Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The Unburnable Book

To support free expression and fight censorship, author Margaret Atwood has joined forces with Penguin Random House and others to produce an unburnable version of The Handmaid's Tale, which is now being auctioned by Sotheby's. All proceeds go to benefit PEN America. The current bid is $42,000, and the auction closes June 7, 2022. 

Here are the technical specifications for the highly engineered edition of one: 

8vo. Printed on black-and-white-coated aluminum Cinefoils, used in film production to wrap hot lights, which are stable to 660°C/1220°F, textblock hand-sewn with nickel wire, often used in electrical components, which is stable to 1400°C/2,600°F, head and tail bands are woven stainless steel, used in aerospace manufacturing, which are stable up to 1530°C/2790°F. Boards 3mm phenolic sheets, used in electronics manufacturing, which are stable to 540°F/282°C, opaque white and CMYK printing produced on an OKI five-colour digital press, with inks stable to 1200°C/2200°F. 

In the video above, Atwood is demonstrating proof of concept. Of related interest are earlier Common Curator posts on censorship, including Books Are Weapons in the War of Ideas

Sunday, May 1, 2022

War Is a Racket, 2022

Major General Smedley D. Butler [1881-1940], who at his death was the most highly decorated U.S. Marine in history, published the anti-war essay, "War Is a Racket," in 1935. Though the examples and expenditures he cites have been far surpassed in the intervening decades, his fundamental points remain salient yet today. The essay can be read online via the Internet Archive.

The broadside above was letterpress printed by the Common Curator at the Iowa City Press Co-op.