‘Poems’ by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Gwasg Gregynog, 2000

{Ed. Note: Thanks to Books and Vines contributor Celtic (Neil) for the pictures of this book.}

Gwasg Gregynog publishes some very beautiful books, as you have seen here and here. Pictures below of their edition of Goethe’s Poems add to my admiration for this fine press producer. Just look at the paper and text! Gwasg Gregynog published Goethe – Poems in 2000 in honor of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and on the 600th anniversary of the birth of Johann Gutenberg.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) is considered the foremost German writer of modern literature, with his Faust often being thought of as the greatest long poem in modern European literature.  His written works cross many genre’s, including poetry, drama, prose, philosophy, and science.  Besides Faust, his best known works are Wilhelm Meister’s ApprenticeshipThe Sorrows of Young Werther, Italian Journey, and his many poems (such as Marienbad Elegy).  Goethe was a German da Vinci, being an artist,  biologist, theoretical physicist, and polymath, in addition to being a writer. His work on plant morphology and color theory are especially noteworthy.  His interests were vast and his influence has been profound across many fields, be it literature, science, philosophy, music and culture.

About the Edition

  • Edition limited to 200 copies, 50 in quarter leather, 150 in quarter cloth
  • Designed by David Vickers and printed by him on Hahnemuhle Mediaeval Laid mould-made paper on the Heidelberg cylinder press at Gregynog
  • Bound in Gregynog bindery by Alan Wood
  • Neil Holland’s linocut cover illustration was printed direct from the block
  • The type is Monotype Ehrhardt, cast at Gregynog by Brian Pawley
  • Compositor was Eric Franklin
  • 64pp., 280x170mm

Pictures

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Poems of Goethe, Gwasg Gregynog, Slipcase
Poems of Goethe, Gwasg Gregynog, Book on Slipcase
Poems of Goethe, Gwasg Gregynog, Book and Spine
Poems of Goethe, Gwasg Gregynog, Book Cover
Poems of Goethe, Gwasg Gregynog, Book Spine
Poems of Goethe, Gwasg Gregynog, End Papers
Poems of Goethe, Gwasg Gregynog, Title Page
Poems of Goethe, Gwasg Gregynog, Contents
Poems of Goethe, Gwasg Gregynog, Sample Text #1 (Introduction)
Poems of Goethe, Gwasg Gregynog, Sample Text #1 (Tribute)
Poems of Goethe, Gwasg Gregynog, Sample Text #2
Poems of Goethe, Gwasg Gregynog, Sample Text #3 (Macro)
Poems of Goethe, Gwasg Gregynog, Sample Text #4
Poems of Goethe, Gwasg Gregynog, Sample Text #5
Poems of Goethe, Gwasg Gregynog, Sample Text #6
Poems of Goethe, Gwasg Gregynog, Sample Text #7
Poems of Goethe, Gwasg Gregynog, Sample Text #8
Poems of Goethe, Gwasg Gregynog, Sample Text #9 (Macro)
Poems of Goethe, Gwasg Gregynog, Sample Text #10 (Poem Information)
Poems of Goethe, Gwasg Gregynog, Colophon

5 thoughts on “‘Poems’ by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Gwasg Gregynog, 2000

  1. Note to Don Floyd:

    Although the leather spine is lighter in color than the cloth covered boards (and only slightly so in my copy), in reality it is a deep forest green — not the emerald green seen in several photos above which is the result of either flash artifact, high ASA setting, or camera artifact from overexposure. The 2nd image of the book showing book and spine at an oblique angle gives the best approximation of the true color but, in reality, the leather is darker than that.

    As an aside, all the information regarding materials is given in the colophon. In general, the colophon will (at most) give some detail about the paper but almost never describes the leather or cloth. If interested in these details you will need to contact Gwasg Gregynog directly.

  2. OK, that paper looks beautiful. I’m not sure I’ve heard of it before. I’d really like to see how it feels and smells. You can tell the type really bit into the paper too.

  3. Hello Chris –

    the light green leather of the spine is a beautiful shade. I believe it is Harmatan #16 Green Nigerian. Just today I was looking at that green and wondering where I could use it.

    I know many are not into rebinding as I am, but when you review a book (especially one just printed) it would be nice if you coul give the specs for the material (bbok cloth), leather, and paper.

    The Shiff LECs you have posted use such beautiful materials, especially the book cloth used, but I can never figure out where Shiff got some of the absolutely gorgeous book cloth.

  4. This particular Gwasg Gregynog (GG) publication filled a void in the Goethe oeuvre for collectors of fine and private press books. Whereas Goethe’s other works had been fairly well represented, especially ‘Faust’, surprisingly little of his poetry had been accorded the private letterpress treatment. Gwasg Gregynog filled this void splendidly with this slim volume.

    The book design, careful page layout, and fine letterpress work photographed above by Celtic (Neil) are all features we have come to expect from GG. The decision to publish each poem with German language verso and English translation recto is especially well thought out. Few authors or poets have the command of language that Goethe had and being able to read the original German aloud with translation alongside gives one an appreciation for Goethe’s craft and genius.

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