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Kafka in Oxford

2007.10.30

On 15 November a presentation of the new ‘Historical-Critical Edition’ of Franz Kafka’s writings will take place at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford, followed by a panel (and open) discussion. On display will be some of the manuscripts concerned. The occasion is convened by the Bodleian Library, which has key holdings of Kafka manuscripts. The edition itself is edited by Roland Reuß and Peter Staengle of the Institut für Textkritik at Heidelberg. For details of the event, see here and here. Read more

Benjamins

Large benjamin archive cover

Robin Kinross / 2008.08.22

Now that every word that Walter Benjamin published in his lifetime has been collected and republished, and now that his many unfinished words have been similarly collected and printed, and now that to this set of ‘collected writings’ we can add letters and diaries that he cannot have thought of publishing, there only remains to be transcribed and multiplied the scraps, cards, sheets, that fill up the rest of his archive. Read more

Design in the real world

2008.11.02

Road signs are indeed mostly written & designed by harassed public servants: here

Benjamin and New Left Books (now Verso) – and Libris

Robin Kinross / 2008.12.13

Further to this discussion of the Benjamin archive book, published in English by Verso, some invaluable notes on the history of the publication of Walter Benjamin’s writings can be found here, as a prelude to the publication next year of Erdmut Wizisla’s Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht: the story of a friendship, 1924–1940.1 Let the Verso editorial staff read these notes, and learn. Read more

Edit!

2009.03.21

Under this splendid title, a conference on the ‘norms, formats, supports’ of publishing (in a wide sense) was held a couple of weeks ago in Bordeaux. After a thousand design conferences devoted to the ‘new’ and the ‘innovative’, it was refreshing to come across one devoted to things that don’t change – or only change every now and then. It was refreshing too to find discussion that recognized the political embededness of this fundamental, sometimes invisible aspect of designing. Read more

Alexander Verberne

Large verberne working

Robin Kinross / 2009.09.15

The typographer Alexander Verberne died on 27 May 2009. After a stroke in 1997, which was followed by further strokes, he had been seriously impaired and was living in a care-home in The Hague. He was born on 18 August 1924 in Den Helder. Read more

Benjamin and Brecht in English

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Robin Kinross / 2009.09.29

Last Thursday the London publisher Libris brought out Erdmut Wizisla’s Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht: the story of a friendship. This is an English-language edition of the book published originally by Suhrkamp. Behind that edition was a first embodiment, as its author’s doctoral thesis. The translation from thesis to book is a difficult one, and a process that is rarely resolved well. The transmutation of such a complex book from one language into another is also a difficult business. Some of the issues raised by these endeavours have been brought up, also in connection with Walter Benjamin’s writings, in two previous posts here, in August and December of last year. Read more

Write your own academic sentence

2010.02.04

From the University of Chicago’s Writing Program (the whole site is worth exploring): here

Net and book: an interview with Roland Reuß

Large hypnose cover sm

2015.11.30

The interview that follows was recorded on 20 August 2015 in Roland Reuß’s office at the University of Heidelberg. The text has been lightly edited for ease of reading, but otherwise follows closely what was spoken. Read more

Title casing

Large titlecasing ginzburg cover

Robin Kinross / 2016.03.25

A detail of Hyphen Press style has sometimes caused puzzlement. We give the title of a book with initial capitalization only in the first word.1 Thus: The arrow of gold, rather than The Arrow of Gold. We have used this style in the text of most of the Hyphen books, and in their display typography too, in catalogues, and on this website. It is the style that I learned from Michael Twyman, who set up and then ran for years the Department of Typography at the University of Reading, where I was a student in the 1970s. It is still used at Reading, and I believe that Michael has used it in all the books he has had published. One finds it also used by other British writers on printing history – Philip Gaskell, David McKitterick – who trained as librarians. One sees it used in the catalogues of the great American and British national libraries (Library of Congress, British Library). It seems to be the norm now in science publishing – see the references to books in any science journal. But outside these spheres, in British and American (and indeed ‘world’) English-language publishing, capitalization of ‘important words’ (differently defined) is employed. Read more