april-225 This is the week of receiving gifts, it seems.

When Kirsten Marie visited, she offered to make me some bling out of materials we bought at The Bead Company. I don't wear much jewellery, but I do appreciate handmade things. And so a few weeks later these earrings arrived by post and I think they are very, very pretty. I'm not a Slytherin but I am  a sucker for all things green and/or silvery. Thank you, Kirsten Marie!

And then Other Half gave me an abecedarium (of sorts) because he knows I love typography and lettering above most other things in life. And he got me a pop-up abecedarium! It's amazing. You can see how Marion Bataille's ABC3D works in this little YouTube video:

A Beautiful Day

It's going to be a beautiful day so the bluebirds sing. I have booked myself a short, but much-needed flight home to Denmark in May. I need to spend time with the Danish part of myself, I have decided. Going back is always odd because it invariably ends up being a long series of meet-ups with everybody I have ever known in Denmark. I cannot remember the last time I spent a few hours in Copenhagen just, you know, hanging out with myself. I am not complaining. It just feels strange after having spent fifteen years in Copenhagen and suddenly the way I engage with my city is transformed. I think this is something most expats experience.

Linkage, then:

+ When I read "Glasgow Artist Restores Lost Mural" on the BBC website, I knew exactly who and what they were talking about. Wooh! + Cover Versions: "Classic records lost in time and format, remerged as Pelican books." + Speaking of which .. Pelican paperbacks. I used to own a lot of them. + Art-House Book Trailers. Just as vile as the name suggests. + CraftGawker. Look, be inspired, create. + This Is Not A Riot: An effective, non-violent response to riot police. (I miss going to demonstrations) + The Fall of the Spanish Hapsburgs, or why marrying your first cousin is a bad, bad idea. See also this pictorial guide to the Spanish Hapsburgs. Ouch. + As seen everywhere on the web: Uncomfortable plot summaries. To wit: "Groundhog Day: Misanthropic creep exploits space/time anomaly to stalk coworker." + And as seen on John's blog: "Over the weekend, sharp-eyed Cassini-watchers on unmannedspaceflight.com noticed a series of way-cool photos on the mission's raw images website." Mindblowingly cool photos.

I finished reading The Time-Traveller's Wife. It was rather "girly". I have also begun yet another knitting project: Geno in duck's-egg-blue milk-cotton. It's rather lovely and very summery.

Free Books? Free Typefaces Too.

Thanks to Kim, I discovered BookMooch yesterday (I'm slow sometimes). The basic idea is that you compile a list of books you like to give away, people who have that book on their wishlist are then given the option to request the book, you send the book to them and you are given points you can spend on your own requests or "mooches". I signed up around 7.30pm and by 8pm I had already given away my first book. Two hours later another book had been claimed. I'm struggling a bit to find books I want to put on my wishlist - mostly because I have some fantastic secondhand bookshops here - but I'm sure I will cope. It's a great idea and you can even donate towards charity.

If you are on BookMooch too, my username is (unsurprisingly) karie bookish. Get in touch.

Two typeface links:

Into the Woods

feb2009-001Yes, I know I said stuff about knitting with grey wool. The phrases "never again", "not in the winter months" and "I need colour!!!!!" may have passed my lips. But I've changed my mind.

The pattern is Norwegian Woods by Sivia Harding. Earlier this year I knitted a few repeats of it in the gawjuss Old Maiden Aunt silk/merino yarn I have stashed away. I was flippant, made a few too many mistakes and ripped it all out. Now I'm knitting the shawl in Snældan's 1-ply wool (Faroese wool mixed with a touch of Falkland Islands wool - and spun on the Faroe Islands!). I'll blog more about the shawl as it progresses.

As you can see from the photo, it is snowing in Glasgow today. South-east England has had a couple of inches of snow and they are panicking. Silly people (sayeth this Scandinavian gal) For once I don't mind the snow so much and it made for a great photo opportunity this morning. Right now I'm still seeing ginormous snowflakes hurling towards the ground.

A couple of links (because my links folder is bursting at its seams). + I really want this t-shirt. + Is there anything Barack Obama cannot do? Well, I'm not too hot on his poetry. Dare I say it? I write better poetry than him? I do. + Great photos of London from above (thanks, Molly) + A bit more heavy-going than I usually get here: We Who Are Left Behind: Poetry as Testimony in Derrida and Celan. + Amazing Flickr photo-stream: Lars Daniel. He makes me miss Copenhagen even more. + Type as Image. It does wot it sez on teh tin.

Have a lovely day - with or without snow.

Visual Words

In my handwritten note I alluded briefly to the idea of handwriting possessing "presence" and printing having only "absence". In its infancy printing was known as "artificial writing" - the implication being that handwriting = natural, printing = artifice, obviously. I once messed about with ideas concerning printing and how English as a literary language emerged post-Gutenberg (and Gutenberg's cronies now often relegated to footnotes): poets like George Herbert would write poems which use the relative fixity of the printed page etc etc etc. Some people hold forth that the digital age provides an even greater absence between the Scribe and the Word - a form of hyper-absence which forms an even wider gap between word and meaning. I suspect my own hesitation towards e-books must spring from a peculiar awareness of this aporia. I think. Blah, blah, blah.

And so I came across Des Imagistes: An online version of Ezra Pound's anthology of Imagist poetry dating back to 1914. Contributors include well-known modernists like James Joyce and William Carlos Williams as well as the less-remembered (but equally important) Richard Aldington and F.S. Flint.

The website was created as part of a course at the MIT and the project team explain their choice of design:

This website uses a font stack of "Futura, Tahoma, Arial, sans-serif." Futura was designed between 1924 and 1926 by Paul Renner, and while Renner was not associated with the Bauhaus school of design, Futura is frequently used in connection with Bauhaus-related topics. The Bauhaus school was founded two years after Des Imagistes' publication, and its aesthetics harmonize well with the nature of imagistic poetry

Of course I thought of Typesetting The Waste Land which also explore the intersections of poetry, modernism, typography and the internet. I spotted a typo quite quickly and I am certainly not sure that the designer needed to highlight specific passages ("The Burial of the Dead") or render certain elements in different colours ("A Game of Chess"), but as the design pulls away from both the classic Faber and Faber layout (I'd scan a few lines but as per usual my copy's completely ruined) and the standard anthology versions (wherein its typesetting follows all the other texts and you get footnotes at the bottom of the page), it does strikes me as potentially interesting. I just wish the designer had chosen a less .. interpretative .. layout.

In case this sort of thing tickles your fancy - i.e. modernist poetry and print culture - let me recommend Jerome J. McGann's Black Riders: The Visible Language of Modernism (and I wouldn't object to getting it for Christmas, sigh).