Friday, June 10, 2011


The finished piece:

"Dear Scholar, do not be deterred by the complexity of this construction! It may seem at first glance to be confused, muddled, and lacking any sense. But does not time itself look that way when we first peer into its depths? Chaos is the natural state of time, while order is the constructed nature of history. This map, prepared by many hands in intentionally disparate visual styles, seeks to represent that chaos and that order simultaneously. Each of the seven sections, roughly demarcated by the folds of the map, represents a different history of the book in cultures throughout the world. Each image tells a story, and is rendered in exquisite detail in order to help you, brave Reader, inscribe that story into your memory. On the back of every panel is a textual explanation of the image. First, memorize the arrangement of the scenes on the body of the dragon. Then, with the aid of the text, you can commit each scene to memory. After you know each picture by heart and can recall it at will, you are ready, intrepid Voyager, to set sail on the turbulent seas of time. Go forth, daring Champion of History! You carry the light that guides us home."

The title panel. When the map is folded up, this is on the front.

The "How To Use This Map" inset, which is part of the large title panel on the image side. This is the text that begins this post.

And the colophon. When the map is folded up, this is on the back.

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