A Place in the Country
A Place in the Country is W. G. Sebald’s meditation on the six artists and writers who shaped his creative mind—and the last of this great writer’s major works to be translated into English.
This beautiful hardcover edition, with a full-cloth case, includes more than 40 pieces of art and 6 full-color gatefolds, all originally selected and laid out by W. G. Sebald.
This extraordinary collection of interlinked essays about place, memory, and creativity captures the inner worlds of five authors and one painter. In his masterly and mysterious style—part critical essay, part memoir—Sebald weaves their lives and art with his own migrations and rise in the literary world.
Here are people gifted with talent and courage yet in some cases cursed by fragile and unstable natures, working in countries inhospitable or even hostile to them. Jean-Jacques Rousseau is conjured on the verge of physical and mental exhaustion, hiding from his detractors on the island of St. Pierre, where two centuries later Sebald took rooms adjacent to his. Eighteenth-century author Johann Peter Hebel is remembered for his exquisite and delicate nature writing, expressing the eternal balance of both the outside world and human emotions. Writer Gottfried Keller, best known for his 1850 novel Green Henry, is praised for his prescient insights into a Germany where “the gap between self-interest and the common good was growing ever wider.”
Sebald compassionately re-creates the ordeals of Eduard Mörike, the German Romantic poet beset by mood swings, depression, and fainting spells in an increasingly shallow society, and Robert Walser, the institutionalized author whose nearly indecipherable scrawls seemed an attempt to “duck down below the level of language and obliterate himself” (and whose physical appearance and year of death mirrored those of Sebald’s grandfather). Finally, Sebald spies a cognizance of death’s inevitability in painter Jan Peter Tripp’s lovingly exact reproductions of life.
Featuring the same kinds of suggestive and unexplained illustrations that appear in his masterworks Austerlitz and The Rings of Saturn, *and translated by Sebald’s colleague Jo Catling, *A Place in the Country is Sebald’s unforgettable self-portrait as seen through the experiences of others, a glimpse of his own ghosts alongside those of the men who influenced him. It is an essential addition to his stunning body of work.
Named One of the Top 10 Literary Biographies, Essays & Criticism of the Season by *Publishers Weekly
“In Sebald’s writing, everything is connected, everything webbed together by the unseen threads of history, or chance, or fate, or death. The scholarly craft of gathering scattered sources and weaving them into a coherent whole is transformed here into something beautiful and unsettling, elevated into an art of the uncanny—an art that was, in the end, Sebald’s strange and inscrutable gift.”—Slate
“Reading [A Place in the Country is] like going for a walk with a beautifully talented, deeply passionate novelist from Mars.”—New York
“Out of exquisitely attuned feeling for the past, Sebald fashioned an entirely new form of literature. I’ve read his books countless times trying to understand how he did it. In the end, I can only say that he practiced a kind of magic born out of almost supernatural sensitivity. *A Place in the Country extends the too-short time we were given in his company.”—Nicole Krauss
Sound Reporting: The NPR Guide to Audio Journalism and Production
Jonathan Kern, who has trained NPR’s on-air staff for years, is a gifted guide, able to narrate a day in the life of a host and lay out the nuts and bolts of production with equal wit and warmth. Along the way, he explains the importance of writing the way you speak, reveals how NPR books guests ranging from world leaders to neighborhood newsmakers, and gives sage advice on everything from proposing stories to editors to maintaining balance and objectivity. Best of all—because NPR wouldn’t be NPR without its array of distinctive voices—lively examples from popular shows and colorful anecdotes from favorite personalities animate each chapter.
As public radio’s audience of millions can attest, NPR’s unique guiding principles and technical expertise combine to connect with listeners like no other medium can. With today’s technologies allowing more people to turn their home computers into broadcast studios, Sound Reporting couldn’t have arrived at a better moment to reveal the secrets behind the story of NPR’s success.
The Italian Avant-Garde 1968-1976
Alex Coles (Ed.)
EP creates a discursive platform between lighter magazines (single play) and academic journals (long play) by introducing the notion of the extended play into publishing. Designed by Experimental Jetset, a new volume of EP will be released annually, each one containing both textual and visual essays of the highest quality. Edited by Alex Coles in collaboration with a specialist appropriate to the theme under investigation, each volume will focus on a subject that actively works across art, design, and architecture.
The first volume, The Italian Avant-Garde: 1968 to 1976, emphasizes the multiple correspondences between well-known radical design groups like Arte Povera, Archizoom, and Superstudio, and figures such as Ettore Sottsass and Alessandro Mendini, and previously overlooked spaces, works, and performances generated by Zoo, Gruppo 9999, and Cavart. Newly commissioned interviews and essays by historians, curators and critics shed new light on the era under scrutiny, while contemporary practitioners, discuss its complex legacy.
With contributions by Paola Antonelli, Pier Vittorio Aureli, Andrea Branzi, Alice Clarke, Formafantasma, Martino Gamper, Verina Gfader, Joseph Grima, Alessandro Mendini, Antonio Negri, Paola Nicolin, Michaelangelo Pistoletto, Catharine Rossi, Libby Sellers, and Ettore Vitale.
The Interface: IBM and the Transformation of Corporate Design
In February 1956 the president of IBM, Thomas Watson Jr., hired the industrial designer and architect Eliot F. Noyes, charging him with reinventing IBM’s corporate image, from stationery and curtains to products such as typewriters and computers and to laboratory and administration buildings. What followed—a story told in full for the first time in John Harwood’s The Interface—remade IBM in a way that would also transform the relationships between design, computer science, and corporate culture.
