would arrive to Mundal together, it means in the same time, though maybe not in the same minute, as they were sent in the same moment. A few days later I got a message informing me that only one book arrived – at once I remembered a history from before five or six years. I also sent two books packed and addressed identically, but to another country. Southward-westward. Two street-books. And only one arrived. Because the street books were already bought and paid, I sent the third copy replacing the lost one – and it arrived with no problems at all. To my utmost surprise, a few weeks later the lost copy was delivered back home by a postman. Neither he, nor anybody at the post office could explain what had happened – it looked like somebody working at the post office saw the twin letters and decided it was too much, just a redundancy, that a sender made a mistake and this mistake had to be fixed... Will the history repeat? We shall see. Now I have to send the third book to Mundal. Maybe this is the necessary condition to make the second one come back home. And what it is doing now? Is it flying somewhere? Going? Lying in a repository waiting for rescue? Somebody is reading it?... Or maybe I should issue also a “warrant”? A book of mine has ran away. To nowhere. Anybody who seen it please send me a message.
April / May 2010
With a small delay, and also with a small satisfaction, I'd like to announce, that Hasa Rapasa won neither any prize nor even a honorary mention at the 50th competition for the most beautiful book of he year organised by PTWK. Discussing their choices at the meeting with the participants the jury said they didn't understand at all what was the point of this book and why it looked so bizarre. We proposed they should simply read the book to understand it, but the jury replied sharply they did not read the books submitted to the competition. Further conversation, as well as any attempts to explain the rules of magic-and-bizarre geometry (the book has a shape of pentagonal trapezium) had no sense at all.
An interesting fact: discussing the book which presented the collection of unique colour diapositives taken in Jewish ghetto during World War II, the jury explained that this book was only mentioned, not prized, because the pictures had been taken by a German and Jews in these pictures were smiling.
I noticed that my books had been transforming surprisingly. With no doubt some of these transformations are caused by technical conditions – I use better machines which are more skilful. Myself, I am more skilful, too – at least I hope so.
Here is the book which has right now a form of a wall calendar. Before it had a form of a sand-glass bicodex, and in the beginning it had had a form of monstrous leporello (a paper accordion made of 365 leaves is really monstrously unhandy) – but the essence of this book remains intact: its structure... day part and night part... number of pages and the layout of every page... all stories it contains..... And here is another book: in the beginning it had been a set of loose rectangular paper sheets, then it was a square triangle, now it is a pentagonal trapezium – but the essence of this book remains intact: its structure... this mysterious, magic geometry... all stories it contains, although pages have been redesigned, but each one is still a puzzle composed of the same pieces..... Are they still the same books or maybe they are now new books which should have new titles? Or maybe they like to change clothes? Or maybe they keep metamorphosing: they had been like larvae, then they were like pupae, now they are like imagos? ...... All the time the problem of identity tormenting every being with the lack of solution: everyday I am somebody else yet I am still myself ....... Whereas some of my books do not transform, nothing has been changed in them since the very beginning. Maybe they were born old, old and mature? Maybe paper butterflies emerged from my head, flew out of my hands at once and ready?
Oxford. Brookes University. UK Fine Press Book Fair. For the fourth time. But after a few years break. Nevertheless once again I had the stand number 55. I was not forgotten. It was nice. Very nice. Many people I knew – now much older and more grey. Many people who knew my books and didn't forget them. As usually many conversations, a lot of talking. It's a pity (little bit) there was not as much purchasing as talking.... well, you can't have everything. And as usually a lot of doubts: is it really the right place for my books? in fact they are not pressed fine, they are not letterpressed, they are printed just nice..... It seems they would feel much better, or even the best, at the Semantic Press Book Fair. However so far nobody has organised such fair.
I haven't been writing for quite long. This can mean there was nothing I could write about, nothing interesting and worth my attention happen in the secret life of my books. Or there were so many events I had no time to write. Or both. Or neither this nor that.
On April 1, 2009, Krystyna registered LIBERATORIUM as a normal publishing house. An excellent date. The best coincidence I could imagine. You need to be really a fool to set up a publishing house right now and right here. But maybe madness is the only method to succeed. From our point of view there's nothing mad in it. Well, just some chaos will be transformed into order and some order into chaos. The books will get ISBN numbers. New gorgeous machines bought for the EU grant will give us a chance to print faster, better and cheaper – the prizes of the books will decrease to a reasonable level, although it is a sheer madness to expect that people will start to buy things they don't need at all. The whole studio and the library will be moved upstairs, to the attic, and the living room downstairs will at last become a living room... Besides, nothing will change. The books will remain crazy labyrinths, they will be like they are in my visions and dreams, not like the people want them to be – unless the people want my books to be just like the are in my visions and dreams ..... Well, I can't help it. The world is like it is, not like the people imagine and expect it to be, or would like it to be. And this is how it is with my books. Must be like that since my books are but next parts of NONDESCRIPTION OF THE WORLD, and nondescription is not a description, it is being like something that is to be described....
