JUDGING BOOKS BY COVERS
aka an authoritative map of the United States
What craziness are you posting now, BHP, my dedicated followers ask - and what does this or the title have to do with Cannonball Press visiting Helsinki, the obvious topic of this post?
Well, Cannonball Press are from Brooklyn, which may have been neglected a little bit in this map named "Die neuwen Inseln so hinder Hispanien gegen Orient bey dem land India ligen" (The new islands that lie behind Spain towards the orient by the country of India), which was printed in 1550 and published in Sebastian Münster’s Cosmographia, which some of you might remember.
So anyway, Cannonball Press came to Helsinki to do their 38min powerpoint presentation about their “Woodcutology”, and the red book is my beloved anthology of German poetry with works from 900 AD up to 2000, when it was published. It contains such wonderful poems as this one by Oswald von Wolkenstein, the very name a poem already. Here’s a taste:
Oswald von Wolkenstein
Ajn graserin, durch kulen taw
mit weyssen, plossen fusslin zart,
Hat mich erfrewt in gruner aw.
das macht ir sichel prawn gehart,
Do ich ir half den gattern rucken,
smucken fur dy schrenken,
lencken, senken jnn dy sewl,
wolpewart, da mit das frewl
hin fur an sorg nich fliesen mocht ir gensel.
listen to an interpretation here, as well some sort of English translation, if you must.
I got this book eleven years ago and I read in it whenever the mood strikes. Most of my reading in Helsinki (the town that Martin and Mike from CBP, the two guys this post is about, visited) happens in public transportation these days, and thus it was brought to my attention that this collection of German poems, probably due to size and red cloth binding, looks a lot like a bible. Holy cow!
And while it might be weird enough to read lamentations about a helpful poet, a fair maiden and a fence in some state of disrepair in public, it is even stranger to have “oh it is so nice that someone still reads the bible these days” conversations with people I’m trapped in the metro with for another six stations. And to once and for all stop this, CBP donated this photocopy of a woodcut which I used to voodoo-ize my book.
The talk they gave in addition to the photocopy was nice, obviously not delivered for the first time, but it made me like their approach to printing and publishing a lot more than before. Especially their “20 Dollar no holla” approach appealed to me…
I’d write more, but it’s 4:28am.
Clever plate handling system: