Chimera by John Barth
Signed Limited First Edition, 287 of 300
Published by Random House in 1975
Unique Binding by Richard Tuttle
Binding Details: As with all of Richard Tuttle’s pieces, this is a one of a kind binding that captures the spirit of the book and returns us to a time when books were beautiful to display as well as read. In a world of mediocrity and mass produced books, he believes important literary works are special and should be treasured and passed on to future generations.
The book has been rebound by Richard Tuttle as a book/sculpture in lamb and goat leather over sculpted boards that create an imaginary creature that is a combination lion, eagle, and dragon. The book/sculpture is designed to stand up” with a magnetic clasp that keeps the book closed. Richard Tuttle’s artist signature and the binding date appear on the blank page following the limitation page. The binding was done in 2013.
The book/sculpture measures 13” x 8”
Book Details: This is the limited signed first edition of “Chimera” published by Random House in 1975 with a limitation of 300 with this being number 287. In Chimera, John Barth injects his signature wit into the tales of Scheherezade of the Thousand and One Nights, Perseus, the slayer of Medusa, and Bellerophon, who tamed the winged horse Pegasus. In a book that the Washington Post called "stylishly maned, tragically songful, and serpentinely elegant," Barth retells these tales from varying perspectives, examining the myths’ relationship to reality and their resonance with the contemporary world. A winner of the National Book Award. Internally, the book is in FINE condition.
Artist Statement: Included with the book is a signed artist statement by Richard Tuttle on the making of “Chimera”.
About the Artist: Richard Tuttle is a painter, writer, graphic designer, carpenter, bookbinder and lover of literature. For the past 20 years, he has combined his many interests to create one of a kind works of art that merge the written word with fine leather, paper, paint, wood and veneer. These original book bindings have been exhibited in numerous galleries and were featured in a PBS documentary on the Chicago Art beat. Richard describes his work as follows: “I make literary artifacts. They are designed to pull books down off the shelf and display them in the salon, gallery or home as if they were works of art, which, of course, they are. Whether binding books with leather, paper, paint, wood, and found artifacts or building sculptures to encase the volumes, I seek to find a perspective that shouts out a piece of the essence of the literary work. I try to put myself in the author's or character's mind to say something about the time it was written in; the attitude that is explored and expressed; the magic that makes it a work of art. While I obviously respect and admire the books I work on, the humor, wit and raw energy I find so attractive in their works leads me to places that some might call disrespectful, but are, for me, essential parts of these literary works. Motivated by Marcel Duchamp's attempts to elevate the object into art and William Blake's efforts to remake his world and James Joyce's efforts to include all culture and all action in one whole: Motivated by the ongoing conversation of Jazz musicians between its earliest practitioners and its most avante garde practitioners: Motivated by the great world library of "what we are" as extolled by Jorge Luis Borges: Motivated by the desire to live in a world that is conscious of itself and conscious of its ability to create itself: I create these art objects out of books in order be surrounded by a physical environment that reflects the world of ideas I want to live in.”
Condition Report: The binding is in FINE condition.
Photographs of the binding as well as the limitation page signed by John Barth appear in the photo section of the listing.