I have spent much of this semester making this edition of five books reflecting upon my father who died when I was two-years old. It is very satisfying to make a book by hand and besides the moments when I wanted to abandon the project or figure out a way to abandon myself, (that moment when I was pasting down the pastedown and accidentally pasted the book in upside down was just one such lovely me-ism. I fixed it, but I am still bitter.) overall, yes, a finished book is a nice thing.
I also spent much of the semester writing a twenty-five page paper for my sociology class on the culture of art. I wrote my paper on livre d’artiste—very briefly, these are French artists books from late nineteenth to early twentieth century. The very first such book was called Parallèlement with etchings by Pierre Bonnard and poetry by Paul Verlaine. In my paper I write extensively about the influence of Charles Baudelaire as well as the publishers of such books such as Ambroise Vollard and Albert Skira.
When I finished pasting the books into the covers I wanted to put a weight on them so they would not warp. As I mention in my own little book about my father, I grew up surrounded by my father’s books and art,
but imagine my surprise when a huge spineless art book I used to weigh my books down turned out to be my father’s. The title: From Baudelaire to Bonnard published by Albert Skira.
That’s an odd bit of coincidence.