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Die Stopfnadel (The Darning Needle) illustriert von Peter Malutzki [illustrated by Peter Malutzki]
Flörsheim, Main, Germany:: Flug Blatt-Press,, 1985.. Edition of 135. 15 x 23 cm (5.9 x 9"); 48 pages. Design, handset, and letterpress by Peter Malutzki. Typeface: Legende (by Ernst Schneidler). Text in German. English translation laid in. Bound in gray linen cloth by Helmuth Halbach with paper collage and darning needle inset on front board. Signed and numbered by the artist. Die Stopfnadel text was taken and reworked from an old translation of Anderson's Fairy Tales. Buch Kunst SFCB exhibition description: "The illustrations are made up of, among other things, brass rules, photographs, linocuts, wood type, a piece of a German newspaper from 1852 and a bit of genuine gold leaf. … A darning needle with pretensions tries to hold her own as she is shunted from a maid's apron into a kitchen sink. Andersen's cautionary tale of overweening pride is not without a certain grudging admiration for this attribute as a survival tool." Peter Malutzki: "As often in Andersen's fairy tales, The Darning Needle relates the experiences of everyday objects as parables for human behavior. To illustrate this story, I used items from my workshop: typesetting materials, old zinc plates, brass rules, wire, linocuts. In addition, I used various collage materials - found objects, for instance from fashion catalogues, but also a scrap of an original Frankfurter Postzeitung , a newspaper published in 1852 (during Andersen's lifetime). For the darning needle itself, which appears on every page, I used an English line (a line that narrows to a point at each end). It first appears on the gray end paper, surrounded by blue brackets to set it apart from a mass of similar darning needles. On the front cover, it appears as original needle. When the darning needle breaks while patching an old slipper, her career as a darning needle comes to an end. The kitchen maid tucks the needle into her apron. Now the needle believes herself to be something quite special, a breast-pin. But she falls down the drain and is washed into the gutter with the dishwater. On page 14, you see the needle's involuntary tailspin. Her fall ends in the gutter, where the darning needle meets all kinds of 'personalities,' for instance a shard from a bottle, which she thinks is a diamond. The darning needle tells the shard about her life, describing the five fingers that were 'only employed to hold her.' She introduces the individual fingers: the thumb, who stands first in the rank and has only one joint in his back. Sweet-tooth, who dips himself into foods both sweet and sour and points to the sun and the moon (or the page number). Longman, who looks out over the heads of the others. Gold-band, with a golden ring around his waist. And the smallest of all, little Playman, who does nothing at all and is proud of it. The darning needle also talks about her plunge into the sink (we are reminded of the involuntary, whirling fall on page 14). In her tale, she idealizes the fall; in the illustration, it becomes a perfect dive into the inverted A of the drain (in German: Ausguss). 'They were boasters, and boasters they will remain; and therefore I left them,' says the darning needle. We can, if we wish, flip back to page 14 and remind ourselves of the real circumstances of her involuntary fall. I would like to mention one other important aspect of the book: the typeface. Ernst Schneidler's Legende (designed in the 1930s) played almost no role in the book art scene of the 1980s (at least in Germany). Although I adopted it in various sizes from the inventory of my Lahnstein printing shop, I had no use for it before then either. Such typefaces were considered suspect, since they had all too often been used in a dubious context. But for the darning-needle book, it turned out to be the appropriate typeface.
      [Bookseller: Vamp & Tramp, Booksellers, LLC]
Last Found On: 2017-06-09           Check availability:      Biblio    

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