The Shapes of Borges’s Writing

April 5th, 2018

The study of a corpus of Borges’s manuscripts covering more than 50 years of writing and multiple genres led to the development of a taxonomy of his writing styles or Hands. This essay presents the Borges’s Hands and reflects on salient particularities of his writing hand.

The work is based on the study of 20 poetry and short prose manuscripts by Jorge Luis Borges, ranging from his earliest poems published in Fervor de Buenos Aires in 1923 to texts of the mid 1960s —when he becomes blind—, dictated to his mother and, thus, in her handwriting. Five writings hands, including his mother’s by substitution, are identified and described.

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The Forms of the Ebook

August 9th, 2015

The codex has prevailed for centuries as the primary form associated with books, but the advent of high resolution, touch-based, mobile devices is making reading on screens common- place and opening the possibilities for new forms of books for screen environments. This article is a reflection on the emerging formal structures for ebooks and their implications for teaching book and publication design.

Macro-structures & Interactions

Macro-structures are crucial because they help us generate a mental model of the totality of a work, and a text-work as a totality. This is something very easily graspable with material books through the visual and haptic information we get when holding one. We immediately understand how big and how heavy a book is, how it functions, its pace and our place in it.

Our notions of books and publications are tightly rooted in our understanding of the codex as a technology and it is manifested in how we teach publication and book design. In Hochuli’s classic text Designing Books for instance, we come across the long standing idea of designing across the spread: “From a design point of view it is not the single page that is important, but rather the double-page spread: two pages joined together into a unity by the axis of symmetry.”

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