the sacred fount, reduced

“Gertrude Stein was a great reader. In novels, Henry James’s for instance, characters talk, and in their nuances lurk the subtlest intricacies of the author’s web. Imagine a text of a novel, say James’s The Sacred Fount (1901), from which everything has been extracted except the dialogue.”

(Guy Davenport, “Late Gertrude,” p. 189 in The Hunter Gracchus)

Following Guy Davenport’s suggestion, here’s a version of Henry James’s The Sacred Fount from which everything has been extracted except the dialogue. A print-on-demand version can be purchased at Lulu; or, download a PDF version for free.

locus solus industries 012

Belatedly, a shirt for wearing to immigration protests:

a shirt with a slogan on it

Also, one can’t help but note that the Spanish slogan for the marches is much better than the English one (squint to see it in the picture): in English, one is asked to love the abstract “Immigrant NY” while in Spanish we love the more concrete immigrants of New York:

a bad photograph

commodities update

So I received in the mail last Friday two copies of Timoleon from Lulu (previously described here). They are not lovely. Here is what went wrong with them. First, problems with Lulu:

  • The spine. Predictably for such a thin book, some of the spine text bleeds onto the front cover. I did follow the Lulu directions precisely and added some room for bleed, but maybe not enough; one odd thing is that the author name & title, which are at the top of the spine, are correctly placed, while the press name, at the bottom, seems to be slightly on the front cover. Maybe the covers were slightly tilted? A bit odd.
  • The covers. These are glossy, not matte. Glossy covers look cheap and make the design look like garbage. In addition, there seem to be some bubbles in the gloss; one copy’s slightly worse than the others. The color looks fine, despite being four-color; the separations are okay.
  • The binding. This isn’t great, in no small part because it’s a 64-page book. But: the glue’s rather uneven, and there are noticeable extra dollops of glue between the covers and the first and last page. 
  • Interior paper stock. The covers (and the inside front & back covers, covers 2 & 3) are on bright white stock. This is good. The interiors are distinctly off-white: maybe they’re parchment colored? So the first and the last spread (where you see the inside front cover and the title page, for example) look abysmal. Why would they do this? I don’t know.

Second, design issues that were entirely my fault:

  • The copyright page. Why on earth is this in such large type? I don’t know.
  • The table of contents. This is also too large, though this isn’t quite as grievous an issue.
  • Two-page poems. An aesthetic improvement: when possible, I’ve pulled down the text on the second page so its start position is parallel with the text of the first page.
  • Typos. At least one prominent one. Still haven’t effectively proof-read this.
  • Messed-up grids. For some reason, everything had been snapping to 0p6 grids when the text was all set to a 1p0 grid. This probably made things more difficult than they needed to be.

So: a second printing has been published on Lulu. Unfortunately: you don’t seem to be able to change the glossy covers or the creme-colored papers, though maybe I’ve missed something?

In addition: new and improved electronic version (PDF, 308kb) with above improvements and exciting new PDF table of contents & hyperlinks etc., which should have been there in the first edition but weren’t for whatever reason.

Also: an electronic version (PDF, 288kb) of Tender Buttons, which for some reason I never got around to putting up.