The Solid Form of Language: An Essay on Writing and Meaning

The Solid Form of Language An Essay on Writing and Meaning Drop a word in the ocean of meaning and concentric ripples form To define a single word means to try to catch those ripples No one s hands are fast enough With this concise and broadly informative ess

  • Title: The Solid Form of Language: An Essay on Writing and Meaning
  • Author: Robert Bringhurst
  • ISBN: 9781894031882
  • Page: 354
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Solid Form of Language: An Essay on Writing and Meaning

    Drop a word in the ocean of meaning and concentric ripples form To define a single word means to try to catch those ripples No one s hands are fast enough With this concise and broadly informative essay, renowned poet, typographer and linguist Robert Bringhurst presents a brief history of writing and a new way of classifying and understanding the relationship between Drop a word in the ocean of meaning and concentric ripples form To define a single word means to try to catch those ripples No one s hands are fast enough With this concise and broadly informative essay, renowned poet, typographer and linguist Robert Bringhurst presents a brief history of writing and a new way of classifying and understanding the relationship between script and meaning Beginning with the original relationship between a language and its written script, Bringhurst takes us on a history of reading and writing that begins with the interpretation of animal tracks and fast forwards up to the typographical abundance of recent times The first four sections of the essay describe the earliest creation of scripts, their movement across the globe and the typographic developments within and across languages In the fifth and final section of the essay, Bringhurst introduces his system of classifying scripts Placing four established categories of written language semographic, syllabic, alphabetic and prosodic on a wheel adjacent to one another, he uses the location, size and shape of points on the wheel to show the degree to which individual world languages incorporate these aspects of recorded meaning Bringhurst s system is based on an appreciation that indeed no one s hands are fast enough and that no single script adheres to or can be understood within the confines of a single method of transcription Readers will find this combination of anthropology, typography, literature, mathematics, music and linguistics surprisingly accessible and thought provoking The text is accompanied by diagrams and typographic examples that make for an experiential study of the relationship between writing and meaning This book is a Smyth sewn paperback with a letterpress printed jacket The book was designed by Robert Bringhurst and Andrew Steeves, and printed on Zephyr Laid paper The cover was hand printed letterpress on St Armand handmade paper.

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      354 Robert Bringhurst
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      Published :2018-09-07T16:01:49+00:00

    One thought on “The Solid Form of Language: An Essay on Writing and Meaning

    1. Dennis

      This essay by Bringhurst originally appeared in John Berry's collection Language, Culture, Type. It knocked my socks off, and I asked the author's permission to photocopy it for my Intro to Book Publishing course at Portland State. He said, no, and indicated that we should use the revised version reissued in this edition from Gaspereau Press.The volume is an elegantly letterpress printed edition. The typography and design are lovely, though I think the tightness of the binding conflicts a little [...]

    2. Lee

      A beautiful little letterpress essay that's given me a glimpse of how much I don't know about linguistics and the history of languages in speech or script.

    3. Jlf888

      An immensely interesting 69-page essay on written language including a fascinating discussion of the taxonomy of the same, in which various languages are categorized by their semographic, prosodic, syllabic, and alphabetic characteristics. The dense descriptions of the functions and evolutions of graphic representations of language could have used more concrete examples from time to time. I loved the illustrations, which included the evolution of written letters and symbols in various languages [...]

    4. Leif

      Short, technical, compelling, wide-ranging: all of Bringhurst's usual distinctions constitute this little gem. Less poetically charged than some of his other theoretical writings, The Solid Form of Language gains rather than loses from this narrowed focus. Finally, like every Gaspereau Press book, the object itself is quite nice----however, depending on your affiliations to the material text, you may want to borrow this one from a library and skip purchasing it, given its brevity.

    5. Chris

      An interesting essay on the history and development of written scripts. Also, a nicely designed little book itself.

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