art contexts, Bay Area, California, Druckwerk, Europe, fiction, handset, Johanna Drucker, literary production, literary scene, Oakland, Stymie, The University of Utah, tradition, Vandercook Proof press, writer
“Contents were clearly Marked on The Cover: Container A Momentary Sequence Sealed Into Itself.”
Johanna Drucker (b. 1942)
Oakland, CA: Druckwerk, 1983
From the artist’s statement: “The book embodied the conflicts I had with the traditions of fiction in which I had been steeped as a young writer and the terms of literary production I was being exposed to in the Bay Area literary scene, as well as in the art contexts I had encountered in Europe and on my return. The “Against” of the title was intended to signal dependence on and rejection of that tradition….” From the colophon: “Handset Stymie. Printed on a Vandercook Proof press.” Edition of one hundred and twenty-five copies. University of Utah copy is no. 96, signed by the author.
“The corner of the room gaped wide open, just as she imagined it would standing there yesterday with a grin in her hand and a paper across her face stating the conditions of occupancy.”
“Features of distinction differentiate one house from another. This sense of identity, position, less distinct than letter from letter, accomodates [sic] itself to description. A place dying to be sold.”
“My second idea was to leave, to hide, to remember all I’d seen and manage it later on. But my final, fatal decision in that moment was to lend a hand and not know what I was in for.”