Book of the Week — The Temperamental Rose


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A Black, E white, I red, U green, O blue: vowels,
I will someday speak of your unseen births:
A, black corset bristling with glittering flies
That buzz around cruel smells,

Gulfs of shadow; E, innocent vapours and tents,
Lances of proud glaciers, white kings, frissons of an inflorescence;
I, crimsons, spit blood, laughter of lovely lips
In anger or drunken penitence;

U, cycles, divine thrill of a viridian sea,
Peace of pastures sprinkled with animals, peace of wrinkles
Imprinted on broad, thoughtful brows of alchemy;

O, Supreme Clarion full of strange strident cries,
Silence traversed by Worlds and Angels:
O Omega, violet ray of Her Eyes!

— Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891)


The Temperamental Rose: And Other Ways of Seeing Colour
Barbara Hodgson & Claudia Cohen
Vancouver, British Columbia: Heavenly Monkey Editions, 2007
N7433.4 H625 T4 2007

From the Heavenly Monkey website: “A collaboration between author and book designer Barbara Hodgson, and bookbinder Claudia Cohen. The Tempermental Rose & Other Ways Seeing Colour was borne during the collaborators’ first meeting, in the summer of 2006, when they discovered mutual passions for color wheels and other systems for charting and codifying colors. Inspired by centuries of color studies, including those of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and M.-E. Chevreul, the authors reproduce existing color wheels as well as create new and fanciful ways of seeing color. An introductory essay discusses the history of color, and each of the charts is accompanied by explanatory text.”

From the colophon: “This book was designed and set in digital Monotype Fournier by Barbara Hodgson. Francoise Giovannangeli edited it. It was printed letterpress from polymer plates by David Clifford at Black Stone Press, Vancouver, on Arches Cover and BFK Rives. The watercolours used in the charts are from Winsor & Newton, Daler-Rowney, Holbein and Da Vinci.” Edition of thirty numbered and five A.P. copies, each signed by the two authors. Each copy has been bound by Claudia Cohen in her Seattle studio. All hand colouring and other embellishments have been done by the authors. The six vials in each case contain fine artists’ pigments from Kroma, Vancouver.”

Black leather diaper-patterned embossed binding embellished with multi-colored geometric shapes on front and back boards. Spine is red leather with title embossed in gold. Issued in a clam-shell box.

University of Utah copy is no. 5, signed by the authors.




Book of the Week — Duet


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Past cure I am, now Reason is past care,
And frantic-mad with evermore unrest;
My thoughts and my discourse as madmen’s are,
At random from the truth vainly expressed;
For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright,
Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.
— William Shakespeare

Marie C. Dern
Fairfax, CA: Jungle Garden Press, 1993
N7433.4 D45 D84 1993

A book made for the artist’s daughter, Daisy, a country singer, who grew up on Hank Williams’ songs. Text is “Your Cheatin’ Heart” by Hank Williams and sonnet CXLVII by William Shakespeare. Music is hand drawn by Mariken Panbloom. Edition of three copies, as per agreement with Acuff Rose Music, holder of the copyright of the song. Rare Books copy is no. 2.



Shakespeare is here! The First Folio is at the City Library!

Happy Birthday, Marie!

Book of the Week — Lexicon Tetraglotton…


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“A catt may look on a king”

Lexicon Tetraglotton, an English-French-Italian-Spanish…
James Howell (1594? – 1666)
London: Printed by J.G. for Samuel Thompson, 1660
First and only edition

James Howell, born in Wales and educated at Oxford, began his literary career in 1640 with the political allegory, Dendrologia: Dodona’s Grove, or, The Vocall Forest, an account representing the history of England and Europe through the framework of a typology of trees. He continued to write political tracts throughout the 1640s and 1650s, drawing material from Aristotle, Machiavelli, and others. Howell befriended many literary figures, including Ben Jonson and Kenelm Digby. In 1620, he became ill and was treated by physician and anatomist William Harvey.

Howell wrote Instructions for Forreine Travel in 1642, a book of useful information about safe travel in France, Spain, and Italy. Traveling in his own country proved to be hazardous, however. On a visit to London early in 1643, he was arrested in his chambers and imprisoned for the next eight years. He spent this time writing. He was released from prison at the Restoration of Charles to the throne and in 1661 was made Historiographer Royal.

