The Hang Fire Books Blog

The rantings of a bookdealer in Brooklyn, New York.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Wee Naked People

I've been collecting Rockwell Kent ever since I first discovered his stunning illustrations for Moby-Dick (haven't landed the Lakeside Press edition yet but one day...).

Looking through the Strand dollar tables, I came across a beat-up copy of Candide that Kent did for the Literary Guild in 1929. Not a work that moves me particularly, but Kent's illustrations are gruesome and funny so I picked it up.

On closer examination I noticed that not only had Kent done a spot illustration for every page he also designed tiny nude figures that cavort in the type.

and the full page here.

Annoying as hell to read but a cool and unique example of book design. Wish I could make them into a font.

COMPLETE TANGENT WARNING: I heard another right-wing, douche-bag defending a "The Cannon" on the radio the other day. As usual he trotted out Melville. Have they read Moby-Dick? A protagonist who owns nothing, sleeps with Cannibals, and has an enormous love for nature; A ship of state run by a monomaniac who will sacrifice anything and everything for an irrational vendetta? Doesn't really reinforce the party line. At least Ahab would have found Osama.

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