Through Closed Doors. 7 Paraclausithyra. Theocritus, Ovid, Tibullus, Plautus, Horace, Catullus, Propertius. With Photographs of Italian Doors and accompanying Prints.
Allix, Susan.

[London:] Susan Allix, [2005\. One of twenty-one copies, this being number seven. Signed and numbered in pencil by the author on the colophon. Twenty-six photographs, of which sixteen are black and white and ten are in color. Twenty of the photographs are full-page. Among the photographs are a series of prints: seven etchings, one lino-cut, and one woodcut. There is also stencil, air brush, and crayon work and some titles are printed on gray Japanese or Zerkall papers. The photographs are printed, with the text, on Somerset pure cotton printmaking paper using archival inks; this combination of ink with uncoated paper ensures a long life for the images without fading. Signed by the author on preliminary blank: "For Denis / Warmest regards / Susan / 24th January 2007." Illustrated prospectus and biographical article about the author, entitled "God is in the detail," laid in. A fine copy in a gray cloth, felt-lined clamshell case with an illustrated spine label. Quarter black goatskin over Japanese wood veneer paper-covered boards. The wafer thin wood has been printed, stained gray, air-brushed in soft red and black and wax polished. Paper and reversed goat skin onlays in black, gray, magenta, and green. Black Ja Folio. 104 pp. (Item ID: 16630)


"This book combines Roman poetry with photographs of doorways from south Italy. Writing mostly during the 1st century BC-AD, the poet used a genre of Greek and Roman literature known as the Paraclausithyron: a poem spoken 'through closed doors' that takes the form of verses spoken by an excluded lover outside a door that forbids entry. Their themes include pleas for admission, attempts to persuade a girl to come out to them, and complaints at the door's cruelty. The doors speak too. Becoming personified, they tell stories of their owners and describe their own misfortunes and abuse [...] The first poem is by the Greek poet Theocritus and is set in Sicily. The more strident voices of Roman poets follow, with an extract from Plautus' comedy Curculio. Among the cast of lovers and their girls are found generals, a wine-biber, a dead husband, and the doors themselves, voicing their own opinions..." (from the prospectus). Winner of the Gregynog Letterpress Prize 2005.

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