Supports et acteurs de la création texte/image (XXe–XXIe siècles) / Materials and Agents of the Text/Image Creation (20th–21th Centuries)
Edited By Isabelle Chol and Jean Khalfa
The heart of the reflection in this book is the diversity of aesthetic possibilities of the book as material support, from the late nineteenth century to contemporary experiments. The page, the sheet and the book go well beyond the codex and the bound book, in the heterogeneity of their materials, forms and formats (fans, leporellos, poster collections, upright books, book sculptures, exploded books, electronic books, etc.): they are active supports in the design and reception process. This book observes the process of composition and distribution of works in their material singularities, including the role of the different stakeholders in the design of the book, not only the writer and the artist but also the typographer, bookbinder, publisher or gallery owner, each playing a multiplicity of roles. Such porous borders between roles and crafts generate porosity between the literary and artistic genres.
When the reader wanders through the house-book: From Goncourt’s La Maison d’un artiste (1881) to Danielewski’s House of Leaves (2000)
In the late nineteenth century, just when inexpensive, pocket-sized books were becoming available to an increasing number of readers, the elitist Edmond de Goncourt conceived, in contrast, a strange and elaborate book, the Maison d’un artiste,1 which he saw as the ultimate object of his private collection. Goncourt invites the reader to discover his Auteuil mansion in this work at the crossroads of an exhibition catalogue, an interior design manual, an autobiography and a novel. The text is an exhaustive description of the rooms in the house and of the objects (books, prints, paintings, engravings, etchings, artefacts) collected by the Goncourt brothers. The organization of the text invites the reader to enter the house and wander through the rooms, from the vestibule to the most intimate parts of the house-museum, following a carefully guided tour orchestrated by the author-narrator. Text and house merge in the material object – the book – and the reading experience follows a circumscribed spatialization.
More than a hundred years after this foray into designing the book as a house, Mark Z. Danielewski publishes an intriguing novel entitled House of Leaves (2000).2 The main plot of this dense novel, where the word ‘house’ is intentionally printed in blue throughout the text, revolves around an anomaly observed by the inhabitants of the house of leaves. ← 7 | 8 → When they return from holiday, the Navidsons discover a drastic change in their house: a closet-like space has appeared between their room and the children’s room....
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