A Book of Books. Photographs by Abelardo Morell. Preface by Nicholson Baker.
Bulfinch, New York, 2002. 108 pp. Large quarto (10 x 10 in./25.5 x 25.5 cm) First edition. INSCRIBED on title page, 'To ___/with all my best/Abe' and SIGNED by Baker. Clothbound in photo-illustrated dust jacket. Numerous duotone reproductions.
This is a true book-lover's book, albeit a book of unusual books. There are stacks of books and single books, 19th century books for the blind, oversize astronomy books, a table-sized Audubon book and an impossibly massive dictionary. There are water-damaged books and books that have been buried in dirt. But some of the most interesting books are those in which the author has created a fantasy world, (eg. Alice in Wonderland) and Morell plays on this tendency and strength of literature to invent alter realities. Morrell's photographic style is to use raking light to accentuate the subtle differences in tonality and surface, creating a rich sense of texture and tension.