Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Week 23: Word Maps

   Language is more than an assembly of phonics and syllables which can be interchanged from one dialect to another. Instead, a language embodies the culture and history of its peoples. Its roots go back to the earliest bits of communication...whether it be in pictorial symbols or syllabic murmurings of an alphabet. A language's origin may be centered on spiritual and religious contexts or on more plebeian, analytical relationships... or both. Phrases, idioms, and especially words... of any language... have a linguistic genealogy unique to that culture... Yet, there is also in many languages, if not all languages, the element of intermixing with other cultures. The English language is certainly a mix of many languages...  When looking into the background of words, it's as if a map were laid out before you. That is the basis for this week's book-of-the-week, Word Maps... Not actually tracing the etymology of words... but highlighting and celebrating the route that words take over time by focusing on words in the English language that relate to maps.

the set... book and box
   The book is housed in a book-like drop spine box which was made especially for this book. It is covered with paste paper that was created to infer a cacophony of voices and cultures. Red silk Japanese book cloth was used for the spine of the case-like cover. 

paste paper covered drop spine box.
The book itself was bound with an exposed French-link and kettle stitch binding, then glued to cover boards which were covered in Italian print paper. Over each signature is a small folio of either handmade Cave paper ( ) or a piece of a vintage North Carolina map, or both.

the spine and covers...
The text paper is a mould-made Italian paper.

old map and a line connect the word maps
The title page of Word Maps is handwritten with a Sharpie Marker.. the last line trailing onto the next page.....

the title page
   Inside the text block, folded pages taken from a 1950's Miriam-Webster's Dictionary have been folded into a turkish map fold and adhered to each page spread.  Their brittle, yellowed sheets are a contrast to the pristine white folios of the text paper.. showing the richness of age as part of their beauty.

looking in from the fore-edge

the schooner page...
Any words on the dictionary pages that related to maps, routes, or movement were circled with the Sharpie Marker and connected by a single line to the page before and after... so all the map words were outlined and connected.

map words, outlined and connected

It's fascinating and reassuring to realize the connections between languages and peoples of the world. ...To realize that even in this, where there are so many differences, there are Word Maps that connect us all.

the parts of Word Maps

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