We think the world would be a better place with more Leopold Bloom and finely printed letterpress books in it. Are you with us!?!
That’s the bottom line for our project – an unlikely trans-Atlantic collaboration between Jamie Murphy, a Dublin-based designer and letterpress printer, and Steve Cole, a James Joyce fanatic from Baltimore. We are out to bring the unique wit, warmth, and quirkiness of the everyman hero from James Joyce’s Ulysses to light for the first time in a glorious letterpress printed limited edition artist’s book.
We want to have this new book completed in time for this year’s celebration of Ulysses on the 16th of June – a day known around the world as BLOOMSDAY.
What? You haven’t read Ulysses? Well, who can blame you. It is a monster of a book. At over 700 pages and written in a dozen different styles (some utterly bizarre) it is not an easy read. But there’s a reason why it is widely considered the greatest novel in the English language. Ulysses gets inside and behind and underneath a human life like no other book. And that whirlwind of styles opens your eyes to a whole new way of seeing and reading.
With this project we boil down the essence of Leopold Bloom into a collection of his thoughts and sayings. We want this book to help the uninitiated experience Bloom’s all-too-human world view. For Joyce junkies the book will be a fresh look at Bloom through his quips & quirks. And to make this experience really special, we’re bringing out our “Quotations from Chairman Bloom” in a large-format hand-printed volume that will be a wonder to behold (and hold).
WE JUST WANT TO PLEASE MOLLY BLOOM
Truth be told, the idea for this Joycean undertaking is not ours. We stole it. Not from a living being, mind you. We lifted it from no greater an authority on Leopold Bloom than his own wife, the erotic and unfaithful Molly Bloom. Mrs. Bloom, in her bed at the end of that eventful day in 1904, muses admiringly about her spouse: “I declare somebody ought to put him in the budget if I only could remember the one half of the things and write a book out of it the works of Master Poldy yes.”
“The Works of Master Poldy” is our second collaboration together involving Ulysses, letterpress printing and Dublin. We were strangers just a year ago. In early 2012 Steve was revving up for a second year of feeding his Ulysses addiction, which in 2011 burst onto the global scene with a 24-hour Twitter rendition of the whole novel. Jamie was wrapping up his M.A. degree at Dublin’s National College of Art & Design and bringing out his letterpress book “Albert, Ernest & the Titanic.”
To mark the end of copyright on Joyce’s published works in Europe last year, Steve launched the LiberateUlysses project to encourage multimedia expressions based on the novel for Bloomsday 2012. He was eager to indulge another passion – letterpress printing – and thought it would be cool to work with a Dublin printer on a Bloomsday project. Of course, he didn’t know any.
But through the miracle of Twitter, Steve found Jamie @fjorddesign and together with @maryjplunkett they brought out a series of large colorful broadsides of Ulysses quotes, printed at the fantastic @DistillersPress in Dublin. Our “Ulysses Strands” posters were a great success and are now sold out.
A BOOK PRINTED BY HAND IN DUBLIN
Our project will be the first publication from Jamie’s new book arts & letterpress printing venture in Dublin – The Salvage Press – which he established just this year. The Salvage Press is devoted to preserving, promoting and pursuing excellence in design, typography and letterpress printing. Jamie has a huge interest in finely printed artists’ books, having recently completed an award-winning tome based on the printers who travelled aboard the Titanic in 1912.
Handprinting a beautiful book like this takes a LOT of time, and we will be going all-out to get it done ahead of Bloomsday. That’s less than three months away, so it’s going to be a MAD dash! Don’t hate us if we miss that date by a few days, but be assured we are doing everything possible to make sure “Master Poldy” arrives in time for his big day.
So pitch in and help us realize Molly Bloom’s century-old publishing vision! We believe that the world will be a little better off with this letterpress book in it. We hope you do too.
WHAT WE NEED TO CREATE “MASTER POLDY”
This new book will be printed at the amazing Distillers Press, National College of Art and Design, in Dublin, where Jamie is about to undertake a design residency for the coming year. Our Indiegogo campaign funds the design, typesetting (both monotype casting and hand-set metal and wooden type), letterpress printing and hand binding of “Master Poldy” using traditional letterpress methods. Jamie is handling all of this and is already at work on the design of what we know will be a beautiful book. Steve has already finished harvesting a rich crop of Bloomisms from Ulysses.
The funds we raise go toward the labor and materials needed to produce an edition of 120 copies by early June 2013. If we raise more than our goal, we plan to start work on bringing “Master Poldy” out in other formats that will let us put the book into the hands of more people.
“Master Poldy” will be a 40-page book, case bound within a protective slipcase, measuring about 10 x 15 inches. (We’ll also have a deluxe edition with a more elaborate binding and some hidden extras.) It will be letterpress printed onto Zerkell mould made paper, keeping the beautiful deckled edge where possible. We’ll be using a mix of traditional monotype methods and handset antique wooden type in an experimental typographic design. By creating the book at Distillers Press, we have over 500 cases of type to choose from.
WHAT YOU GET FOR CONTRIBUTING
We’ve come up with lots of fun perks that will please Joyce addicts and letterpress enthusiasts alike.
We are designing original stickers using lots of letterpress-printed type in three new designs and a set of Bloom-inspired postcards letterpress printed from wooden and metal type – all great ways to share your love for the craft of letterpress printing and the writings of James Joyce. You can also receive a large typographic poster (letterpress printed, of course) inspired straight from the mind of Leopold Bloom. These will be fantastic colorful pieces printed by hand on mould-made paper in a small edition.
You can also receive the standard and deluxe editions of “The Works of Master Poldy.” The standard edition will be a beautiful book – a very special keepsake for Joyce enthusiasts and the avid bibliophiles. The deluxe edition will have a more elaborate binding/housing with some special extras included.
Our top-level contributors will receive a personal tour of Distillers Press and a celebratory meal with us in Dublin on Bloomsday weekend 2013.
If you can’t contribute financially but want to help us bring “Master Poldy” to life, we’d really appreciate your help in spreading the word about our project. We’re all over social media @LiberateUlysses and @TheSalvagePress and online at: