Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

[PPLetterpress] Re: Calligraphy and deep impression

Expand Messages
  • Peter Fraterdeus
    ... He was right, absolutely! I m trying to remember about what :-) ... Yes, the house of memory technique. I can t remember the term either, but I m sure I
    Message 1 of 9 , Sep 3, 2007
      At 6:50 PM +0000 3 09 07, Gerald Lange wrote:
      >Hi Peter
      >
      >Well, Socrates was right though was he not?

      He was right, absolutely!
      I'm trying to remember about what :-)

      > I recall the story of a
      >Greek actor who was able to identify the bodies of theater goers after
      >an earthquake crushed the audience, simply because he had memorized
      >their sitting arrangements during the play. There is a term for the
      >type of memorization practiced in the middle ages prior to printing,
      >of course, I can't recall what it is!!!

      Yes, the house of memory technique. I can't remember the term either, but I'm sure I left it here under the potted palm in the entryway! Iamblicus writes about the Pythagorians using this. Similar was the practice of the poets and bards prior to writing (as Socrates implies) But that's not the middle ages... hmm.

      >Tiniest of correction here and for your interest. The wood block
      >printed book is actually thought not to have preceded the printed book
      >(movable type). None have been dated as such.

      Ah, now that you bring it up, I recall some discussion about this question.
      Nonetheless, I'd have to wonder, since the oriental book had been made this way for centuries, why it would not have found use in the West, what with the Silk Road and Marco Polo, et al.

      > There are examples of
      >printing from wood that do precede metal type by well over half a
      >century but the idea of printing in traditional book form apparently
      >never took hold. The sequence is, supposedly, that once the printed
      >book created a hierarchy in production method, the wood block books
      >appeared and quickly established themselves at the lower level of
      >access and pricing. Rather than be done away with by printing as is
      >commonly thought, the written manuscript (especially in illuminated
      >form) rose to the top of the hierarchy and held that position for near
      >a century.

      Indeed, and to some degree still holds it.
      Interesting that Letterpress, having been given up for dead by commercial interests, now hold a very strong second in line after unique calligraphic mss for top of the contemporary book heap.


      >David seems never to have had a problem with his work being reproduced
      >via the offset process, as he was well published.

      Exactly. I just don't get what the bug is in some bonnets.
      Sheesh.

      >As an aside, Ieuan
      >Rees spent the entire week of the conference out in the courtyard
      >cutting letterforms into stone.

      Ieuan is like that ;-)
      I suggested to the ATypI that they have him to the Brighton conferernce coming up this month.
      He will in fact be speaking, and I hope, carving given an opportunity.

      Unfortunately, I'm not going to be there this year....

      P.



      --
      AzByCx DwEvFu GtHsIr JqKpLo MnNmOl PkQjRi ShTgUf VeWdXc YbZa&@
      {ARTQ: Help stop in-box bloat! Always Remember to Trim the Quote!}

      ExquisiteLetterpress http://www.exquisiteletterpress.com

      -:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*
      Peter Fraterdeus http://www.alphabets.com : Sign up for "MiceType"!
      Galena, Illinois Design Philosophy Fonts Lettering Letterpress Wood Type
      Dubuque, Iowa http://www.fraterdeus.com
      Photography Irish Fiddle Political Observation
      http://flickr.com/photos/pfraterdeus
      http://youtube.com/user/pfraterdeus
    • Gerald Lange
      Hi Peter I m not sure to what extent books and currency may have made their way via the Silk Road, but the books would not have been in codex form. Certainly
      Message 2 of 9 , Sep 3, 2007
        Hi Peter

        I'm not sure to what extent books and currency may have made their way
        via the Silk Road, but the books would not have been in codex form.
        Certainly Europeans had seen some of these materials prior to the
        development of Western printing but the main problem was that the worlds
        of writing and those of metallurgy, casting of medallions, coins, etc.,
        did not cross, probably because of social strata. Medallions and coins
        had been cast using punches since classical times, perhaps before (e.g.
        the Phaistos stone). Even the medallions that protected Marco Polo and
        other westerns in their journeys, the paiza, issued by the Khan, appear
        to have been cast from punches. It is uncertain if any of the Asian
        paper materials that had been printed from cast type made their way to
        Europe.

        Gutenberg's political/social affiliation with the Mint seems to be the
        only plausible connection as to where the two streams would have melded.
        The plea from the Church for a form of mechanical writing to prevent
        corruption in the copying of text was in place and likely the impetus.
        All that was required was for someone to connect the dots.