Howell was a master of modern romance languages. Lexicon is a dictionary but also contains epistles and poems on lexicography; characterizations of most letters of the alphabet; and vocabulary lists organized in 52 sections, such as anatomy, chemistry, alchemy, women’s clothing, horsemanship, hunting, architecture, and a library. Howell collected proverbs in English, Italian, Spanish and French which are added in Proverbs, or, Old Sayed Savves & Adages. Benjamin Franklin used this book as a reference for his own Poor Richard’s Almanac.

In the frontispiece, engraved by William Faithorne (1616-1691), four female figures, emblematic of England, France, Spain and Italy, stand among trees with a helmeted figure to the right standing guard. This copy contains a later state of the engraving with initials identifying the countries represented. Half-title and title-page in red and black. Rare Books copy gift of Anonymous, for whose generosity and friendship we are ever grateful.

Edgar Allan Poe (Jan. 19, 1809-Oct. 7, 1849)


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“Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before”

Edgar Allan Poe (1909-1949)
Easthampton, MA: Cheloniidae Press, 1980

This is the first book from Alan James Robinson and his Cheloniidae Press. Text is hand-set and printed by Harold McGrath in Bruce Rogers’ 24pt. Centaur type in red and black ink. Illustrated with five etchings and two wood engravings by Alan James Robinson, who printed the etchings. Each plate is titled and signed by the artist. Laid in artists’ proof of the “Crow Quill” on the title-page and proof of the “Raven” that appears on the colophon. Bound by David Bourbeau in a specially painted dark grey paper over boards: Bird wings in black with red highlights on spine extending to front and rear panels. Housed in black cloth clamshell. Signed by the artist.

Book of the Week — Empire Builders


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“We have all our elephants to see.”

Empire Builders
Carol Inderieden and Chandler O’Leary
Tacoma, WA: Anagram Press, 2015
N7433.4 I52 E47 2015

From the authors’ essay: “To see the elephant was to embark on a quest for riches and prosperity…The elephant is an illusion, an impossible promise like a desert mirage that disappears as one moves closer.”

Digitally printed and handbound. Edition of fifty copies. Rare Books copy is no. 25, signed by the authors.


Burned! — Celsius 233


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“Where books are burned, in the end people will be burned too.” — Heinrich Heine, 1823

Celsius 233
Philip Zimmermann
Tuscon, AZ: Spaceheater Editions, 2015
N7433.4 Z55 C45 2015

From the artist: I started doing research on the history of book-burning after seeing a video posted by the Islamic State/Daesh showing jihadists burning all the books from the Mosul Library in Iraq. I found that burning books has a long and infamous history dating back a couple of thousand years. Most people know about the Nazi’s burning books as well as the famous Ray Bradbury book ‘Fahrenheit 451,’ but it turns out that almost every authoritarian regime (and some are nominally not authoritarian like the United States) has burnt books that do not agree with cultural and political viewpoints. The book contains 40 pages displaying acts of libricide in chronological order. The title page spread includes a famous quote by Heinrich Heine, whose own literary work was included in some of the book burnings orchestrated by the Nazis in the 1930s. Inserted small orange laser-cut tongues of flame describe the date and action of each image through time. The images were obtained on-line, mostly from the Library of Congress, the National Archive, and the National Holocaust Museum, plus some educational Institutional archives.”

Images printed using archival inkjet ink with three-color foil stamping on the cover, title-page, and back cover. Interior flame sheets are loose-inserted in a slot in each interior folio. Includes blu-ray DVD “to be used as viewing environment.” Multi-needle coptic binding with sewn-on hard covers made of acid-free solid-core black museum board. Housed in grey cardboard container with red and black illustration on cover. Edition of fifty copies. Rare Books copy is no. 22, signed by the author.





Banned! — Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland


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fish-frog mouse

“Animals should not use human language.”

Alice’s adventures in wonderland…
Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)
London: Macmillan and Co., 1866
First published edition

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s now-famous Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was intended solely for Alice Liddell and her two sisters. Dodgson made the story up to entertain the bored children during a series of outings. Alice asked Dodgson to write the story down. Dodgson presented his manuscript to Alice as a Christmas gift in 1864. Friend and novelist Henry Kingsley saw the manuscript and encouraged Dodgson to publish the book. Dodgson consulted another friend, George MacDonald.

Macdonald, a popular writer of fairy tales and fantasy, read the story to his children, who thoroughly approved of it. Macdonald’s six-year-old son is said to have declared that he “wished there were 60,000 copies of it.”

