The first battle of the Marne

Returning to the U.S. from an extended stay in Europe, Piero Heliczer started printing and assembling Dead Language books—including neighbor Jack Smith’s The Beautiful Book—in his apartment on Ludlow Street in New York. The First Battle of the Marne, published in 1962, was the first, and possibly the last, book of Heliczer’s own poems to be published in the U.S. during his lifetime. The letter press book consists of six poems over 24 brown paper bag colored pages. A note on the poems by Anselm Hollo follows. The six poems are “poem number one,” “mantis,” “wm byrd,” “bird burgeoning sky,” “buckingham palace,” and “carillon booty.” On the front cover, the book’s title and a photograph of World War I German officers gathered around an automobile are surprinted in black against an art nouveau column of twisting leaves darker, redder, more orange than the pink card stock of the wraps. On the back cover, Heliczer’s full name and the photograph of the German officers are surprinted in the darker pink against the same art nouveau leaves, here printed in black. In other words, while presenting different verbal information against the same card stock, the front and back covers also reverse each other’s color values.

Text: Heliczer Piero. pp. 24; Publisher: Dead Language Press, Paris, 1962.

ID: 15233

Product Description

Returning to the U.S. from an extended stay in Europe, Piero Heliczer started printing and assembling Dead Language books—including neighbor Jack Smith’s The Beautiful Book—in his apartment on Ludlow Street in New York. The First Battle of the Marne, published in 1962, was the first, and possibly the last, book of Heliczer’s own poems to be published in the U.S. during his lifetime. The letter press book consists of six poems over 24 brown paper bag colored pages. A note on the poems by Anselm Hollo follows. The six poems are “poem number one,” “mantis,” “wm byrd,” “bird burgeoning sky,” “buckingham palace,” and “carillon booty.” On the front cover, the book’s title and a photograph of World War I German officers gathered around an automobile are surprinted in black against an art nouveau column of twisting leaves darker, redder, more orange than the pink card stock of the wraps. On the back cover, Heliczer’s full name and the photograph of the German officers are surprinted in the darker pink against the same art nouveau leaves, here printed in black. In other words, while presenting different verbal information against the same card stock, the front and back covers also reverse each other’s color values.

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