THE PSALM BOOK OF CHARLES KNOWLES by Charles with Intro. by Philip Hofer & Enowles
Kirkus Star


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An extraordinary book which commands attention entirely apart from the moving story of its inception and its creator. A mere handful of people saw the hand-produced edition of ten copies which its author, in his senior year at Putney School, printed shortly before his death of an incurable disease. But the qualities of his genius that emerged- and that survive in this reduced facsimile today- indicate that there was lost to the world of creative art a highly original talent, a sense of integrity, a dedication and an urgency that his knowledge of his own brief life span contributed. He had chosen as his theme for his woodcuts portions of eight psalms, and these appear opposite each reproduction of the wood blocks, in strong handset type. Vari-colored papers were chosen on which the woodblocks were printed, close harmony sustained as color related to color. The mood -- the emphasis of text and illustration are interrelated, sometimes with almost a primitive quality of naivete, often with a subtle kind of sophistication, modern without being shocking, for always there is a reverent awareness of the spirit behind the words of the psalmist. Philip Hofer, Curator of Printing and Graphic Arts at the Houghton Library of Harvard, has told Charles Knowles' courageous story in his introduction. The art editor of the Saturday Review has written an appreciative preface. This is a book designed for the sensitive, discriminating few. Don't overlook it.

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1962
Publisher: Viking (Pinnacle Press)