        Gerald
        http://BielerPress.blogspot.com

        > Ah, now that you bring it up, I recall some discussion about this question.
        > Nonetheless, I'd have to wonder, since the oriental book had been made this way for centuries, why it would not have found use in the West, what with the Silk Road and Marco Polo, et al.
        >
        >
      • Peter Fraterdeus
        Hi Gerald ... Yes, it s really fascinating to see the wax punches used by the Romans*, and consider how matters might have turned out if some enterprising
        Message 3 of 9 , Sep 3, 2007
          Hi Gerald

          At 4:17 PM -0700 3 09 07, Gerald Lange wrote:
          >...Even the medallions that protected Marco Polo and
          >other westerns in their journeys, the paiza, issued by the Khan, appear
          >to have been cast from punches. It is uncertain if any of the Asian
          >paper materials that had been printed from cast type made their way to
          >Europe.


          Yes, it's really fascinating to see the wax "punches" used by the Romans*, and consider how matters might have turned out if some enterprising Roman had thought to use multiples of these things to produce movable type -- rudimentary as it may have been -- 1500 years before Gutenberg

          *I recall the example in Fred Goudy's "The Alphabet and Elements of Lettering"

          However, the 'books' I was thinking of were the woodcut books, full pages from each block, regarding Mr. David's attitude about impressions from calligraphic originals, regardless of the form, scroll or codex.
          As far as the codex, I'm not sure that it was exclusive to the West *, in any case, as there are plenty of examples of Oriental scrolls bound as 'accordion' books, or in fact, of accordions punched through and sewn. (Of which, I'm sure sure you are aware!)
          However, I don't recall the time line of when these are known. Perhaps it's after contact with the West...

          *unless the technical definition precludes accordion books in favor of collections of signatures...

          Not my area of expertise, but I'm interested ;-)

          Ciao!

          P


          >

          --
          AzByCx DwEvFu GtHsIr JqKpLo MnNmOl PkQjRi ShTgUf VeWdXc YbZa&@
          {ARTQ: Help stop in-box bloat! Always Remember to Trim the Quote!}

          ExquisiteLetterpress http://www.exquisiteletterpress.com

          -:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*
          Peter Fraterdeus http://www.alphabets.com : Sign up for "MiceType"!
          Galena, Illinois Design Philosophy Fonts Lettering Letterpress Wood Type
          Dubuque, Iowa http://www.fraterdeus.com
          Photography Irish Fiddle Political Observation
          http://flickr.com/photos/pfraterdeus
          http://youtube.com/user/pfraterdeus
        • Gerald Lange
          Hi I m not certain about the timeline in the evolution of the book form in various parts of the world, but I suppose I could walk over to my library; but it is
          Message 4 of 9 , Sep 3, 2007
            Hi

            I'm not certain about the timeline in the evolution of the book form
            in various parts of the world, but I suppose I could walk over to my
            library; but it is too hot to make the effort.

            It's quite possible that some enterprising young Roman did come up
            with a way to use multiple punches for such a purpose. The way it
            worked out successfully though, is all that matters. 14th century
            Europe, not the Roman Empire, not Asia, was prime for the development.

            Printing preses were in existence—all that was required was to work
            out the complexities of the hose. Punchcutting and casting technology
            had been perfected. Paper had been used for writing, and for printing,
            for some time. The casting properties of lead were clearly understood.
            The use of ink for painting on metal was known. A well developed
            knowledge of metallurgy and mechanics, an effective mercantile
            structure, unrestricted trade channels, standardization of mechanical
            parts and tools that could be used without specific application,
            etc.—all in place.

            All was there, it seems, except for the adjustable casting mould, the
            tool that would allow letters to be spaced as if they were hand written.

            Gerald
            http://BielerPress.blogspot.com

            --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Peter Fraterdeus <peterf@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Gerald
            >
            > At 4:17 PM -0700 3 09 07, Gerald Lange wrote:
            > >...Even the medallions that protected Marco Polo and
            > >other westerns in their journeys, the paiza, issued by the Khan, appear
            > >to have been cast from punches. It is uncertain if any of the Asian
            > >paper materials that had been printed from cast type made their way to
            > >Europe.
            >
            >
            > Yes, it's really fascinating to see the wax "punches" used by the
            Romans*, and consider how matters might have turned out if some
            enterprising Roman had thought to use multiples of these things to
            produce movable type -- rudimentary as it may have been -- 1500 years
            before Gutenberg
            >
            > *I recall the example in Fred Goudy's "The Alphabet and Elements of
            Lettering"
            >
            > However, the 'books' I was thinking of were the woodcut books, full
            pages from each block, regarding Mr. David's attitude about
            impressions from calligraphic originals, regardless of the form,
            scroll or codex.
            > As far as the codex, I'm not sure that it was exclusive to the West
            *, in any case, as there are plenty of examples of Oriental scrolls
            bound as 'accordion' books, or in fact, of accordions punched through
            and sewn. (Of which, I'm sure sure you are aware!)
            > However, I don't recall the time line of when these are known.
            Perhaps it's after contact with the West...
            >
            > *unless the technical definition precludes accordion books in favor
            of collections of signatures...
            >
            > Not my area of expertise, but I'm interested ;-)
            >
            > Ciao!
            >
            > P
            >
            >
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.