Al Aaraaf.
[ D'Ambrosio, Joseph ]. Poe, Edgar Allan.

[Sherman Oaks:] Livre d'Art by D'Ambrosio, 1995. One of fifty copies printed letterpress on Lana Royal Classic paper. Signed on the title-page by D'Ambrosio. Printed letterpress in black and purple with woodcut backgrounds in various colors, several pages with embossed margins. A fine copy. Trapezoidal shape binding in quarter blue morocco and mirrored panel boards, housed with the original trapezoidal two-part display stand and cover with further mirrored paneling. Octavo. x], 45, [1] pp. 12 pp bo (Item ID: 15685)

$950.00

"Based on the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe's discovery of what later would be termed a supernova—Al Aaraaf (a star that arose upon the night in a brilliant flash, stayed for a short while, and then disappeared), Edgar Allan Poe created this metaphysical communication of fleeting beauty. In it he juggles time and space between reality and fantasy. I had no recourse but to do the same. However, I did start with a basic premise, which is that when one passes a mirror, one can see one's image and the surrounding scene. Once past the mirror, one disappears from the view but the reflection of the surrounding scene continues: a visual presentation of the term 'evanescence.' During the period of the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), all heavenly bodies were given Arabic names. The structure of the book, therefore, had to evoke that background, along with the spirit of a beautiful thing arising and then passing forever from view. Hence, I created a mirrored polybhedron with unintellible but real script that evokes Arabic writing (but not Arabic) banding its throat…" (Joseph D'Ambrosio in A Memoir of Book Design 1969-2000).

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