Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Pleasures of Drabness

As a rule I'm a sucker for loud, garish colors, the more the merrier, but the images below celebrate the lost, enforced virtues of tight publishing budgets, matte stock, and limited color palettes. (And also of age, dirty fingerprints, and exposure to sunlight.)

The best American literary magazine of the 1920s, the Dial was home to Pound, Eliot, Yeats, Amy Lowell, E. E. Cummings, D. H. Lawrence and just about every other major American and English modernist. The design is a bit formal, in keeping with its highbrow tone.

Twice a Year, a hefty hardbound journal, had a run of several years in the 1940s.

A postwar Schocken edition of Kafka. Beneath the jacket the book itself was green, with a nice title stamp on the spine. I think Schocken's other Kafka titles from the same period probably shared the same design.

The Pantheon edition of one of Flann O'Brien's best books, erroneously dated 1940 but actually published several years later. I'm not sure whether the typographic arrangement on the front cover was supposed to suggest bird's feet.

A slender Irish periodical, with a nice woodcut. Here's the advertising on the back:

Below is another Irish pamphlet, front and back. The Dolmen Press was a highly regarded printer active for more than thirty-five years.

Finally, I imagine the name of this periodical, which had a brief run in the 1970s, was meant to allude to the better-known Poetry. The editor or editors responsible for its creation are uncredited within.

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