In Praise of Cover Art and in Praise of Book Design

First, a reminder of the interplay of body and image in the remaking of the world through its shattering…

Nicole Brossard
Sous la langue (1987)
Under Tongue translation by Susanne de Lotbinière-Harwood

Rien n’est prévu pourtant au bout du corps la peau fera image du corps car il n’y a rien sans image au bout du corps ce sont les images qui foudroient l’état du monde.

Nothing is foreseen yet at body’s uttermost the skin will image the body for without image there is nothing at body’s uttermost images shatter the state of the world.

Second, visual work by Quill Christie-Peters from a series focused on the land and woman’s self-pleasuring as an act of reclaiming the Anishinaabe body as homeland. Her words are a key to reading the work.

Quill Christie-Peters Self-Portrait: Kwe loves herself despite all odds

Quill Christie-Peters
Self-Portrait: Kwe loves herself despite all odds

Omnipresent Anishinaabekwe has never felt the compartmentalization in her body, but she feels it projected at her, attempting to make her readable through the separation of her being. She has always felt the soft hands of ancestors, heard them whisper in the night. They have made her laugh out loud at times at the gifts they give her, the purpose they feed her, the joy in knowing how close they are, watching, waiting. Omnipresent Anishinaabekwe feels her own body, can shrink into a piece of floating dust and visit her homelands in the night, feels them ache with the weight of what they carry. City Anishinaabekwe has always known she carries her homelands in her body and this keeps her oh so warm at night.

Third, part of Self-Portrait: Kwe loves herself despite all odds graces the cover of Gwen Benaway’s Holy Wild in a design by Kate Hargreaves.

Cover - Holy Wild - art by Quill Christie-Peters - design by Kate Hargreaves

Holy Wild
Cover Art – Quill Christie-Peters
Design – Kate Hargreaves

The image is split but not right down the centre. The scission leaves the vulva whole. There is a hint of a hand. And when the book is opened the endpapers reveal that there is indeed digital stimulation and fanning out the pages reveals a cerebral one as well. The neat trick of the layout is that the endpapers are actually a continuation of the cover: front cover inside; back cover inside. And the image spans this whole space inviting viewers to consider anew its import. Further, the book proper — all its leaves — occupy the central axis and link head, heart and sex.

And so for day 2568

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