Alphabet of Spiritual Emptiness.
Books on Books #10.
Photographs by Zdenek Tmej.
errata editions, 2011. 172 pp., 105 duotone illustrations, 9½x7".
Zdenek Tmej's Abeceda Dusevniho Prazdna (The Alphabet of Spiritual Emptiness) published in 1946 enables a rare look, from a captive's perspective, inside a Nazi forced labor camp in Breslau, Poland during World War II. It is remarkable that Tmej, a Czech citizen made to work for the Nazi war effort for three years, was allowed to photograph at all, let alone describe the psychological stasis of his experience with the poetic voice that these portraits and still-lifes convey. Books on Books #10 presents every page spread from this extremely rare and fragile document including the original texts by Alexandra Urbanova translated for the first time into English.