The Book Undone: Thirty Years of Granary Books

Handwritten and Wordless Books

In 2001 Granary published a retrospective of its approximately 100 publications thus far (a period of fifteen years Charles Bernstein refers to as a “baker’s decade” in his preface of the book). In that essay, “Claymation,” Bernstein characterized the press in terms even more applicable today. “At Granary, books are not neutral containers but are invested with a life of their own, conceived as objects first and foremost, entering the world not as the discardable shell of some other story but piping their own tunes on their own instruments. Nothing is taken for granted—the binder is as much a star as the printer or writer.” In encouraging the primacy of the individual object, Granary has published a number of books that eschew traditional typography in favor of handwritten or even wordless tomes.

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