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amazing idea; call for entries; skin bindings

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  • Jill Littlewood
    Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2006 13:58:35 -0700 From: CARMIN Jim Subject: Angela Lorenz in Portland, OR April 25 ANGELA LORENZ: BOOK ARTIST
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 28, 2006
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      Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2006 13:58:35 -0700
      From: CARMIN Jim <jimc@...>
      Subject: Angela Lorenz in Portland, OR April 25

      April 25, 2006 (Tuesday) 6:00-7:45 PM
      US Bank Room
      Multnomah County Library
      801 SW 10th Ave.
      Portland, OR 97205

      A reminder that artist ANGELA LORENZ, will be visiting Oregon from
      Bologna, Italy, and will be presenting her very innovative and
      thought-provoking books in a presentation, free and open to the public.
      Co-sponsored by the Portland/Bologna Sister City's Association, Angela
      will be talking about her creative work, much of which she will bring
      with her. =20

      Here are Angela's comments on one of her most intriguing works:
      Soap Story=20
      by Angela Lorenz=20
      Edition of 200 copies=20
      6.2"x4.7"x1" box, 5.7"x4" book, approximately 1.5"x1.5"x1.5" each soap
      Bologna, Italy, 1999=20

      To the text:=20
      This artist's book tells the story of a young woman in Calabria, Italy
      during the 1950s, whose real life reads like a fairy tale, or a soap
      opera, in six installments. In order to give lasting form to this oral
      history, the reader must release the text, silk-screened on linen pages,
      from six tiny bars of soap, with numbers imprinted with lead type. After
      hanging to dry, ironing optional, the rags slot into six acid-free pages
      with oval die-cuts, through which the text remains visible. The pages
      are bound with a linen rag into a handmade, cloth-covered album, with
      the title embossed into a raised oval on the front cover. The book is
      housed in a matching cloth-covered box, lined with rags and sealed with
      a color-lithographed soap label. The process confronting the reader
      reflects that which the protagonist must face, ultimately transforming
      her. You must merely transform the story, allowing the young woman to
      wash her hands of her sorrows. But for all your trouble, there may be a
      reward! One lucky person will discover a special coupon hidden in one of
      the bars of soap. When redeemed, it will be worth a free round trip
      ticket from the United States to the artist's studio in Bologna. If no
      one comes forth, there will be a lottery on January 1st, 2000 to decide
      which lucky customer will win a free trip to Italy in the Jubilee Year.

      The box is wrapped up in an acid-free reproduction of a page from a
      woman's magazine, October 1956, titled "Mani di Fata" or "Hands of the
      Fairy." This page, wrapping the six pieces of soap, was an iron-on
      design for embroidery inserted as a gift in the same issue. The magazine
      itself was found on the floor of an abandoned villa in Calabria, not far
      from the town in the story. Wrapping up packets in recycled newspaper
      and twine is still the way fresh eggs or handmade soap travel from
      household to household. At the time of this story, the women used stones
      for washing the linen, silk, and burlap they cultivated and wove for
      their own use.

      For more on Angela and more on SOAP STORY, see her website at:

      For more on the event, contact Jim Carmin at jimc@... or

      Jim Carmin
      John Wilson Special Collections Librarian
      Multnomah County Library
      Room 2M-C
      801 SW 10th Ave.
      Portland, OR 97205
      503-988-6287 (phone)
      503-988-5226 (fax)


      Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2006 17:45:05 -0400
      From: "Peter D. Verheyen" <verheyen@...>
      Subject: Handmade Books - Call for images

      Lark Books seeks high-quality images for publication in a juried collection
      of 500 contemporary handmade books from around the world.

      We desire all kinds of bindings, media, and interpretations.

      No entry fee; full artist's credit and complimentary book.

      Deadline: August 15, 2006.
      For guidelines, email: nathalie@...,
      or call (828) 253-0467 ext. 756.

      Forms on web site: www.larkbooks.com/submissions/ArtistsEntryForms.asp


      3. Weird Words: Anthropodermic
      Consisting of human skin.

      West Yorkshire Police put out a macabre appeal on Friday 7 April. A
      ledger had been found in the Headrow, one of the main streets in
      Leeds, presumably dumped following a robbery. It had been written
      in French and dated from the 1700s. The weird part is that it was
      bound in human skin.

      Surprisingly, though this is rare and remarkable, it isn't unique.
      Archivists even have a name for it, "anthropodermic bibliopegy",
      which, being translated from the decent obscurity of an ancient
      tongue, literally means no more than the binding of books in human
      skin. The first word is from Greek "anthropos", a human being, plus
      "derma", skin or hide; the second is made up of "biblion", book",
      plus "pegnunai", to fix - hence the art of binding books. One news
      report called it "anthropodermic bibliophagy", an easy mistake to
      make, but unfortunately suggesting that people devoured such books
      (the last element is from Greek "phagein", to eat - a bibliophagist
      is figuratively a voracious reader).

      Libraries specialising in old books occasionally have examples.
      Anatomy texts seem to have been favourites, which were covered in
      skin taken from a dissected cadaver - suitably tanned first, of
      course. There was some slight fashion in the nineteenth century of
      binding the report of a murderer's trial with his skin. The most
      famous British example is that of William Corder, hanged in 1828
      for the murder of Maria Marten (still remembered by some as the
      Murder in the Red Barn); the museum in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk
      has an account of the trial bound in this way.

      Why an account book should be so treated is puzzling. Perhaps the
      owner had it covered in the skin of a defaulting debtor as a way of
      getting his pound of flesh?

      * Follow http://quinion.com?BSEM for the full story of the Murder
      in the Red Barn.
      * There's a photograph of the William Corder book in the online
      version of this newsletter.
      * Follow http://quinion.com?WYHA for the West Yorkshire police
      appeal regarding the book found in Leeds.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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