Ubique and unique book: the pre­sence and po­ten­tia­lities of the co­dex

Graham Rawle

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther


Ubique and Unique Book: The Presence and Potentialities of the Codex is an international symposium dedicated to exploring the contemporary status of the book (in literature and, more generally, in culture). The symposium is organized by the Academy of Finland research project The Literary in Life: Exploring the Boundaries between Literature and the Everyday (LILI) and by the Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies (University of Jyvaskyla). Invited speaker Graham Rawle - ABSTRACT Central to this talk is the ongoing development of one project, Woman’s World, a novel collaged from text fragments cut from the pages of vintage women’s magazines and reassembled to tell the 1962 story of Roy and ‘sister’ Norma’s struggle to live up to the prescribed ideals of feminine perfection. The collaged text pieces retain the essence of their original context, which permeates through to the finished piece. Thus Norma’s constructed persona is governed by their editorial opinions and values, while her narration is shaped by the syntax and inflections of the source material’s distinctive voice. I will briefly discuss my design approach to my other books, how content and form should be inextricably linked and the importance of developing an appropriate visual language to deliver each story effectively. In Diary of an Amateur Photographer and The Card, the page design aims to provide visual subtext or insight into the protagonist’s character, while in Overland (published March 2018) the book structure itself plays a vital role in the story, opening horizontally rather than vertically so that the gutter becomes a conceptual and physical border between two parallel narratives. I will also discuss most recent developments for Woman’s World: a work-in-progress feature-length film of the book composed from thousands of clips sourced from period films, commercials and TV shows. Employing a similar collage methodology, it continues to experiment with the principles of narrative continuity and discontinuity, while drawing on, and playing with, an audience’s propensity to find a coherent story.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2017
EventUbique and unique book: the pre­sence and po­ten­tia­lities of the co­dex - University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, 26-27 Oct 2017
Duration: 26 Oct 2017 → …


ConferenceUbique and unique book: the pre­sence and po­ten­tia­lities of the co­dex
Period26/10/17 → …


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