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I have found my very first book. Probably I shouldn't use the word “book”, but I don't know how I can call it, how I can label it. “Text” is not the right word, either. It is something more than a text. IT. Well, IT is a tale about time flowing, maybe about travelling too, so a bit more than twenty pages of typescript have been seamed on the top, like a calendar hanging on a wall usually is bound. The construction referring to a wall calendar probably was to be a metaphor of time passing by – with no doubt there was another reason: the text flows more smoothly when the pages can be turned topward, when my eyesight doesn't have to jump from the bottom of the just read page to the top of the page which will just be read, when the line is not cut brutally by turning page leftward. Just a sheer intuition prompting: if life is flowing, if time is flowing, then a tale should be flowing too ....... That is why the left margin is not straight - I wanted my text to look like water in a stream – both banks were to be covered by dense bushes of drawings, but my brother couldn't draw anything, so they are naked and barren. He said he couldn't draw anything because he could draw only when he was guided and led by his hand – any commission, and even my request was a kind of commission, used to destroy this very subtle relation - I understood him very well so I didn't insist ........ This was happening in late autumn of 1976.
Later IT was presented to my aunt who WAS WRITING. She had already published a small collection of short stories. The aunt read IT and said she didn't know how to judge IT, because she didn't know what IT was. If she knew what IT was she would know what could be said about IT. For example, if IT was an essay she would criticise IT as an essay using the suitable criteria. Alas, I couldn't help my aunt, because I didn't know what IT was either. Now, after so many years, I also don't know what IT is, and writing frankly I'm not so much interested in finding it out. Everybody can see what IT is. IT is what IT is, that's all ...... Well, probably I won't be brave enough to read IT now. But maybe IT is just what I will use in the future to make a book: an old text written by myself many years ago placed in the centre of the page – the page size A4 or maybe bigger to have large margins around the body text giving enough room for various commentaries – so these commentaries will be a bit like the bushes full of fantastic creatures my brother once didn't draw - - - just me-old reading SOMETHING written by me-young - - written as if by somebody else, by a stranger, by an author not well known to me - - - anyway, me-old and me-young, we are not the same person, are we? - - - - - - -
Krosno. The Public Library. I am presenting, displaying, exhibiting, demonstrating, explaining, telling, performing, showing. My books and hypertexts. For almost two hours. I can see two dozens of listeners (mainly various library workers, I suppose) are neither tired nor bored - I don't suspect they can pretend in such a perfect way. Your books, they are fascinating, aren't they? but how can we catalogue them? - says the head of the library. Yes, that's a problem, however such books make a librarian's life fascinating, don't they? - say I.
Then I remembered that in one of my early books I printed in the beginning a note where I forbade to stage any of my books: oh, people would like to stage even the traffic regulations - I wrote (was I frustrated or indignant or both?) ..... Well, what shall I do now? I shall wait patiently. I shall observe how semiology transforms into a drama.
Płock. The Art Gallery. I display Road Non-signs. I can display nothing else because all my books are imprisoned in the white room with semitransparent walls. We printed Polish non-signs with the plotter and they are the size of normal road signs. They hang in a row. They fake a road (I wanted them to fake a town, but there was not enough space on the mezzanine). Or maybe they do not fake. At the end of this fake-not-fake road near the wall there is a chair and a table and the book is on it. A road to the book – or something like that. Or a road from the book. No – to the book, with no doubt to the book, because the stairs to the mezzanine are at the other end of the row ....... An enthusiastic man approaches me and says he's an actor and the non-signs can be and should be performed on the stage, absolutely, what a fantastic monodrama this will be, he can see the props, stage design, whole performance, he can hear these texts swarming and whirling in a frustrated driver's head ...... I didn't say: no. I did say: we shall see. Working on this book I didn't think of a frustrated driver. Well, I didn't want a frustrated driver to be the main topic – a frustrated driver could be hardly visible somewhere in the background. This work was to belong to those never ending dissertations on a picture superiority over a word or vice versa.
