Wednesday, June 14, 2006

In loading box after box of poetry volumes today one thing struck my bleary mind -- the endless shapes and sizes of them. From the huge Blake facsimiles and the Annotated Howl and Maximus to the tiny edition of Stein's The World is Round. No such revelation when loading up the fiction. It's all about the same size. Somehow or other I found this depressing. Then I remembered Robert Majzel's Apikoros Sleuth, a skinny, oversized wonder of a thing -- the Kabbalah meets The Maltese Falcon meets Derrida. Can anyone think of any odd size, odd works of fiction. This isn't just whimsy -- I'm troubled by/interested in the code of uniformity that seems to predominate in even slant fiction production values.

4 Comments:

Blogger Carceraglio said...

There are the Clear Cut books: Bob Gluck's stories, Stacey Levine's Frances Johnson. But I gather you mean a size unique to a specific work, rather than a series or publishing house.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, that is more of what I was thinking about -- the format fits the book, rather than the series or, as is more generally the case (and here you could argue that Clear Cut and the sadly now defunct Black Sparrow were bucking trends) the industry. Karent Tei Yamashita's Circle K Cycles is an instance of a book designed to fit the book and not the shelf at B&N or something. Clear Cut does have that european feeling going for it -- distinct, recognizable shape and feel (though Editions de Minuit or Gallimard for example have never felt obliged to individualize their covers, etc.)

I'm writing this as anonymous because I can't remember my login stuff.

3:27 PM  
Anonymous lauren said...

Leslie Marmon Silko's Storyteller, though it contains both prose and poetry.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Laird,

The new "annual" line from Hobart's new Long Drive/Short Flight arm is going to be distinct in size - about 4 x 6 and the first book is designed to look like a passport as it's a series of letters written by the narrator while she travels in Europe.

It's Michelle Orange's The Sicily Papers.

Dan Wickett
EWN

4:38 AM  

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