One O’Clock In The Morning

I still exist, but sometimes I forget that. I’ve been lax posting lately, but finally have something and forgot to do it until late.

This is a book I made to test my book-making abilities. I originally saw this as a fun weekend project and stressed myself out as it turned into a month-long odyssey of constant effort. I do not consider the finished product to be an complete success. Because I was hurrying to finish it, and I am learning the overall process, most of the pages are tests of processes done as quick as possible. That they still took weeks doesn’t change that. But much was learned and will be applied to future work.

DSC_0786 - Copy copy

“One’ O’Clock In The Morning by Charles Baudelaire” 15″ x 11″ x 2″ multimedia

The book is basically just a transcription of the Baudelaire poem “One O’Clock In The Morning” (“A Une Heaure Du Matin”) over 10 pages with a front cover (seen above), back cover and spine. This will be difficult to show but I’ve tried to get photos of each page individually and in the book form.

Here is a shot of those 3 elements together:

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Page 1:

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“At last! Alone.”

Stenciled painted letters quilted together.

I will update this post with a shot of this page in the book.

Page 2:

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“There are no sounds but the rattle of a few tardy and worn out cabs. There will be silence now if not repose, for several hours at least. At last the tyranny of the human face has disappeared- none but myself will make me suffer.”

Inkjet words printed on painted paper, collaged.

Same page in the book. Between it and page 1 is a simple fabric quilt I inserted to prevent the different media between pages sticking to each other. In the future these will be plain white, I think.

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Page 3:

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“At last I am allowed to refresh myself in a bath of darkness.”

Painted stencil.

In book:
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Page 4:

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“But first a double turn of the key in the lock to deepen my solitude and strengthen the barriers separating me from the world.”

3 layered collage of painted paper.

In book:
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Pages 5 and 6:

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“Horrible life! Horrible City! Let us glance back over the events of the day:

    • saw several writers, one of them asking me if you could go to Russia by land (he thought Russia was an island, I suppose);
    • disagreed liberally with the editor of a review who to all my objections kept saying: “Here we are on the side of respectability,” implying that all the other periodicals were run by rascals;
    • bowed to twenty or more persons of whom fifteen were unknown to me; distributed hand shakes in about the same proportion without having first taken the precaution of buying gloves;DSC_0737
    • to kill time during a shower, dropped in on a dance who asked me to design her a costume of Venustre;
    • went to pay court to a theatrical director who in dismissing me said; “Perhaps you would do well to see Z….; he is the dullest, stupidest and most celebrated of our authors; with him you might get somewhere. Consult him and then we’ll see”
    • boasted (why?) of several ugly things I never did, and cravenly denied some other misdeeds that I had accomplished with the greatest delight; offense of fanfaronnade, crime against human dignity;
    • refused a slight favor to a friend and gave a written recommendation to a perfect rogue;Lord! let’s hope that’s all! “

Both pages are comprised of notebook excerpts. Page 1 includes paint stenciled letters that have been quilted.

In book:
DSC_0776 copy

Page 7:

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“Discontented with myself, discontented with the world; I long to redeem myself and regain my self-respect in the silence and solitude.”

Paint stenciled words quilted together.

In book:
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Page 8:

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“Souls of those I’ve loved; souls of those I’ve sung; strengthen me, sustain me; drive away lies and the corrupting odor of this world.”

Lino Cut.

In book:
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Page 9:

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“And you, dear Lord, grant me the grace to write a few good verses, to prove to myself that I am not the lowest of men, that I am not inferior to those whom I despise.”

Acrylic stenciled letters quilted together. (This is the page that necessitated adding clumsy borders to all other pages. In future editions, I will “inferior to those whom I despise” to the next page).

In book:
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Page 10:

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Linocut of Baudelaire.

In book:
DSC_0785 copy

And that’s more or less it. As I said this was a test of the large book format with full quilted pages, and I’d call it a mixed success overall. I don’t think the poem is well served by the (literal) patchwork presentation of hard to read words, and probably will simplify the presentation in the future, but overall I set out to do something and I did it. To that extent at least it is not a failure.

-JD

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2 Responses to “One O’Clock In The Morning”

  1. Wow! This is impressive! Beautiful work.

  2. Amazing work! Thanks for sharing.

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