Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Time Traveller's Journal

I have mentioned before that The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger is my favourite book. I have just read it for the second time and found it as compelling and satisfying, although I was able to perceive some imperfections that I didn't notice in my intense emotional response to it a year ago.

Anyway, I finished it again late on Tuesday night, and on Wednesday morning I went into my studio and started making a new book. It was not on my list of Things To Do, it did not have any gestation as notes or sketches, I hadn't dreamed it or thought about it at all. I just started making it, with a vague idea of sewing some little booklets into a maze of accordian folds. I found a huge sheet of waterford watercolour paper (creamy, thick, luxurious) among the goodies I was given recently.

The book grew quickly and by the afternoon it was almost finished (I still have end papers to stick down) and only then I realised that I had made a journal for Henry, the time traveller in Niffenegger's book. It is emphatically non-linear and would be ideal for a time traveller whose experiences are not consecutive. It would also be useful for recording dreams, catching poems, starting to write another Tristram Shandy etc.

Until surfing for links to add to this post, I didn't realise that Audrey Niffenegger is herself a book artist and teaches at Columbia College Center for Book and Paper Arts. I wasn't surprised though, as the two main characters are a bibliophile and rare book librarian (Henry- possibly the best and most sexy male librarian character ever) and a paper making sculptor (Clare).

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