Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Every Liftoff Has Its Landing

When a collector misses an item, has something in effect taken from their grasp, the only real remedy is to splurge on something bigger & better to make up for the miss. Recently, I turned the unfortunate occurrence of a Big Miss into a Grand Slam. What was waiting for me at the UPS Store where I get my mail when I got back into town this afternoon makes me think the disappointment is surely worth it, as long as it spurs you forth.

Before me I have a complete set of the Subsidia Pataphysica series of journals from the College de 'Pataphysique, issues 0-28. Subsidia was the third series of journals put forth from the College--these issues stretching a full decade, '65 to '75, following the previous Cahiers ('50-'57) & Dossiers ('57 to '65).

Numero Zero is on the left, followed by issues 1-6. There are 7 double-issues, making for 22 total volumes in the complete set. The front cover of issue one is consistent with each following number, the beautiful gidouilles abounding. The verso of the main issues, which is featured on the front of issue Zero, & vice versa, depicts what appears to be a single house but with very different trimmings--one version featuring all sorts of 'pataphysical amusements, the other a dog.


Numero Zero:

No's 7-17, followed by #16-17 individually:

Finally, 18 thru 27-28, which is an index for all previous issues of the Cahiers, Dossiers & the Subsidia.

The contents of each issue is wildly various, as it seems that as the College has continued to progress, throughout years & various formats of participation with the public, things have naturally gotten more & more various.

The centenary Issue #18, for instance, includes pieces titled "La Fin du Monde" & "Alcohol" & features illustrated knots & nooses as placeholders in the text.

* * *

The few following details, things I noticed only browsing through the set very briefly for the first time, may indicate some of the pleasures of collecting items from the College. About a third of the issues are stamped inside the front cover, in various inks of blue, green, or purple. The exact term for the snail-stamp, along with what it means to have an issue stamped or not are beyond the limits of my knowledge, but they are beautiful.

Issue Zero is stamped & numbered:

Perhaps the stamp indicates an attendance of some sort? Probably something else entirely. One issue, the very last, is double-stamped.

* * *

Finally, one of the benefits of collecting items from the College is the ephemera that tends to be laid in to this-or-that. Usually these are small catalogs, ads, letters or what-have-you. Tipped into Numero Zero are two items of interest, one a solicitation for subscription to the new series, the second a "Souvenir de l'Election de Sa Magnificence Opach." For the moment, they are the perfect finishing touches to an initial exploration of a major acquisition.

Turned over,


sean said...

These look beautiful. Remind me of the 70s american mag Kayak in its design, layout of text (--tho the content of the mags would be pretty diff)...

kevin.thurston said...

yes, please

Diana Sue Hamilton said...

Please let me come look at these.