Friday, 25 May 2012

Last night I went to Flowers Gallery in Kingsland Road to celebrate Tom Phillips 75th Birthday. It was a magnificent dinner, attended by many luminaries of the art, literature and media worlds, with an exhibition of Tom’s latest paintings on the walls, which is highly recommended. There were speeches by Stephen Fry, Angela Flowers and the artist himself, which was greeted with immense warmth, showing just how much Tom and his work are loved and respected.

The first hand-bound copies of The Sound and the Fury have just come in and I have to say they look tremendous: the binding is fresh and modern and the coloured text looks really enticing. In my letter describing the book I said I was unaware of any other book printed in different colours in this way. One member has already put me right in this respect, citing Michael Ende’s The Never Ending Story (though it is a mere two colours, as opposed to 14 for our Faulkner) – and I’d be interested to hear of any others. A trial panel for the slipcase spine also came in today, and is included in the photo.

Last week I went to Düsseldorf for Drupa, the world’s biggest printing equipment fair. The array of machinery on display was quite staggering, particularly the new digital presses. Some of these have a million ink-jet nozzles and are making literally billions of actions per second – this was too much for a bear of little brain to cope with and I was relieved to find someone printing on a press which Gutenberg would have been familiar with.


I’m told that Hewlett Packard spent not much short of €25 million on their display, but some outfits were more modest in their promotion.



Jemma Lewis, who creates hand marbled papers for us, has just sent in samples of four possible designs for the binding of Travels in Arabia Deserta, inspired by Bedouin fabrics and desert dunes – it will be hard to choose between them.


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Comments from others

  • I love the red marbled paper in the middle. Really beautiful. You could set up a poll.

  • Michael J. Kenny says:

    I am sure that many copies of “The Sound and the Fury” will be sold just as collector’s items, being the first time such a project has been undertaken. Of course FS was the one to do it. I have already ordered my copy in the hope that the colored type will make it an easier read. Once again FS leads the way.
    I also think the red marbled paper is striking, but hey are all beautiful, Jemma is very talented.

  • Neil Shapiro says:

    Thank you for publishing my comment on THE NEVER ENDING STORY being published in two colors. You might also be interested in hearing of the modern horror novel HOUSE OF LEAVES by Mark Z. Danielewski. In the “full color” first edition the word “house” is always in blue and the word “minotaur” in red. All of the so-called “struck” pages appear in red but for one struck line in Chapter XXI which appears in purple ink. Later editions went with only black and white inks although they have, in the latest printings of the hardcover, restored the colors. Again, no where near the number of colors in the new Faulkner!

    I can’t resist saying that this must make me The Folio Society’s color commentator?

  • Arturo says:

    I think “the Dictionary of the Khazars: a lexicon novel” by Milorad Pavic has a color code too, or at least the spanish edition does. The novel has the form of three cross referenced small dictionaries (each one related to an abrahamic religion) that are distinguished from each other by the color in which the words that are being defined are written. When one of the terms appears in more than one of the “mini-dictionaries” it is signaled by a little symbol of the color corresponding to the other dictionary in which it appears. Of course this novel’s most attractive aspect is not the typography but the structure.

  • Matthew says:

    Don’t choose–use all four!

  • Chris says:

    Subterranean Press printed their edition of KJ Parker’s Purple and Black in two colors. (No prizes for guessing which colors they used.) The book is an epistolary novella with two voices; one must write his letters in an official (and carefully rationed) purple ink. Well worth a read.

  • Frank Fekete says:

    Most recently the American writer Christopher Moore’s novel, Sacre Bleu, has been published with the text done using various shades of blue. The tale is a delight as well.

  • Verchul Jones says:

    When I first mentioned this new edition of Faulkner to some friends, one of them reminded me of the red letter Bibles, where Jesus’ words are printed in red ink.
    Details here, if links work. Cut ‘n’ paste if not.

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