ARTIST MONOGRAPHS

PUBLISHER
WAX366

BOOK FORMAT
Paperback, 5.25 x 7.75 in. / 64 pgs.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Out of print

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2010 p. 73   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9780953973576 TRADE
List Price: $17.95 CDN $20.00

AVAILABILITY
Not available

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WAX366

Ian Hamilton Finlay: A Model of Order

Selected Letters on Poetry and Making

Edited by Thomas A. Clark.

It doesn't greatly matter to me whether I'm using plants or trees or stones or words or events, the artist, poet and gardener Ian Hamilton Finlay (1925–2006) once told an interviewer; "the impulse is always to make a coherent order out of things." Through a carefully edited selection from a voluminous correspondence, A Model of Order tracks the unique arc of Finlay's development, from poet writing in Scots dialect, to Concrete poet, toymaker and deviser of poems and inscriptions in glass, wood and stone, installed in parks and gardens. The title derives from Finlay's famous definition of Concrete poetry as "a model of order, even if set in a space which is full of doubt," a definition conceived in correspondence with poet Pierre Garnier. Poet and editor Thomas A. Clark's selection of Finlay's letters—to Louis Zukofsky, Robert Creeley and Ernst Jandl among others—explicates a rigorous and moral vision of the act of making.
Ian Hamilton Finlay: A Model of Order

STATUS: Out of print | 00/00/00

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FROM THE BOOK
"I should say--however hard I would find it to justify this in theory--that 'concrete' by its very limitations offers a tangible image of goodness and sanity; it is very far from the now-fashionable poetry of anguish and self... It is a model, of order, even if set in a space which is full of doubt. (Whereas non-concrete might be said to be set in society, rather than space, and its 'satire,' its 'revolt,' are only disguised symptoms of social dishonesty. This, I realise goes too far; I do not mean to say that society is 'bad.')... I would like, if I could, to bring into this, somewhere the unfashionable notion of 'Beauty,' which I find compelling and immediate, however theoretically inadequate. I mean this in the simplest way--that if I was asked, 'Why do you like concrete poetry?' I could truthfully answer 'Because it is beautiful.'" Excerpted from a letter to Pierre Garnier, 1963, published in A Model of Order: Selected Letters on Poetry and Making. To read a longer excerpt, please continue to our blog.

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