At Jacket2, John Tranter has posted an excerpt from his recent article in the JASAL journal on the Internet and the history of Jacket magazine. Here's the abstract.
Australian poet John Tranter trained in all aspects of publishing, from hand-lettering to editing, from litho platemaking to screen printing, and developed an early familiarity with computers. The development of the Internet in the 1990s found him armed with a formidable array of skills. He published the first issue of the free international Internet-only magazine «Jacket» single-handed in 1997. «Jacket» quickly grew to become the most widely read and highly respected literary magazine ever published from Australia. In late 2010 John Tranter gave it to the University of Pennsylvania, where it continues to flourish. This memoir traces John Tranter’s publication of literary materials on the Internet including the technical and literary problems faced by «Jacket», and outlines the many other projects he embarked on that resulted in the Internet publication of over fifty thousand mostly Australian poems, articles, reviews, interviews and photographs.You can read more, and download the full article, here.
Although entirely worthy of study, I’m the first to admit that descriptive bibliography is obsolete. Working closely with librarians and archivists at UVA, [Johanna] Drucker’s Artists’ Books Online set in place an important, revolutionary, framework for the future of bibliography. The ability to see, retrieve, print, document, and describe artists’ books that often exist in relative obscurity is nothing short of the Gutenberg Revolution all over again, only different. Many of the books featured on the site were produced in small editions for one reason or another, making it difficult for readers to obtain or even visit with these titles in a public or private library. The digitalization of the book has decentralized critical bibliographic information, spreading the seeds far and wide—one need only invoke the Library of Alexandria to convey the advantages of doing so, yet some librarians and artists feel threatened by the move and its implications on the status of a work’s originality and value. Yet time has proven the opposite to be true: the more people know about a particular book though online exhibition, analysis, and discussion, the more likely it is to be understood and valued.
I am wondering if this essay would have been easier to read in one go. Here's Part I again.
Kyle Schlesinger is a poet who writes and lectures on typography and artists’ books. He is proprietor of Cuneiform Press and co-director of the Graduate Program in Publishing at the University of Houston-Virginia.
I'm still occasionally surprised to see that my 2006 boutique list of Australian literature blogs gets visits, and links out. So I've updated it and added the terrific blog of Australian writer Jane Gleeson-White, bookish girl.
In the last two weeks Jane has been that most valuable of bloggers, a chronicler of events.
She brought us words and pictures from the launch of Jennifer Mills' short story collection in Glebe.
She has been our eyes and ears at the conference for the Association for the Study of Australian Literature in three instalments: one, in which Ozlit is alive and kicking in our universities; two, where the Dorothy Green lecture speaks of islands; and three, a summary of no less than seven other sessions, including the launch of a new book on Shirley Hazzard.
I've also had a delightful email from a French blogger called Angélique, whose blog Le Koala Lit has been added to my painfully brief list. She contributes to a French website called Le petitjournal de Melbourne, and was recently featured in Meanjin.
In the meantime, all you other book bloggers out there, be mindful that there are searches for Australian literature blogs going on, so whack that text into your blog somewhere. Better still, make a longer list than mine and use it for a heading. Go, you good things.