Dodgson prepared the manuscript for publication, expanding the original 18,000 word story to 35,000 words and adding, among other characters and scenes, the Cheshire Cat and “A Mad-Tea Party.”

The first edition included forty-two illustrations by John Tenniel, a cartoonist for the magazine, Punch. The edition of 4,000 copies was released, under the pseudonym “Lewis Carroll,” in time for Christmas in December of 1865, carrying 1866 as the publication date. However, Tenniel and Dodgson disapproved of the quality of the printing. This first printed edition was removed from the market. A few of these printings made their way to the United States.

The book was reprinted and re-released in 1866. By 1884, 100,000 copies had been printed.

In 1931, the work was banned in China by the Governor of Huan Province on the grounds that “Animals should not use human language, and…it [is] disastrous to put animals and human beings on the same level.”

University of Utah copy is in original gilt pictorial cloth bindings. The inside front boards bear two bookplates, one of Harvard scholar Cyril Bathurst Judge (b. 1888), the other of book collector Michael Sharpe. Anonymous donation facilitated by Michael Thompson of Michael R. Thompson Rare Books, Los Angeles, California.

Banned! — Quipu


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“It is a prayer for the rebirth of a way of writing with breath.”


Cecilia Vicuña
New York: Granary Books, 2012

Quipu, or knotted cords, encoded the spoken language of the Inca, representing both single sounds and whole words, and was used as a form of communication for nearly 5000 years before it was banned by the Spanish in 1583. From the booklet: “Chanccani Quipu reinvents the concept of ‘quipu,’ the ancient system of ‘writing’ with knots, transforming it into metaphor in space; a book/sculpture that condenses the clash of two cultures and worldviews: the Andean oral universe and the Western world of print.” From the colophon: Jerome Rothenberg assisted Cecilia Vicuña in translating her poem.” Edition of thirty-two copies, numbered and signed by Cecilia Vicuña and Jerome Rothenberg. University of Utah copy is no. 14.

Banned! — Лолита


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«Лолита , свет моей жизни , огонь моих чресел . Грех mой , душа моя . Ло -ли –та…”


Lolita-cover Lolita-back Lolita-spine

Владимир Набоков (1899-1977)
New York: Phaedra, Inc., Publishers, 1967
First hardcover edition in Russian

First published in Paris in 1955, then in New York City in 1958 and London in 1959, Vladimir Nabokov’s novel, Lolita, is a controversial masterpiece of English literature.

Originally published as a paperback by a relatively unknown publisher, the first printing of 5,000 copies sold out before year’s end. Graham Greene wrote in London’s Sunday Times that it was one of the three best books of the year. Other early reviews were hardly so generous. Many considered it pornographic. British Customs was ordered to seize copies coming into the British Isles. A year later, France’s Minister of the Interior also banned it.

Times change. In 1998, Lolita was included by Modern Library in its list of 100 best novels of the 20th century.

This is the first edition in Russian, translated by Nabokov, whose mother-tongue was Russian. He added a postscript that appears only in this edition, describing his ambivalence toward his translation. Nabokov’s American publisher, Putnam, chose not to publish the Russian edition, concerned that it would not be a commercial success. Perhaps they were satisfied enough with the response to their American edition, which went into a third printing within days and sold one hundred thousand copies within three weeks. Up until that time, Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind (1936), was the only other American novel to have done so well.

All of Nabokov’s writings had been banned in the Soviet Union, although copies of his work were smuggled in. Nabokov was, after all, the son of aristocratic Russians who fled the country during the Revolution. The first printing in Russia was not until 1989. The work, by the once-outlawed, un-favored son of the Soviet state was a stunning success. The first edition in the Russian language was first issued in wrappers. This is “issue b,” in pink cloth, with gilt title stamp along spine and with dust jacket. University of Utah copy donated by Anonymous.

Book of the week — An Inflammatory Guide: Banned and Challenged…


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N7433.4-S713-I54-2012-front An Infalmmatory guide backside

An inflammatory guide: banned & challenged…
Jessica Spring
Tacoma, WA: Springtide Press, 2012
xN7433.4 S713 I54 2012

From the colophon: “…printed by hand to commemorate Banned Books Week…” Letterpress printed. Accordion folded pages attached to match-book style binding with staples.