Neige

Au soir nocturne d’un retour en train passablement en retard, WebOL avait tourné la dernière page. Peu importe que cela fût joyeux ou terrible, le roman était refermé qui l’avait rendu otage consentant. L’intérêt de ce grand livre ne résidait pas dans le seul récit, ni même dans le style mais dans l’unicité de sa voix ; ce qui fait que l’on ne peut trouver ailleurs le même rythme et le même enivrement. A chaque lecture, il pouvait en accumuler une nouvelle, et une autre encore, et telle mise en abîme, et cette remarque qui lui venait à l’esprit alors qu’il faisait tout autre chose que lire, et cette métaphore qui renvoyait à un autre passage, et cette nouvelle dimension non soupçonnée.

C’est que WebOL venait entre L* et V* de refermer Neige d’Orhan Pamuk. Il n’est pas possible de quitter un tel livre dont le voyage ne relève pas des kilomètres de narration (menée entre Kars, à la frontière turquo-russe, et Frankfurt/Main en Allemagne) mais de la multiplicité des trames. En pensant à tant d’autres chef-d’oeuvre dévorés et d’autres à venir (tant que les yeux seront ouverts), WebOL se rappelait avec gourmandise qu’il est des livres dont il lui importe peu qu’ils soient sombres ou gais : leur texte demeure, nous habitant.

D’autres tas de mots attendent de guingois sur la table de nuit ses heures à changer de voix : WebOL souhaite le même plaisir à quiconque, et ose inviter à passer chez EcritOL qui adore les flocons.

Edit 2013-11

Il neige heureusement de nouveau fin 2013 comme les années précédentes (ce billet fut initialement publié en 2013-06, certes un mois sans). C’est peut-être de nouveau l’heure de la littérature turque, chez Publie.net.

Futura Pleasure

Paul Renner created the Futura font (@Linotype.com). His life is recalled in a book written by Christopher Burker:

German typographer Paul Renner is best known as the designer of the typeface Futura, which stands as a landmark of modern graphic design. This title is the first study in any language of Renner’s typographic career; it details his life and work to reveal the breadth of his accomplishment and influence.

Renner was a central figure in the German artistic movements of the 1920s and 1930s, becoming an early and prominent member of the Deutscher Werkbund while creating his first book designs for various Munich-based publishers. As the author of numerous texts such as Typografie als Kunst (Typography as Art) and Die Kunst der Typographie (The Art of Typography) he created a new set of guidelines for balanced book design. Renner taught with Jan Tschichold in the 1930s and was a key participant in the heated ideological and artistic debates of that time. Arrested and dismissed from his post by the Nazis, he eventually emerged as a voice of experience and reason in the postwar years. Throughout this tumultuous period he produced a body of work of the highest distinction

. »

Open your eyes, a short video presents Futura, courtesy of Vimeo (ie. YouTube with a much higher quality).

Fonts may be compelling and even passionnate stories, as one forum of Typophile shows. The New York Times has just given the facts, and few comments : in short, Ikea has just ditched Futura to Verdana. Mario Garcia Garcia blogs in his own witty way, whereas Idgn.org says its mind about the Big Switch (and shows the differences) and informs next that Verdana and Georgia will turn to print soon.

Worthy curated resources

Some illustrations from a wonderful book called Lettering for Advertising, published in 1956 by Mortimer Leach (courtesy of All About Lettering).

&:
Know your type : Futura (Idgn.org).
Typowiki : Futura (Typophile).

Edit 2013-11-27

This post dating from 2009-09 is worth of a CSS-upgrade, right? Thus, the code is now tagged in proper way, still following up a steep learning curve.

Font Dependence

Font dependence, or typographical abuse, has been rebranded typoholism by iLT, who knows a great deal about what is his own Addict’s Tale. Well, there is no cure if you follow the famous typo-designer, Erik Spiekermann, confessing that (as quoted by John D. Boardley of iLT):

I can’t explain it; I just like looking at type. I just get a total kick out of it. Other people look at bottles of wine or whatever, or, you know, girls’ bottoms. I just get kicks out of looking at type. It’s a little worrying, I must admit.

All you have to try is make fun of it and watch on.

You know what? As we all need Typography, never restrain from thinking with Type (where you can find numerous useful links and much more stuff based on the eponymous book by Ellen Lupton).

You are really addicted that much?
– Read articles by Peter Biľak (from Typotheque).
– Roll on the blog of Erik Spiekermann.
– Enjoy the TypoWiki of Typophile.
– Watch Ellen Lupton‘s lecture at ESAD Personal Views (Escola Superior de Artes e Design in Matosinhos, Portugal). Oder Erik Spiekermann im Gespräch mit Walter Bohatsch (in german).
– Cry I Love Typography with John D. Bardley.

Edit 2013-11-27

This post dating from 2008-06 is worth of a CSS-upgrade, right? Thus, the code is now tagged in proper way, still following up a steep learning curve.

Alleluia Sancta Cecilia

Qui ne connaît pas Joseph Haydn pourrait croire que le plus bel Alléluia de l’histoire est celui si célèbre et entraînant du Messie de Haendel. Peut-être : qu’il ou elle écoute le choeur Vollendet ist das große Werk (le titre vaut programme, Google Translator pouvant certes aider au besoin, mais Reverso est souvent meilleur), tiré de Die Schöpfung (La Création, évidemment, comme pour filer la métaphore démiurgique).

