Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Serious Joke: Two Book Launches

Ouroboros Press is releasing the first English translation of Michael Maier's Jocus Severus. Rendered into English from the original Latin by Darius Klein, the work has also been illustrated and ornamented by Benjamin Vierling. Issued in three distinctive editions, the Jocus Severus features a folding plate titled Alchemical Aviary as a frontispiece. Along with the standard trade cloth edition, the book will also be available in finely bound leather and vellum editions, the latter being strictly limited in number.

Seriously? Two Book Launches? You Must be Joking?

Actually no, we're not joking this time! So before you give us up for the birds here are the details:

San Francisco Book Launch with 
Artist Benjamin Vierling
5 March 2011 8:00 pm

Seattle Book Launch with 
Translator Darius Klein & 
Bookbinder Joel Radcliffe
12 March 2011  8:00 pm

Rodriguez Guerra Art Studio
80 South Washington Street
[betweent First Ave South & Western]
Seattle, Washington 98104

For those of you unable to attend who would like the purchase a copy of the book, we are still offering free shipping on orders which come in by March 15th. This includes foreign countries as well. Paypal funds may be sent to this address: ouroboros@bookarts.org
Please include a note stating which edition[s] you would like and give your full shipping address.

Born in Germany, Count Michael Maier served as the personal physician to the Bohemian Emperor Rudolph II, as well as pursued a career as an alchemist. He is well known due to his masterful emblem book; Atalanta Fugiens, which was a blend of alchemical, mythological and musical elements. But Maier wrote other alchemical books and Ouroboros Press is very pleased to be offering the first English translation of his veritable conference of the birds;  Jocus Severus

This alchemical text employs allegory in an entertaining dialogue between several species of birds who are determined to defame the Owl with wordy complaints. The Hawk acts as the Owl's defense while  the Phoenix acts as final judge and arbiter over this 'conference of birds.'

Rendered from the original Latin of 1617 by Darius Klein this edition features original lllustrative material by Artist Benjamin Vierling, including a folding plate depicting all the species of birds involved in the alchemical dialogue.

As is our tradition at Ouroboros Press, the entire text has been reset with an eye to detail not common in contemporary publishing, where one often encounters poor facsimile reproductions. 

The book is issued in three formats:

Imperial Vellum Edition. Hand bound with raised spine bands in full vellum with leather spine label, gilt title and device. Vellum headbands, marbled endsheets and a silk book marker complete this fine binding. [135 pages] aviary folding plate and illustrated with ornamental head and tail pieces.
Athenian Wisdom Edition: Strictly limited to 25 copies  $225.00

Deluxe Leather Edition. Hand bound with raised spine bands in full black goat and red leather spine label, with gilt title and device. leather headbands, marbled endsheets and a silk book marker. [135 pages] aviary folding plate and illustrated with ornamental head and tail pieces.
Noctis Black Owl Edition: $150.00

Trade Cloth Edition. Sewn in full cloth with stamped title and device. Letterpress printed dust jacket, [135 pages] aviary folding plate and illustrated with ornamental head and tail pieces.
Fine Press Trade Edition: $45.00

Layout for the Letterpress printed dust jacket intended for the Fine Press Trade Editions

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