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Production Narrative

by J. Drucker

Originally the sheets were twice their final size. The etching plates were printed in the space above the texts. I think I printed about three states of the etching (a continuous etching, as I recall) and then I junked that idea, tore the sheets to the smaller size, and went ahead printing the texts. The orignal text was longer, more discursive. Bob Grenier commented on it, finding the sheets in a notebook one day at Barrett Watten's and his apartment. "Where did you get those sentences?" he asked me. "Where?" I wish I had that original text, curious as I am now about its structure and the way it relates to the final, very distilled and extracted form of the book. The typographic production wasn't difficult, as there wasn't too much text, though thinking through the designs was work. I believe I damped the sheets, hence the clean impression and the deep incision, as well as the light ink color.

Critical Analysis

by J. Drucker

Design Features

typographic: The type changes shape on every page, but themes are identifiable. The Caslon bold italic was for overheard language. The Century italic was for the punning page numbers, and narrative statements, as was some of the Stymie. More figured or decorative fonts were for found graphic language. The Copperplate was used for a text about landscape and topology. The letters that "spoke" their own names on each sheet were picked according to whim and for their larger size.

graphical: Layout is everything in this book. The shapes of the words, the connections among themes, and the fragmentary but well-balanced compositions are like bones of a once-fleshed narrative.

openings: Each page is meant as a field, but as part of a sequence in space.


development: A curious spatial development actually occurs here, but hard to see unless one knows to look.

sequence: Thematic rhymes occur throughout, signalled by typography and layout.

Critical Discussion

The idea of these words as the bones of a narrative led to the creation of the performance and the annotation. The deconstructed condition of narrative into langauge constituents is a unique conceptual idea, as is the spatialization of the narrative through the book sequence.

Twenty-six '76


Johanna Drucker

type: initiating


born: United States
active: United States
citizenship: United States

birth: 1952-05-30

Publication Information

edition type: editioned

publisher: Chased Press

place: West Coast Print Center, Oakland/Berkeley, California.

production: 1976-07-00:1976-12-00
publication: 1976-00-00


horizontal: 11 inches closed

vertical: 9 inches closed

depth: 1 inches closed

Production Information

production means:
letterpress (local)

binding: boxed (local)

bookBlock: paper

ink (local)

other materials: box, blue linen cloth


general description:

format: Boxed sheets.

cover: There is no cover for this work. The pages are held in a blue linen box, cut to the size and shape of the pages.

color: yes The is blue, but the pages are all black and white.

devices: The work is held inside a blue box that is covered in blue linen. The box is cut to the size and shape of the pages. The top opens, bound on the left, to reveal the pages inside.


pagination: unpaginated 29 loose sheets

numbered?: numbered

signed?: signed


On copperplate/in junk type/with scrap lead no lock up bar or tweezers & almost no brasses or coppers/thirty copies attempted at the print center from July to December/& all by my own hands: Johanna Drucker/Chased Press