A lire une partition d’Haydn de préférence à celle de Haendel, l’on est ébouriffé presque à perdre haleine en suivant son écriture harmonique dont la virtuosité contrapuntique n’a rien à envier me semble-t-il à celle de Bach.Tout débat urbain est néanmoins possible car la musique n’est pas une compétition sportive.

En bonne cadence, voici pour l’édition 2013 la Pêche du Canard (aux bons becs de DuckDuckGo, car il n’est pas que Google). Pour écho, car la musique ne vieillit pas :

Pour croquer les notes, les mots ont leur charme, tel le pense EcritOL.

Doris Lessing

Today (2013-11-17), the news of Doris Lessing’s passing away is known. It is high time to move the following post (2008-05) on top. The following links have just been picked on the fly:

DL, 2008

La récipiendaire du Nobel de littérature prend la suite de quelques plumes ou claviers qui ont littéralement fasciné WebOL, ces dernières années de lecture : Günter Grass (sa fondation / Stiftung), J. M. Coetzee, Imre Kertész, Gao Xingjian et Orhan Pamuk. D’autres mériteraient aussi le Prix (@Lavoisy/Net > Privé > Littérature), peu importe pour les lire : Jaan Kross, par exemple.

Nobel Prize DL’s page + her Nobel’s interview by phone the day after.
The Guardian about it.
The New York Times about it.
– Libé titrant La rebelle au Nobel.
Bel entretien dans une édition récente du Monde des Livres.
DL – A retrospective:

This web site is a labor of love (…) basically a « catalog » of her books, with a scan of the cover and portrait of her (if there was one) and the description of the book from the jacket.

On- + Off-screen

Paper and screen are not worlds apart. It’s been ages since print media was beginning to be designed with computerized tools. Leaning on Editorial design for Print Media (nearby post) tools and challenges, scores of editorial ventures on cellulose emerge and maybe thrive, not only the now well-known and ad-saturated Monocle.

Offscreen Mag intended to switch people off, both readers and interviewees who are intensively, sometimes madly stuck to their e-devices. The magazine is a gem, from the paper to the inking to the fonts (Tungsten Narrow by Hoefler & Frere-Jones, from Issue No6 though + Calluna by exljbris) and, indeed, the lay-out.

At first, it looked a bit nerdy-oriented, with an almost stereotyped design flair: always over-tidy offices, orchard of apple (device) trees anywhere, amazing-people-to-skyrocket-my-start-up. But diving into Issue No6, the scope is a good deal broader, with a larger range of interviewees from miscellaneous horizons. Back to Issue No1, all the texts prove worth reading and reading again to grasp challenges and tricks that are both common and original from, well, the digital-cum-artefactual world, aka our world.

The editor, Kai Brach, is about to find the right tune, at least IMHO. Contents and package are highly valuable to understand some factors for nowadays far beyond « bits and pixels« .

& :
Codex Mag, another outstanding magazine on typography by John Boardley (Cf. Codex we love – WebOL).
TypoGrapho ? | Editio ? – (WebOL, building what would be the DigitEditLab).

Nooteboom Wor(l)dwide

How to write about Cees Nooteboom, so keen to roam around the world and dive into a large bunch of languages? Dutch is not mastered at all, German would be too unstable for a proper post, French wouldn’t be understood if any dutch reader’d pass by.

Let’s follow what can be read in Nomad’s Hotel (according to this post from the Joys of Living blog, as the CN’s book Nootebooms hotel is yet to be read),

‘Why do you do so much travelling?’ This is the question Cees Nooteboom has been asked most often. In ‘In het oog van de storm’ (In the eye of the storm), the opening essay of Nootebooms Hotel (Nomad’s Hotel, 2002), he quotes Ibn al-Arabi, a twelfth-century Arabian philosopher, who wrote that a voyage ‘is so called because it reveals people’s characters, or, to put it more simply, for the person who travels alone: On a journey you get to know yourself.’ From the same essay: ‘Maybe the real traveller is always in the eye of the storm. The storm is the world; the eye is that with which he views it. In the eye it is quiet and anyone who is in that place can make out things that pass by people who stay at home.’

Words and worlds are intertwined, as CS speaks in as least as many languages:
– Native Dutch: about his recent writings about the history and mind of Europe, curated by SPUI25.nl.
– English: about his The Foxes Come At Night in a double-part interview (part 1 + part 2) by MacLehose Press.
– German: reading himself his Schiffstagebuch, curated by Suhrkamp.
– Spanish: for whoever passers-by understand it, in a long interview by Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW – Radio Nederland Wereldomroep).

And languages are not tangled with words only. He writes books with his wife Simone Sassen, who is a photographer. Quoting the Joys of Living blog once more:

‘The travel writer may best be compared to a photographer,’ wrote Nooteboom in 1982 in the Holland Herald, KLM’s in-flight magazine. ‘Photography is a more intense way of “looking”. No photographer simply travels. He cannot allow himself the luxury of just looking around. He does not see landscapes; he sees photographs, images of reality as it might appear in a photograph.

&:
Werken van CN (Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren).
CS chez WebOL, principalement en français – Pourquoi voyager ? | La nuit vivent les mots | C. Nooteboom + J. M. Coetzee | Roth x Coetzee | Nooteboom cum laude | Le sceau de Nooteboom.
Foxes – Renards ? Une note ici-même en français sur le livre La nuit viennent les renards (‘s Nachts komen de vossen).
Photography & travel – Photographie & voyage ? Luc en français aussi chez EcritOL.

(Clin de clic à lLNdV).