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Network at Fifty, by Norman Corwin. Two trial copies designed & printed by Ward Richie




A wide-ranging, sometimes surreal poem of human activity, our place in the universe, the future, and the Cyclops that translates it all for humanity. "Cyclops" is a metaphor for the "eye" logo of CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting System, and the poem was written for the 50th anniversary of the company. An excerpt of a televised walk in space and a walk on the moon: "No eye has roved like the video eye / Away and beyond the reach of earth / Out to the moon and onto it / Footprints in the primordial dust, umbilical walks in the deeps of space, / Sprayed on the tube in front of the chair or up on the wall in the bedroom."


TWO COPIES of the book, both having the foreword by Robert Nathan, and both printed on loose leaves, folded once. Copy One is complete with all leaves tucked, unbound, into cream, brown, and blue French-flapped Cockerell and Son marbled paper wraps. A paper CBS “eye” logo label is applied to the front. 18 pp. Copy Two has no wraps, is marked "trials" in pencil at the head of the title page, unbound, and is partial, having 4 pages of the 7-page poem. Pagination is different from the complete copy, with the title page being a self-wrap. 12 pp. Both copies were obtained together, neither is signed, and are possibly trials or proofs for the author or printer.


From a limited edition of 50, commissioned by the Invierno Press, and printed by the great designer and printer Ward Richie under his imprint Laguna Verde Imprenta. Richie had retired from commercial printing and design at The Ward Ritchie Press, so he and his wife Marka moved to their summer house. Since he had retired, Richie, of course, had an 1835 Albion hand press moved into their house and began printing this and other books for his own pleasure. Although not stated, the book's design is by Richie with the title page's 3-color illustration in a style reminiscent of other title pages designed by him.


At once these are poetry, an oblique tribute to broadcasting history, and examples of Ward Richie's fine printing and design. Both are clean, sharp, and in Fine Condition.


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