Monday, September 26, 2011

A Dialogue Between Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons

After reading Tender Buttons I was immediately drawn to the verbal collage and the rhythmic flow found within.  My anthology of TenderButtons is based on the movement and dialogue found in these rhythms and how they relate to each other not only in one poem, but how each poem relates to another. I have paired up her poems into pairs, such asA Table/A Time To Eat and Cucumber/Salad. Each of these pairs speak to one another phonetically and it was my mission to make sure they spoke visually. I wanted to reference the fluidity of dance through my binding method, as well pay homage to Gertrude Stein’s use of fragmentation and connection to cubism. I played up the idea of pairings with my typeface choices. I chose Bauer Bodoni, a modern typeface, and Stemple Garamond, a humanistic typeface. I also chose to incorporate two types of paper, a soft white card stock and vellum to play off one another in order to create a feeling of simultaneity. The reader is to make their way through the layered compositions, experience a bit of confusion and finally appreciate the artifact for what it is without trying to force fragments into a perfect picture, something I must admit I initially did with Tender Buttons. 

Upon reflection this book could use a few improvements. The first would be to address the cover by adding some contrast and some use of imagery. I suppose I steered away from imagery because I didn't want to give any connotations to this book other than the form within the pages. Now I see that by adding some kind of imagery, however subtle, might give the viewer further insight into the book. The second thing would be the fragility of this book. Because the pages are rather thin they lack a bit of stability during the experience. I am rather proud of this book, not only because I am pleased with the outcome but because this final artifact was not what I had in mind. I allowed the content to lead me where I wound up. 

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