A DOOKOŁA KAŻDEJ KSIĄŻKI CICHO SZEMRZĄCA LŚNIĄCA PUSTKA
Kielce. The Public Library. A brand new building. A very big and very empty space which is supposed to be a store in the future but now is a kind of temporary art gallery. I make a smaller room in the centre – to give visitors a chance to sit down comfortably in the armchair or at the desk, take a book from the shelf and read. I use semitransparent white material for the walls. I cut squares 90x90 cm and on each square I write one letter with white crayon. They make a sentence which can be read while walking around the room:
and there is whispering shining emptiness around every book
Forty six letters, seven spaces and two squares lacking for the entrance. There can't be more. That's good. Nothing more is needed. Is there anything more I have to write about? ....... I was to write one sentence more. A very long one. On the floor. Close to the walls. It would run all around the hall. It would tell something about an empty wall, a blank wall. Or about the most important moment in this long and tortuous process of book making, when what fills my mind must get out of it and appear somehow on a sheet of paper or on sheet of something else ....... But I didn't write it. Because of various reasons. Maybe that's better. Since this very moment is not the most important one. It is as important as any other moment. Well, maybe it is more intangible and elusive than the others. Like falling asleep is.
After the opening a library worker who helped me a little to assemble my room approached me and said: I really do admire you – wow, making such things in such times... (He meant my books, not the exhibition itself.) He could add: and in such a country – but he did not. While myself I could answer: It's not that bad – both the country and the times could have been much worse. But I said nothing. We went out. We left the emptiness in the gallery. Let it whisper and shine silently.
Gdynia. „The Second Book Revolution”. The conference. Why „revolution”? Why „the second”? I don't know. Well, this is not a good reason to be upset and worried. Titles and names can be strange. My lecture (if it was a lecture) had a strange title, too. Very strange. MAKING TEXT A SIGN. MAKING SIGN A TEXT. What a bizarre thing it was. I wanted to tell something about relations between text and sign. I wanted also to present my recent book – Road Nonsigns. Of course, what I was telling was not exactly what I had prepared and expected to tell. This is usual that what I tell is not exactly what I want to tell. Frankly writing I shouldn't have opened my mouth. I should have shown page by page on the big screen behind me. Maybe it would have been better if I had clicked through Emeryk – maybe a hypertext would have been perceived as more revolutionary than a signtext. But I didn't do that. I was to read a lot in the train but I only snoozed a lot. A gale could pushed me into the see but it didn't. So, it was not that bad in Gdynia. And I found some new ideas for Liberland. However the most important was an illumination. Yes. I experienced an illumination. I had brought there ten wooden slats almost two meters long to hang on them ten nonsings (A2 size) and thus transform a part of the lecturing hall into a road-like path. Afterwards I didn't know what I had to do with them. I was walking along the street like a primitive hunter carrying a spear or javelin. The wind was roaring, rain was slashing. Rage and despair. And suddenly an illumination: neither a spear nor a javelin I'm carrying in my hand but side faces of the boxes for my books! For five years I have been cutting them out off large pieces of plywood – always askew and twisted – what a toil! rage and despair! - and I can just buy slants! - slants can have different sizes and they are always smooth and even - - - - - I needed five years and five hundred kilometres to get this idea! A revolutionary idea! This is going to be a real revolution! Next revolution of my books!
For two months several dozen books made myself will be displayed in glass cases in the main hall of the National Library in Warsaw: shut, open, folded, unfolded... Is there any better place for books? Yes. Certainly yes. The reader's hands.
It happened what had to happen, because nothing else could happen and I would be extremely naive expecting anything else to happen. When in spring 2005 End of the World according to Emeryk had been released on CD I was wandering which bookshop's shelf one could find it on. There was no hypertext novel shelf in any bookshop here for nobody had written and published hypertext in Poland until then. And now my curiosity has been satisfied. An audiobook shelf has appeared lately. And there, to my utmost surprise, although I shouldn't be surprised at all, I found Emeryk. Of course not in every bookshop, only in very few – in majority of bookshops it is not available. In the biggest online bookshop one can find Emeryk among audiobooks, too. So, hypertext lovers and hunters had almost no chances to find it. However, we don't need to bother about it. There are almost no hypertext lovers and hunters here. That's why enitre Emeryk can be found in Liberatory since now on.
July 20, 2007
My friends were reading aloud my books in the BWA Art Gallery in Kielce. At night. Frankly writing I shouldn't have accepted the proposition, because all my books are banned from being read aloud. The reasons of aloud reading ban are obvious and clear and don't need any explanations. However I said yes for I thought it would be a chance to show my books were after all for reading although with no doubt other than aloud. Many people are convinced my books can only be looked at, because they are unreadable at all.
I have changed LIBRO2N. I transformed leporelloes into codices. Now the book is more handy. A friend of mine who got recently the leporello version informed me that he had succeded to open and unfold the book, However he mentioned nothing whether he had succeded to fold and shut the book. I'm sure he will succede. He is a great book lover, so he will read it carefully and carefully will fold and shut it.
May 7, 2007
The City Library in Krosno. Me on one side of the barricade – two or three dozens of teen pupils on the other. The barricade of books, liberature and hypertext. I'm telling them stories about something they don't know and I don't blame them for it – where and how could they learn about it? I'm telling them about things they don't want to learn about because these are absolutely useless things and this is more difficult and annoying. I can only hope that many years later one of them, to his or her utmost surprise and horror, will wish to find the answer for this tricky question: can sharp and angular things be described with round letters?
April 25, 2007
Edinburgh World Heritage. 5 Charlotte Square. Two hours long presentation of Liberatory. Very good response, even enthusiastic. So enthusiastic that nobody will think of making something more. For example to make a new edition of Sienkiewicza Street (the day before The Demarco European Art Foundation purchased the last copy). Or to proliferate any other of my books absolutely not miraculously. Myself I still have not enough courage to ask. Anyway, the situation is much better than, for example, the lack of enthusiasm or perfunctory commendations for politeness sake or indifference and disgust.
Books are supposed to live their own lives. If so, they should take care of their business themselves. But it may happen they simply don't like to push themselves forward too much. What then?
Bristol Artist's Book Event. In fact I shouldn't have been there – my books are not artist's book. My books are writer's books. However, so far I haven't heard about any writer's books event, what seems quite strange since there are quite many writers' books. Nevertheless my presence here is not unjustified – in fact I am also a bit of an artist; sometimes I make a drawing. I could really easily take part in any musician's book event. Unfortunately such events occur even more seldom than writer's book events... It's nice to meet good old friends whom I haven't seen for a couple of years. Very nice. I wonder if books have such friends, too. It's nice to see some new places. I have never been in Bristol before. I wonder if the books are pleased, too. I wonder if they can see the same as I can. I wonder if my eyes are their eyes - not necessarily it must as it could seem.
I took my books from Białko Art Gallery and Ha!Art book store back home. They spent there enough time, I think really enough. They already experienced what they were to experience. They were already seen by those ones who were to see them. And who was to buy one or two of them has already done so. Quite likely. At least I think so. There is always some hesitation and uncertainty: maybe just the very next day somebody came and wanted to purchase all books? Well, if so he or she would be determined enough to contact me while nothing like that happened. So now the books will travel a bit. And relax at home.
October 27, 2006
I am in a gallery of contemporary art in the town where I was born. This is to be the beginning of a collection presenting the achievements of various artists living in this region. Among many pictures hanging on the walls I can see two my books. They are imprisoned in tight show cases. They could easily hang on the walls of a musuem of Nature among various butterflies and other bizarre flying creatures. Maybe it would be better... The showcases have been made specially for my books and they are neat and nice - the books look pretty. However this seems the most awful fate books can experience.
October 14, 2006
I'm telling about my Treatise on Pageography at the IALS IV Conference [Institute of English Philology, The Jagiellonian University of Cracow]. Just telling – not lecturing. And even this “just telling” is transforming gradually into “just showing my books”. As usually. It could seem my presence among philologists, theoreticians, researches and academics has no sense – we are on two sides of a barricade. It could seem so, but it should not – this barricade is made of books that I (non)write and they (non)read.
Nondescription of the world continued...
After a few years break again in the Book Art Museum in Łódź. An exhibition-reading-room. Tidy, precise, clear, without anything unnecessary. And I succeeded to complete my new book: LIBRO2N. I almost completed it - the CD with pictures was not ready, but I don't suspect any visitor to be so inquisitive. Well, to mislead a visitor's attention I hung on the walls the prints showing how the Norblin gamadelt was created.
September 14, 2006
I show my books at the Library in Płock. I talk for almost two hours. Like mad. Can't shut my mouth up. I keep promising not to talk and tell since I'm fed up with this constant explaining why I make so bizarre books and why they are so very few and then I talk like a wind-up toy. A few listeners buy End of the world according to Emeryk. They are going to wander through the wilderness of hypertext. It may happen the intentions will suffice. They look like people who wouldn't replace easily the noise of turned pages with the clicking sounds. However the look may be quite confusing. They may be daredevils and madmen in disguise of ordinary citizens.
Andrzej Metzger second hand book shop in Kielce. The shop window. Notes. Sketches. Copy-books. Manuscripts. Typescripts. Old type-writers. My first dot-matrix printer. My first inkjet printer... An attempt to show the process of book making. Well, to show just a scrap of this process - I couldn't unmount my head and put it there... Also an attempt to show the relations between technology and the ultimate shape of a work... Yes. Just some attempts. Nothing but attempts. Indicating the problem. Drawing the curtain a little bit back. And I had to place there shelves with my books. And I had to hang there the explaining-complicating texts. And I had to put in the background some drawings. The shop window is not so big. But it is astonishingly deep. Really and metaphorically.
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