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Hunkering, the Last Gabberjabb Number Eight and IX/XVIths or Aleatory Annexations
Mt. Horeb, WI: The Perishable Press. 2006. One of 108 copies on various papers (hand, mould, machine-made and even crush or mull) numbered (nine times) and signed by the author / publisher / designer / printer, Walter Hamady as well as "augmenters" eight times. Page size: 10-1/8 x 7 inches; 160pp. Bound: brown cloth over boards with rondel / cameo in dark blue in middle of binding with silhouette of Hamady within triple-ruled frame containing author's name and The Perishable Press Ltd., marbled endpapers, new. An extraordinary book, the sub-title "Aleatory Annexations" more than a clue to its nature (aleatory as pertaining to the chance writing of the surrealists) The front "blank" is a base map (different in each copy) from the U.S. Geological Survey Sheets with a poem by Ruth Evans (Hamady's grandmother) printed on the verso with blind stamp copyright notice centered at bottom of page; title (eight titles listed as follows) on p. [iv] reading "HUNKERING" in red followed by "Largely by Walter Samuel Haatoum Hamady / augmented by Henrik Drescher. Patrick Flynn. David McLimans. Peter Sis and William Stafford. The Last Gabberjabb number eight and IX/XVIths or Aleatory Annexations or Odd Bondings or Fortuitous Encounters with Incompatible Realities or Love, Anguish, Wonder: an Engagement or a Partial Timeline of Sorts or Bait and Switch or Finally, A Pedagogical Rememberance." The drawing on title page number one is a pointillist ink drawing by Peter Sis. Another title page (double page spread) featuring a print in teal blue above a figure/ground drawing printed in brown on the verso with the text printed in brown on tan paper on the recto above the other half of the image printed in teal on celadon paper, image by David McLimans. (Actually, the image is repeated on pp. x-xi in the reverse coloring juxtaposition.) The header reads, "Hunkering The Last Gabberjabb No 8 9/16 / Being the Fade-out Volume of an (Unforeseen) Series." Below a red rule at the bottom of the page is text reading, "Begun in 19-Seventy - 3 by WSHH & (TH) PRSHBLPRSS LMTD As An Expendation of Energy for the Sake of Expending (It) Copyright on 436 by PS.3558A42." There are words picked from the poem, "The Asshole & the Earthworm," in this drawing which was to illustrate the entire poem (but ran out of room) and is noted as partial homage to Charles Darwin owing "to his book concerning earthworms which, it is said, has never been superseded." P. 13 is labeled, "Things in the Front Matter of Books According to the 288" and includes, printed in 8pt. along the fore-edge, below a curved red scribed rule: "usually the reader is not shown any of the arcane/inside aspects of the bookmaker's craft for self-effacemental reasons. This is an exception to point out the subduing of fore-edge swell." There are two curved rules top and bottom of "Major Rivers of the World" center spread, as well as a red scribed line. There is a third title page in shorthand by Anna Hamady calligraphed by Linda Hancock and it faces the eight titles calli/drawn by Henrik Drescher who also did the copyright symbol printed under the shorthand. And this is only the first signature! There were numerous press-runs - at least 284 - to make this book, as well as applications of the following procedures: collage (six times), perforation, rubberstamping (18 times), drilling, notching, ticket punching, numbering (nine times), signing, grommeting, scribing (40 times), ear-tattooing, ponce-wheeling, time-clocking 12 times), dog- earing, embossing, shorthand, corner-rounding. There are elliptical trims and three stubs. There is much about seeing; Paul Valery's memorable quote, "To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees." is cited and is the title of a triple-page fold out, a panorama collage. I particularly like the "Senor Wences" fist face appearing under the text: "1964 (4) FORTY (40) YEARS 2004 / The Perishable Press Limited has / Been using Weapons of Mass/ 'construction." A 1963 (rubberstamp correction here) self- portrait in pencil of the author was scanned and printed on a recto sheet. On the verso is printed an eye from Traite d'Anatomie Humaine, and it is in register with the eye of the self-portrait. The center page double spread, consisting of an incredible number of overprints and type displays, features a double-rimmed circle with the word "proof" in the center. In the second "o" of proof is another eye. The reader / viewer will understand something new each time this book is opened. It is astonishing. There is a paragraph about text and printing and letters and space that is dazzlingly simple and simply dazzling. The last image consists of the same two three-page fold out panorama collages (6 pages total) by Hamady that appeared in JUXTAMORPHING SPACE, exhibition catalogue and bibliography. The last signature includes all the footnotes from all the previous Gabberjabbs and these footnotes are hand-set in six point - Clarendon for five of the six pages and the sixth in Sabon. Four pages were printed from Polymer plates with scale changes and the two pages in the center spread were printed directly from the hand-set type. The book is a very wonderful cap to a legendary series. Selected by the AIGA as one of the 50 best designed books of the year. See an Image.
      [Bookseller: Priscilla Juvelis, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2015-03-06           Check availability:      Biblio    

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