|Title||Our Words/La Parole|
|Artist / Creator||Anita Bigelow|
|Place of Publication||Portland, OR|
|Author of Text||Gustave Flaubert and Michael Cunningham|
|Structure / Binding||Double-sided flag book|
|Medium / Materials||Materials include weather-enhanced paste paper (Arches Text Wove) with titling on copper insets as well as pages from an old Petit Larousse Illustré. One set of pages features the chaudron or tub and the other Gustave Flaubert himself.|
|Typography||Text is written in gouache with a Mitchell 4 nib.|
|Number of Pages||12|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||5.75 x 4.125 x .5 inches|
A quotation about how human language meets—or doesn’t meet—its goals, from Flaubert’s Mme Bovary in French, is on one set of the book’s flags, and its interpretation by Michael Cunningham (from his novel By Nightfall) is on the other. Here is the Cunningham version: "Banging on a tub to make a bear dance when we would move the stars to pity." I would have added the adjective "busted" to tub to get it closer to the Flaubert. I came across Cunningham’s words first, then tracked them back to the Flaubert (merci, Google). Somehow, the idea of thumping on a tub brought flags and a flag book to mind, while the idea of original plus translation sparked the notion of doubling the flags.
Artist BioFor the poetry, Anita Bigelow, née Lourié, was a literature major at Reed College and then, ten years later, at Portland State University. For the pen, Anita originally studied calligraphy with Lloyd Reynolds at Reed. She briefly attended the San Francisco Art Institute as a printmaker and there had the good fortune to take a typography class from Jack Stauffacher. Through the years, she was, alas, not assiduous in her practice of calligraphy until recently -- when she enjoyed classes from Rebecca Wild, Carol DuBosch, and Colleen Cavin. She now intends always to practice and to take calligraphy classes. These good intentions (the road to heaven, surely) combine with another fairly recent love: that of book binding and the possibility of making artists books, a love discovered in a PSU book arts class taught by Susan Harlan. In her other, pre-retirement lives, Anita taught in alternative schools, worked in a restaurant kitchen, and was a computer programmer and systems administrator. She also worked as a copywriter and illustrator.