Wednesday, April 18, 2012

In the Land of Punctuation.

In the Land of Punctuation. By Christian Morgernstern. Illustrated by Rathna Ramanathan, translated by Sirish Rao. Tara Books, 2009. 32pp., illustrated throughout, 23,5x16,5cm. Images from here.

I really love this book, it sort of intersects in many of the areas that really matters to me. It's pretty astonishing the original poem was written in 1905...

The translation - and resulting English verse - by Sirish Rao is very, very good, and the typographic illustrations (or "visual translation", language into image) by Rathna Ramanathan are pretty sensational.

Book description:

"Written in 1905 by the German poet Christian Morgenstern, 'In the Land of Punctuation' is a darkly comic linguistic caprice that holds a resonant mirror to our times.

Situated at the crossroads of language, design, and politics, this illustrated edition is a unique picture book for adults.

Translated faithfully by Sirish Rao, with typographic illustrations by Rathna Ramanathan, this is a brilliantly inventive dance of text and image.


The peaceful land of Punctuation
is filled with tension overnight

When the stops and commas of the nation
call the semi-colons ‘parasites’ "

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