ApologyBookOfCreatures
VellumOverlay1Color plate from "Apology for the Book of Creatures"StephanieBacon
  • Pages: 40
  • Size: 6 x 8 x .25 in
  • Price: $300.00

Apology for the Book of Creatures

Dan Beachy-Quick

Color plate from "Apology for the Book of Creatures"This chapbook pairs Dan Beachy-Quick’s long poem in connection with Montaigne’s “Apology for The Book of Creatures” with original artwork by printmaker Stephanie Bacon. It is a collector’s edition artist’s book with five tipped-in prints in multiple colors.

 

At left is one of the illustrated plates letterpress and relief printed on Yasuotomo lavender kozo paper.

 

“It is possible to read Apology for the Book of Creatures as precisely what Keats disdained: that ‘irritable reaching after fact and reason’ in the face of the infinite — of beauty and pain, life and death, the material and the spiritual. Perhaps Apology is, after all, a coda to Spell. We give ourselves to phantoms, yes, and yet the self is itself a phantom, multiple, changeable, putative, fleeting. Apart from total solipsism, what we are left with is choice: the ability to choose among phantoms. Beachy-Quick chooses the eye: to live through the eye, to assemble a self by means of sight, of seeing. Like Jacob, he wrestles with the fruits of the eye, these phantasms and surfaces, even as those he loves die away from the known and knowing world. Only, unlike the angel, they have yet to let him go.” —G.C. Waldrep, Kenyon Review Online

 

The limited-edition two-color version of this chapbook has been sold out.

[Preface]

 

Song commits melody, words commit memory

to words, to world

a syllable refers

to breath not bird, a music underneath

the bird sings the bird

not known

not spoken, not known

and if by bird I mean the world

I mean this world

a bird sings

a song beneath a song

not what I know

pine siskin in pine, water thrush deep in wood,

ignorance no vice, knowledge no good

 

Copyright © 2008 by Dan Beachy-Quick

“It is possible to read Apology for the Book of Creatures as precisely what Keats disdained: that 'irritable reaching after fact and reason' in the face of the infinite — of beauty and pain, life and death, the material and the spiritual. Perhaps Apology is, after all, a coda to Spell. We give ourselves to phantoms, yes, and yet the self is itself a phantom, multiple, changeable, putative, fleeting. Apart from total solipsism, what we are left with is choice: the ability to choose among phantoms. Beachy-Quick chooses the eye: to live through the eye, to assemble a self by means of sight, of seeing. Like Jacob, he wrestles with the fruits of the eye, these phantasms and surfaces, even as those he loves die away from the known and knowing world. Only, unlike the angel, they have yet to let him go.” —G.C. Waldrep, Kenyon Review Online