Friday, March 18, 2011

Tristram Shandy by Visual Editions

Once again, a big gap between posts. My apologies to those readers who would prefer a more frequently updated blog (I'm working on it!) I had a big month of reviews in February with, so a lot of my time went there (click through to read some if you're interested).

I'd like to return to collectible books with one you all may have missed, Visual Editions' first publication:
Visual Editions have been the recipients of a world of well-deserved press with the publication of Jonathan Safran Foer's cut-out novel Tree of Codes. I think what makes Tree of Codes so remarkable is that it is was both written and visualized by its author. Foer's a madman for taking on such an ambitious project, and Visual Editions deserve all their praise for making Tree of Codes a reality. What I think a lot of people don't know is that Tree of Codes is the publisher's second publication, coming out after an equally incredible edition of Laurence Sterne's bonkers 18th-century novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.

In terms of its form, Tristram Shandy is just about as crazy as its rambling, tangent-after-tangent narration. Sprinkled throughout the text are curlicues, hand-arrows, diagonal sentences, and even some pages that are completely blacked out. As you'll see, Visual Editions have taken all these things and turned them into an stunning, multicolored new edition:

There's a page pre-dog-eared, and a two-page spread splattered with "raindrops":

Really stunning stuff. Considering how rare Tree of Codes suddenly got, I highly recommend picking this up, and watching Visual Editions for anything else they might have up their sleeves.

Currently reading:
"You Are Here" by Jacques Tardi

Currently listening to:
Kurt Vile, "Smoke Ring For My Halo"

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