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BLEAK HOUSE
[Claremont, CA]: Burning Bridges Press, 2014. 1st edition. 1 of 1. A unique copy. Main text: black cloth boards with red cloth binding straps, no backstrip, signatures sewn with black thread over the straps. "Jarndyce v Jarndyce": grey cloth boards, accordion-style binding using black leaves, sewn with rust-red thread. "Last Will and Testament": clear acryllic box containing torn scraps of paper, affixed inside custom case. All three items in matching custom black and grey cloth clamshell cases with affixed red title block and silver title plate, black script title on white label. Fine.. Unpaginated. Main text consists of 92 signatures of 8 leaves each, for a total of 736 pp.; "Jarndyce v Jarndyce" volume consists of 58 names on 27 accordion-fold leaves + paste-downs. 5-3/4" x 4-1/4"; 4-1/2" x 4-1/4"; 5" x 6-3/4" The sole extant copy of a work of book artistry by California bookmaker Stanley Strauss, which retains the Dickens' text while vividly rendering key aspects of the novel in tactile form. Measuring approximately 5-1/2" in width at the spine, the main text, composed of 92 signatures severely torn at the fore-edge and bound only with binding straps, is as mammoth and unwieldy as the court case that gives the novel its impetus. In the "Jarndyce v Jarndyce" volume, the name of each character in the book has been handwritten on torn pieces of cream-colored paper and sewn into an accordion-bound volume, one name to a fold and in no particular order, "[b]ecause none of the 58 characters in the novel is left untouched by 'Jarndyce v Jarndyce'" (artist's notes). The final case, intended by the artist to convey the futility of the litigation, contains innumerable scraps of printed paper suggestive of the will the litigants spend so much of their lives squabbling over, on which "Jarndyce" is printed in red; the entirety are sealed within a clear acryllic box inside the clamshell case. All in all, a work remarkable both for its uniqueness and for its designer's skilled visual interpretation of one of Dickens' most compelling novels.
      [Bookseller: Tavistock Books, ABAA]
Last Found On: 2015-11-18           Check availability:      Biblio    

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