|Paris A Poem by Hope Mirrlees/Pegana Press 2010|
This was the very first book published at Pegana Press.
Mike had just acquired the Vandercook SP 15 press, and had printed a poem as broadside by Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett (later known as Lord Dunsany). The poem titled Rhymes From A Suburb, first appeared in Pall Mall Magazine in 1897.
But the goal of Pegana Press was to create books for collectors. The kind of book that Mike as a collector and lover of books, would want to have in his own library.
One such book in Mike's collection is Lud-In-The-Mist by Hope Mirrlees. I remember the first time I read it on Mike's recommendation. I was entranced.
In researching Hope Mirrlees, Mike ran across a scan of the original version of Paris A Poem. Here was a work with an interesting history. What's more, The original typography of Paris had never been duplicated before, which is an important part of the poem. Those copies of Paris were printed by Virginia and Leonard Woolf at the Hogarth Press. A search for a Hogarth copy yielded no results, when Mike first undertook printing the poem, although later he found one copy on line for sale. They wanted $12,000. A rare book indeed.
Mike contacted the estate and was given permission to print Paris. Because Mike was still working a day job, he worked on the poem at night and on his days off. Hope Mirrlees used the layout of typography to enhance the poem as she takes us on a journey through Paris in 1919. Mike worked diligently to recreate that design, so as to be as true to the author's vision as possible.
This book is quite striking. Printed in blue ink on white french paper. Bound in Seattle at Ars Obscura by master binder Joel Radcliffe. Paris is currently on sale through the end of October at Pegana Press Books. If you've been curious about Paris, don't miss your opportunity to own a copy of this important and beautiful work of modernist poetry.
"Mirrlees was a genius and it showed in Lud-In-The-Mist and in everything she wrote. Reading Paris is like solving a Chinese puzzle." --Mike Tortorello
To get a real feel for this book, please listen to our audio introduction. Our recommendation is that you listen with head phones or good speakers so as to fully experience the journey.
Paris A Poem at Pegana Press Books