by J. Drucker
The Word Made Flesh and its immediate predecessor, Through Light and the Alphabet, were both made as distinct formulations in response to theoretical issues in writing and ecriture. Both address the status of materiality in visual presentation of poetic work. Both are direct responses to the work of Jacques Derrida, and also, to the dictates and orthodoxies of many of the California Language Poets whose work and lives had been so intimately bound to mine. The typographic format of the Word Made Flesh was meant to trip the eye, return one constantly to the plane of discourse, of material production. I made this book, and Through Light and the Alphabet, out of complete love of letters. Probably more than any other of my books, these two are absolute celebrations of the beauty and expressive capability of type.
The Word Made Flesh
title note: This appears printed on the title page in an instance of paragonnage: D e/u la (impossible to reproduce here). [J. Drucker]
born: United States
active: United States
citizenship: United States
note: The first edition was entirely created by Johanna Drucker and published by Druckwerk [A. Schutte]
location: 568 Broadway, Suite 403 New York, NY 10012
note: Granary Press published a second edition of The Word Made flesh; it is a facsimile of copy 50 of the original edition with different covers. [A. Schutte]
publisher: Granary Books
publication history: There are two editions of the Word Made Flesh. In 1989 Druckwerk published the original letterpress edition. Then, in 1996 Granary Press published a facsimile of the original edition with new letterpress covers by the artist. Both are out of print. [A. Schutte]
other Language writing, theoretical criticism, feminist theory.
artists' books (LCSH)
themes: The theme of this book is the materiality of language. Every reference in the book, and all vocabulary, emphasize the idea of embodied language. The impossibility of transcendence, through reference or any hierarchy of truth value or universal meaning, is continually demonstrated by the fact that all references collapse back onto the material of the text and its typographic expression. [J. Drucker]
experimental text (local)
artists' book (local)
inspiration: The writings of Jacques Derrida, devotional visual poetry, particularly carmina figurata. [J. Drucker]
related works: Through Light and the Alphabet, printed in 1986 before leaving Berkeley, is the companion piece to this book. That work is about the possibility of proliferating meaning and reference through the use of visual, graphic means, which this is about collapsing layers of signification and reference. [J. Drucker]
other influences: Gino Lee had a strong influence on the planning stages before the project began. [J. Drucker]
community: press The Bow and Arrow provided a strong community, excellent environment, much camaraderie, not to mention the equipment and opportunity for printing. [J. Drucker]
note: The two editions of this book are quite similar, but the facsimile has a sturdier binding, and a cover that is more in keeping with the aesthetic tone of the interior pages. [J. Drucker]
reception history: See: Marjorie Perloff, Radical Artifice.
manuscript type: mockups
location: artist's archive
note: The mockups, paper samples, some of the printing trials, etc. are extant.
manuscript type: texts
location: artist's archive
note: The text, and the manuscripts used to make the layout, are in the artist's archive.
Like a number of other book projects designed by this artist, this one was made to work in a wall display so that the W-O-R-D M-A-D-E F-L-E-S-H of the title would be readable. [J. Drucker]