72. Orlando by Virginia Woolf, with photographs by Diana Michener
Orlando, the novel by Virginia Woolf, with ninety-three color photographs by Diana Michener, 2005.
Orlando has an unrivaled place in the history of English fiction. The last and most light-hearted of Woolf's three major novels, it was begun in 1927, at the peak of her career, and published by Virginia and Leonard Woolf's Hogarth Press in 1928. Orlando is perhaps the most imaginative, some would say fantastical, creation of this legendarily individualistic writer, taking its reader on a journey across four centuries, with a hero who comes of age as a titled country gentleman in Elizabethan times and ends as a prize-winning woman author in the nineteen-twenties.
Diana Michener is a photographer known for images that are powerfully suggestive of narrative. Her photographs offer a new visual experience for readers of Orlando, using friends, relatives, and found portraits of unknowns as models, and costumes, objects, and landscapes to suggest historic periods and the passage of time. The photographer herself appears in several images, in various guises and disguises. Skaters glide over ice just before the River Thames breaks up. Globes spin as the world revolves. A boy becomes a man becomes a woman, shows a leg, a well-turned ankle, reveals flesh. An old woman appears as a puppet. A doll wears a moustache. Identities merge, then reemerge as separates. A slender figure in mannish apparel reclines beneath an oak tree or stares out over a wheat field. Masts of a sailing ship are furled. Toy boats are in full sail upon the confines of a pond. A pink silk dress billows, feathers fall, flowers bloom in profusion. A Chinese vase, distorted by the glass of a shop window, is decorated with cranes, symbolic of long life. The photographs are informed by the story or run parallel, independent but indebted to it for inspiration.
THE EDITION & PRICE
Format: large quarto, 13 by 10 inches, 168 pages, plus twelve foldouts for the photographs, the equivalent of four pages each. They are revealed as three panels of differing widths. The outside of the illustration signatures is covered with the image of the Chinese vase, in and out of focus, the mysterious cranes inviting the reader to open the gate-fold. Inside, a varying number of photographs are arranged on the three panels.
The types are Century Bold and Century Expanded in Monotype and hand composition. The text was printed by letterpress. The photographs were printed by offset lithography. The paper is Mohawk Superfine. The books are bound entirely by hand, sewn with linen thread over linen tapes, in an iridescent tan-gold cloth cover with printed paper panels on front and back of the same proportions as the gate folds. The photograph of the cranes reappears on the cover and on the slipcase in changing views. The title is stamped in white on the front cover and spine, as well as on the spine of the slipcase.
The edition is limited to four hundred numbered copies for sale and twenty-six lettered copies for complimentary distribution. Each copy is signed by the artist. The price is $900. Available
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Edition: Format: large quarto, 13 by 10 inches, 168 pages, plus twelve foldouts for the photographs. The books are bound by hand, in an iridescent tan-gold cloth cover with printed paper panels on front and back with images from the book. The edition is limited to 400 numbered copies for sale. Each copy is signed by the photographer. Price: $900.
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