[Minneapolis, MN]: Indulgence Press, 1995. One of 100 copies, all on Arches MBM mould made paper, each hand-number and signed in pencil by Wilber Schilling, who designed, printed, and bound this book, the first letterpress edition by Indulgence Press. Page size: 12 x 6 inches; 56pp. Bound by the printer: "sew-boards" structure learned from Daniel Kelm at his Wide Awake Garage, debossed grey paper from deep etched plate (taken from an enlarged section of the frontice piece image of the bricked in window); then attached to a 20pt museum board, using an etching press. The 20pt board allows the paper to retain the debossment after it is glued down to the cover of the book. The binding used on this book is a sewn board structure originally devised by Gary Frost. grey stamped paper over boards, red cloth spine and tips, title printed in black on spine, handmade ochre colored end sheets by MacGregor & Vinzani. Illustrated with frontispiece photograph reproduced as a Kallitype print on Kitakata paper editioned by Mr. Shilling. In addition, noted book artist, Suzanne Moore, has lettered the phrase, "I would prefer not to". It is printed in ochre from polymer plates in an increasingly large size and in an increasingly unreadable page position starting on page 16 and ending with a faint ochre outline on the colophon page. The text of the colophon is shaped to fit within the "p" of prefer. The text was composed in 12 point Bulmer, using the Monotype System, with the assistance of Kent Kasuboske at the Clearing Press. It was printed at the Janus Press by Mr. Schilling.
Originally published anonymously in two parts in 1853, Melville's story is not simply reprinted here. Rather the aching phrase, "I would prefer not to" is beautifully rendered in Ms. Moore's extraordinary ochre lettering, superimposed on the black type, the letters increasingly large and illegible as they slip off the page - as Bartleby slips from life. Mr. Schilling's vision of Melville's story is lovely to look at and hold and read, but more tellingly is an unobtrusive but challenging interpretation of a classic. As new. Item #10181