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Critical Analysis

by E. Rettberg

Design Features

typographic: The text occurs only on triangular pages, in two rows in different fonts that read through the work horizontally but also seem to feature some dialogic interaction.

imagery: A frame of autumn leaves surrounds each spread, and the images at the centers of the pages feature landscapes in various states of brokenness, be it from the lumber industry or from brightly smiling, campy-looking tourist figures.

graphical: The contrast between the bright colors of the central images and the drab grayscale of the frame, along with the stark black of the triangular pages, create a graphically various reading experience.

turnings: The triangular pages, much smaller than the rectangular ones, create an effect wherein the reader experiences the same page in at least two different ways (three different ways, in the case of the center spread).

development: The pages' layouts, consistent in their variety, feature an increasing amount of photographic human activity as the book goes on.

intratextual: The two rows of text on the triangular pages dialogue with, undercut, and redefine each other at the same time as they convey independent monologues.

Critical Discussion

The two interacting text sequences both engage with interactions between the natural and the human. In the first, a speaker addressing a second-person "you" reflects on the imposition of human metaphors of color onto natural artifacts--"the creek would / run red with soil--a thick, rich red like some kind of primer paint"; "The creeks are red. Think of a new flag. Red & Green & Black." In the second example here, the reflection on nature extends to the political realm of the national flag, the observation being mirrored in the page's red and green images in the center of a gray frame. The second text sequence reflects on rain and its power to "water... the fields / and wash... them away / all at the same time." The text thinks about how it must have "meant something," but ends with the observation that it "seemed impossible to understand." Thus, the first sequence involves a human mastery of nature with the imposition of artistic thought upon it, and the second reflects on nature's mastery of humanity as an un-understandable entity and a sometimes destructive, sometimes giving force.



Clifton Meador

type: initiating


born: United States
active: United States
citizenship: United States

Publication Information

edition type: editioned

publisher: Clifton Meador

place: The Center for Editions, Purchase College, Purchase, NY

publication: 1988-00-00

edition size: unknown


horizontal: 7.25 inches closed

vertical: 9 inches closed

horizontal: The triangular inner pages are isosceles triangles with 6.375" sides and a 4.625" base. other other

Production Information

production means:
offset (local)

binding: hand sewn (local)

bookBlock: paper rectangular pages: cardstock, same as cover.
bookBlock: paper triangular pages: textured black paper

ink (local)


general description: The design of the slender volume's cover, with a black-and-white image of a leaf and a pink patch presenting the title, repeats throughout the pages of the book as a black-and-white frame containing a colored (not color) photograph. Inside, smaller, black triangular pages contain two rows of text in different fonts.

format: codex (AAT)

cover: The front cover's black and white image of a leaf has a patch of pink with the title printed in gold. The back cover features no color, but it repeats the front cover's leaf, this time in a crumbled state.

color: yes


pagination: unpaginated 12 pages total; 4 rectangular pages; 8 triangular pages.

numbered?: unnumbered

signed?: unsigned