Tuesday, 5 July 2011

"Put it before them briefly..."

Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it, and above all accurately so they will be guided by its light. - Joseph Pulitzer

I have got this quotation pinned up beside my desk in an attempt to pay attention to it. Perhaps not the best way to start a blog - quite a tall order, but tall orders are good for us, I think. G.K. Chesterton said he liked getting into hot water because he thought it kept him clean. Enough of the quotations. I don't much like hot water, that's why I'm sitting at my desk and not on a street corner - but I like his sentiment. 

Last month, I applied for some arts funding from a local body, and after much outlining, chatting with friends and writings of 'supporting statements,' I didn't get short-listed. One of the things I said I would do as part of my 'project' would be to start a blog, describing my progress. My project was going to be a series of chapbooks* concerned with the theme of 'light' (yeah, I thought I'd keep it nice and vague - perhaps to my detriment). So I will aim to work on this series (sans new Mac, printer or camera, which perhaps I didn't 'need' anyway), and share some of my workings with you. I do a bit of sketching and sewing, which may come into things here and there. 

So a 'chapbook' is about brevity - it's a small pamphlet of not much more than forty pages with amongst other things, a pretty cover. 

In my chapbooks then,  and my theme of 'light,' I'd like to be clear**, picturesque, and accurate. The proof will be in the pudding.

* Chapbook: an ancient form of publishing that is enjoying a renaissance 500 years on with a surge of interest in modern chapbooks.

The 16th century merriments that became the chapman's stock in trade were historically cheap, crudely made and illustrated using recycled woodcuts.

Today's chapbooks, which are enjoying a revival along with independent regional publishing, bear little resemblance to the roughly produced books of the past. They are objects of beauty in their own right, with emphasis on original design as well as being a showcase for original writing. Pamphlet-sized but glossy, and more book than leaflet, they are highly covetable, which partly explains their appeal."   Posted on 4th March 2011 by Helen Carter on The Guardian's The Northerner Blog. 

** Clarity is a particular weak point of mine.

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