Alphabetic Labyrinth: The Letters in History and Imagination

Alphabetic Labyrinth: The Letters in History and Imagination

by Johanna Drucker
     
 
Johanna Drucker has spent many years researching writing and typography; this book is the result of a lifetime's interest. In it she examines the many imaginative, often idiosyncratic ways in which the letters of the alphabet have been assigned value in political, spiritual, or religious belief systems over two millennia--as well as presenting the more general aspects

Overview

Johanna Drucker has spent many years researching writing and typography; this book is the result of a lifetime's interest. In it she examines the many imaginative, often idiosyncratic ways in which the letters of the alphabet have been assigned value in political, spiritual, or religious belief systems over two millennia--as well as presenting the more general aspects of the history of lettering, printing and calligraphy.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Long regarded as a divine gift, the alphabet has been seen not just as a collection of arbitrary signs but as the direct visual embodiment of meaning. Pythagoreans, Kabbalists, neo-Platonists, and medieval Catholic mystics regarded the alphabet as a code that explained the universe. Drucker (art history, Yale) examines these and other ideas about the origins and inherent meanings of the alphabet, relating them to their intellectual milieu. She also discusses developments in the forms of the letters. She notes, for example, how modern typefaces, first developed in the late 18th century, embody Enlightenment philosophy. Her well-written discussion is enriched with over 300 illustrations drawn from important texts and documents. A major study in the history of books and the history of ideas; recommended for academic and public libraries alike.-Joseph Rosenblum, Guilford Technical Community Coll., Jamestown, N.C.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780500280683
Publisher:
Thames & Hudson
Publication date:
03/28/1999
Edition description:
1 PBK ED
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
7.63(w) x 10.33(h) x 1.02(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >