The Travels of Sir John Mandeville Beyond the Holy Land, Foolscap Press (2019); Also, The Voiage and Travail of Sir John Mandeville, Grabhorn Press (1928)

The Travels of Sir John Mandeville Beyond the Holy Land, the latest publication from Foolscap Press, is one of the most beautifully done private press works in years. The publication exudes an aura of just about everything a private press work should be in terms of intent, spirit, craftsmanship and artisanal excellence. Happily for private press collectors, a 1928 version of Mandeville’s travels, published by … Continue reading The Travels of Sir John Mandeville Beyond the Holy Land, Foolscap Press (2019); Also, The Voiage and Travail of Sir John Mandeville, Grabhorn Press (1928)

The Fables of Esope, Grabhorn Press, Illustrations by Valenti Angelo (1930)

Aesop’s existence, while likely, is not completely certain, though writings about him are found in such sources as Aristotle, Herodotus, and Plutarch. Apparently he lived in ancient Greece around 600 BC. It was long said that he was a slave who won his freedom by his cleverness. No direct writings of his survive, though many tales over the centuries and across cultures have been attributed to him. In fact, as … Continue reading The Fables of Esope, Grabhorn Press, Illustrations by Valenti Angelo (1930)

The Lulu Plays, by Frank Wedekind, Illustrations by William Kentridge, Arion Press (2015)

The latest publication from Arion Press, just released as their 104th work, is The Lulu Plays by playwright Frank Wedekind. Wedekind (1864-1918) became a major influence on what was to become German Expressionism and on the development of epic theatre.  His plays were quite scandalous when released for their frank depictions of violence and sex. Based on my first time reading, I would claim his writings are sensationalistic, innovative, unnatural … Continue reading The Lulu Plays, by Frank Wedekind, Illustrations by William Kentridge, Arion Press (2015)

‘The Lay of the Love and Death of Cornet Christoph Rilke’ by Rainer Maria Rilke, Arion Press, 1983

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) is one of the twentieth century’s greatest poets, and probably the greatest German poet since Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Rilke bridged the gap between traditional and modernist periods, with his move towards, and focus on, difficulty of belief, anxiety about the condition of man, and the inevitable solitude of life. Figures from Greek Mythology are often represented in his works (see his Sonnets to … Continue reading ‘The Lay of the Love and Death of Cornet Christoph Rilke’ by Rainer Maria Rilke, Arion Press, 1983

The Typefoundry in Silhouette, by Rudolf Koch, Arion Press & Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm, Designed by Koch, Limited Editions Club

Rudolf Koch (1876-1934) was one of the greatest calligraphers and typographic artists of the twentieth century.  He was affiliated with the Klingspor Foundry in Offenbach, Germany and was a professor at the Offenbach School of Art. Besides being a lettering artist (having created many families of original alphabets), he was also a illustrative artist, especially woodcuts, from which German Expressionism benefited.  His work shows restraint … Continue reading The Typefoundry in Silhouette, by Rudolf Koch, Arion Press & Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm, Designed by Koch, Limited Editions Club