Impressions: The Rare Book Room

I was truly looking forward to seeing Wyndham Lewis' "Manifesto-I" after having viewed the PDF on the MJP (SRY 4 the acronyms...). The pages were just as I imagined: hard-stock almost like construction paper, thick enough to absorb the ink of the block lettering. Now I can truly imagine what it would have been like to hold such a large "little magazine" in one's hand. If I had had something like that at the time in which it was released, I would have thought it some kind of monumental book, and probably would have read it as a coherent text, each section contributing to a unified whole. 

But what I didn't expect to hold in my hand was the copy of "The Little Review" from 1920 which contained the serialization of James Joyce's Ulysses. After a brief review of the section headings (not printed in the version I read), I realized that the magazine which I held in my hands contained the very part that caused the book to be banned in the U.S. and sparked the obscenity trial in which the ban was over-ruled. At that moment, I really felt what it was to hold a piece of history in my hands, and for some reason I couldn't help but read over the (subliminally) "obscene" part, just to make sure I had absorbed it. Also very interesting in this issue was the photo of a young Joyce glued to the cover, one which I had never seen, coming off the page because the adhesive had worn out. If this was a part of the original issue, this exemplifies some of the printing techniques of the time, in which the photo is literally slapped on to the page with some glue. Overall, the Rare Book Room was a great experience. 


I like your use of "monumental" to describe the physicality of BLAST. Let's keep that in mind.