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Editor's Comments

Everyone who responded to this challenge is a bibliophile: isn't it natural that a lover of words would also love books? In any case, lovers of words and books should find satisfactions among these poems.

Two aspects of this special issue need comment: (1) David Jalajel's poem below is not a ghazal but was inspired by the challenge. I'm using it as a proem to this issue because of its evocative technological, economic, historical survey of making books. (2) David Quentin Dauthier provided photos of a renaissance copy of Tacitus; those photos are the source of the decorations in this issue. Quentin says,

I've written this English "Book" Ghazal in a macaronic style using Dutch and Latin. I did this as an homage to the author of the book, who was a Roman (Tacitus) and to the commentator (Justus Lipsius or Joost Lips) and printer/publisher (Christoph Plantijn), who were both Dutch. The foreign words used are all cognate with English and can be easily understood.
Quentin has also provided a page of notes describing the book.

This is a poignant time to celebrate the "book" in ghazals: the advent of e-books and print-on-demand, the greater ease of self-publishing, the possibility to publish a book in paperless format — these and the stresses on copyright, profits, reviews, distribution, and careers suggest that in a few years the "book" will have entirely changed. Recently, I bought a nice edition of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. After opening the package, I was fondling the book, and my wife observed, "You really love books, don't you?" Yes, I do love books as physical objects as well as sources of ideas. Long live print!


David Jalajel

[upload] oblations, PDFs, hand-tooled tomes
our leather journals & photo albums, POD.
the ancient way

[buy] online: ISBN, local binding, used & rare
our home-schooling resources.

[identify] patterns, purges, a preface, reviews
our jacket blurbs & first editions.
customer help

[recollect] a common history, terrifying events
our carbon paper, photocopies.
other radical discipleships

[compile] links, known imprints, galley proofs
our dating methods, anomalies, 100s of technologies.

[schedule] names, ornaments, HTML lists, a code
our oldest volumes & codices.
writings on scrolls

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