Tree of Codes. By Jonathan Safran Foer. Book design by Sara De Bondt Studio, cover design by Jon Gray of gray318. Visual Editions, 2010. 285pp., 21,8x13,5cm.
Today is a dear friend's birthday and it reminded me that I hadn't posted about 'Tree of Codes', a book I've been lucky enough to own for over a year.
I really like the writing of Jonathan Safran Foer, but with this book I really thought he grew as a writer and as a creative person.
Visual Editions' output is always creative, imaginative and wonderful and this book is no exception.
"The book is as much a sculptural object as it is a work of masterful storytelling: here is an 'enormous last day of life' that looks like it feels.
[...]Our early conversations with Jonathan Safran Foer about 'Tree of Codes' began with Jonathan saying he was curious to explore and experiment with the die-cut technique.
With that as our mutual starting point, we spent many months of emails and phone calls, exploring the idea of the pages’ physical relationship to one another and how this could somehow be developed to work with a meaningful narrative.
This led to Jonathan deciding to use an existing piece of text and cut a new story out of it. Having considered working with various texts, Jonathan decided to cut into and out of what he calls his 'favourite book': 'The Street of Crocodiles' by Bruno Schulz.
As Jonathan began to carve out his story, we started doing our production homework and literally got turned down by every printer we approached – their stock line being 'the book you want to make just cannot be made'. Thankfully, we found Die Keure in Belgium who relished the challenge of making a book with a different die-cut on every page."