Patrick Storrs Fox’s response to Brian and correction of Brian Taylor’s ‘Black letter and black patterns’ in Biblionews Issues 365-366 (March–June 2010), pp. 16-18 (and pp. 23-27).
Many thanks for the copy of Biblionews which arrived as a pleasant surprise a few days ago. And of course I am enormously flattered that you should have bothered to review my little Pattern book! One small correction though: you say that it is bound in ‘maroon morocco’ — shouldn‘t that be ‘maroon buckram’ or ‘cloth’? If your copy is bound in morocco, i.e. leather, it wasn‘t me that did it! As for your comment that you had ‘only’ been able to reciprocate by sending me copies of Biblionews, have you forgotten that you sent 3 little greetings cards designed by Hans Schmoller (via the Witton family)? That gift exceeded all reciprocation and I shall ever be in your debt. They are gems, and once more I thank you very much for them.
As for your article about the Minnesinger with its beautiful reproduction of Walther von der Vogelweide, as soon as I started to read it, I thought ‘Does Brian know that there is a Minnesinger zweite Folge?’ I almost stopped reading at that point in order to write to you, but thought better of it, and continued to read. Which was just as well! Every time I take I[nsel] B[ücherei] 560 from the bookshelf, I am always astonished that such a luminously beautiful object could have come out of that darkness which was the Germany of 1945. You are right in thinking that it has never been reprinted, though one often comes across it in paper wrappers (with the same design), an economic stricture of the times. The design for both volumes was by Fritz Kredel, who also did the covers for most of ‘Das kleine Buch’ series within the IB. By the way, have you noticed how the artist who has drawn Walther has depicted him following the opening words of probably Walther‘s best known poem:
Ich saz uf eime steine
[I sat upon a stone]
und dahte bein mit beine;
[and covered one leg with the other]
dar uf satzt ich den ellenbogen;
[on it I place my elbow]
ich hete in mine hant gesmogen
[into my hand I had nestled]
daz kinne und ein min wange.
[my chin and one of my cheeks]
As you rightly surmise, your plain brown wrappered copy of Über die deutsche Sprache is a wartime exigency. Later issues have a patterned cover.
My friend Graham Moss who runs the Incline Press in Oldham (www.inclinepress.com) has for the last 3 or 4 years been preparing a book about ER Weiss, the German book designer, the first such to appear in English. It will consist of some 180 pages and will have about 120 plates/tipped-in illustrations. I will send you his little brochure announcing this venture. You will see that it is a limited edition and that it is not cheap! However, should you know of anybody who feels they must have a copy, they can acquire it at a discount of 10% as long as they use the enclosed order form (which has my initials on it).
Patrick Storrs Fox
Editorial note: Brian accepts the correction and blames the preceding adjective ‘maroon’ for seducing him (but agrees that is a poor excuse). He also takes responsibility for translating Walther‘s lines above and suggests they be compared with the illustration on p. 25 of the March-June issue. Anyone interested in obtaining Graham Moss‘s book should contact Brian at: Department of Germanic Studies, School of Languages and Cultures A18, University of Sydney 2006 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Another School of Arts library catalogue
In Geoffrey Burkhardt‘s article ‘The Libraries of School of Arts and Mechanics’ Institutes: Time capsules of Australian book collections‘ (Issues 363-364, September-December 2009), he indicates his location of ‘the existence of published institute library catalogues for only 41 institutes whose catalogues are held in state libraries and a small number of university libraries’ (p. 103). Geoffrey appeals for catalogues other than those he lists in his references.
I have a copy of the library catalogue for Newtown School of Arts (in Sydney) for 1924. It is 56 pages (22 cm x 28 cm) and has books listed alphabetically by author in nine sections: History and Chronology; Biography and Correspondence; Travel and Geography; Theology, Moral and Mental Philosophy and Education; Natural Philosophy, Science and Arts; Poetry and Drama; Jurisprudence, Political Economy, Social Science; Works of Reference; and (by far the largest section) Prose Works of Fiction.
The catalogue also contains a Book of Rules for the Society and rules and by-laws for: the associated lending library and reading rooms, snooker and billiard room, literary and debating society, and the chess club. There is also a ‘business directory’, which consists of a range of ads, including the one opposite, tailored for the library catalogue.
There‘s hardly any Australian content in the catalogue which may be indicative of the times. Only Henry Lawson and CJ Dennis are included in Poetry and Drama, whilst there is sparse representation in fiction.
Ad from Newtown School of Arts 1924 library catalogue
Notes on article contributors
John Arnold is Senior Lecturer, Communications & Media Studies and Deputy Head of School at Monash University. He has cowritten or contributed to several publications and wrote The Fanfrolico Press: Satyrs, Fauns and fine books (2008), which was reviewed in Biblionews (March-June 2009).
Rosemary Overell (BA Honours, University of Melbourne) is conducting ethnographic fieldwork as part of her PhD in Cultural Studies. She has had articles published, presented papers at conferences and has compiled four zines (explained in her article).
Michael Taffe’s article stems from collecting Mandrake Press books. He completed an Honours thesis on Victoria’s hundreds of Avenues of Honour and has a strong interest in garden history. He wrote Exploring Ballarat’s garden heritage (1999).
Jürgen Wegner is a recently retired librarian from the University of Sydney. He has operated Brandywine Press since 1977 and disperses regular online information for book collectors. He has been a prolific contributor to Biblionews over many years.