IBM’s program assembled a cast of leading figures in American design: Noyes, Charles Eames, Paul Rand, George Nelson, and Edgar Kaufmann Jr. The Interface offers a detailed account of the key role these designers played in shaping both the computer and the multinational corporation. Harwood describes a surprising inverse effect: the influence of computer and corporation on the theory and practice of design. Here we see how, in the period stretching from the “invention” of the computer during World War II to the appearance of the personal computer in the mid-1970s, disciplines once well outside the realm of architectural design—information and management theory, cybernetics, ergonomics, computer science—became integral aspects of design.
As the first critical history of the industrial design of the computer, of Eliot Noyes’s career, and of some of the most important work of the Office of Charles and Ray Eames, The Interface supplies a crucial chapter in the story of architecture and design in postwar America—and an invaluable perspective on the computer and corporate cultures of today.
The second edition on Exhibition Prosthetics is published on the occasion of Joseph Grigley’s exhibition at the New York Art Book Fair, 2010. It explores the artist’s use of language and images as a means of representation that further the reach of the real. Grigely uses the term ‘exhibition prosthetics’ to describe an array of these conventions, particularly (but not exclusively) in relation to exhibition practices. Exhibition Prosthetics is the first in the Bedford Press Editions series of artist’s books edited by Zak Kyes. The series will engage with publications as a primary medium of practice, enabling artists to explore the inherent constraints and possibilities of the printed document.
On the morning after harvest, the inhabitants of a remote English village awaken looking forward to a hard-earned day of rest and feasting at their landowner’s table. But the sky is marred by two conspicuous columns of smoke, replacing pleasurable anticipation with alarm and suspicion.
One smoke column is the result of an overnight fire that has damaged the master’s outbuildings. The second column rises from the wooded edge of the village, sent up by newcomers to announce their presence. In the minds of the wary villagers a mere coincidence of events appears to be unlikely, with violent confrontation looming as the unavoidable outcome. Meanwhile, another newcomer has recently been spotted taking careful notes and making drawings of the land. It is his presence more than any other that will threaten the village’s entire way of life.
In effortless and tender prose, Jim Crace details the unraveling of a pastoral idyll in the wake of economic progress. His tale is timeless and unsettling, framed by a beautifully evoked world that will linger in your memory long after you finish reading.
Slouching Towards Bethlehem
The first nonfiction work by one of the most distinctive prose stylists of our era, Slouching Towards Bethlehem remains, forty years after its first publication, the essential portrait of America— particularly California—in the sixties. It focuses on such subjects as John Wayne and Howard Hughes, growing up a girl in California, ruminating on the nature of good and evil in a Death Valley motel room, and, especially, the essence of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury, the heart of the counterculture.
Toothpicks and Logos: Design in Everyday Life
Design touches virtually every aspect of our lives, imbuing the most humdrum of objects with meaning. In Toothpicks and Logos, John Heskett illuminates a subject as vast and complex as human life itself, ranging from the earliest found implements in our history—the stick, the shell, the cupped hand—to modern advertising logos, software interfaces, and even the lowly toothpick.
Here is a truly groundbreaking book, one that will transform the way we think about design, revealing how integral it is to our daily lives, from the spoon we use to eat our breakfast cereal, to the car we drive to work in, to the medical equipment used to save lives. Design, Heskett writes, is one of the most basic expressions of what it is to be human—the reshaping of the environment to meet our needs and answer our desires, capturing both utility and aesthetics. Going beyond issues of style and taste, he describes how different cultures and individuals personalize objects—even simple objects, such as a toothpick, can have their design modified to suit the specific cultural behavior in different countries. Heskett examines architecture, multimedia, computers, software, and even the role of government in influencing design trends and he offers fascinating insights into how major companies such as Nokia, Ford, and Sony approach design. Finally, we are shown an exciting vision of what design can offer us in the future and especially its role in humanizing new technology.
Learned, thoughtful, and filled with lively examples, Toothpicks and Logos offers an entirely new slant on design, bringing clarity and insight to a sprawling and staggeringly complicated subject.
Forms and Meanings: Texts, Performances, and Audiences from Codex to Computer
In this provocative work, Roger Chartier continues his extraordinarily influential consideration of the forms of production, dissemination, and interpretation of discourse in Early Modern Europe. Chartier here examines the relationship between patronage and the market, and explores how the form in which a text is transmitted not only constrains the production of meaning but defines and constructs its audience.
Design and Crime (And Other Diatribes)
In these diatribes on the marketing of culture and the branding of identity, the development of spectacle—architecture and the rise of global cities, Hal Foster surveys our new political economy of design. Written in a lively style, Design and Crime explores the historical relations of modern art and modern museum, the conceptual vicissitudes of art history and visual studies, the recent travails of art criticism, and the double aftermath of modernism and postmodernism in an attempt to illuminate the conditions for critical culture in the present.
Notes From The Cosmic Typewriter: The Life And Work Of Dom Sylvester Houedard
Nicola Simpson (ed)
This book is the first since the early 1970s devoted to the extraordinary British Benedictine monk, scholar, translator, concrete poet and artist Dom Sylvester Houédard (192492). Edited by Nicola Simpson, with new essays by Gustavo Grandal Montero, Rick Poynor, David Toop and Charles Verey, ‘Notes from the Cosmic Typewriter’ offers a broad and richly illustrated introduction to this major artistic and theological figure.
A Schoolboy’s Diary and Other Stories
A Schoolboy’s Diary brings together more than seventy of Robert Walser’s strange and wonderful stories, most never before available in English. Opening with a sequence from Walser’s first book, “Fritz Kocher’s Essays,” the complete classroom assignments of a fictional boy who has met a tragically early death, this selection ranges from sketches of uncomprehending editors, overly passionate readers, and dreamy artists to tales of devilish adultery, sexual encounters on a train, and Walser’s service in World War I. Throughout, Walser’s careening, confounding, delicious voice holds the reader transfixed.