Sunday, October 30, 2011

Triunfo Arciniegas / Deep Water






Triunfo Arciniegas
DEEP WATER

Translated by Verónica Arciniegas
with the collaboration of Anabel Torres
Ilustrations by Marcel Caram 
Graphic Design by Alejandra Arciniegas




Triunfo Arciniegas
NEWS FROM THE FOG
Ediciones Gato Negro



Friday, October 28, 2011

Gabriel Figueiredo / The faces behind the typefaces

THE FACES AND THE TYPEFACES
By Gabriel Figueiredo

THE FACES AND THE TYPEFACES


If you want to find out about a certain typeface or typedesigner, just follow the scheme: Number on the list - Typeface - Type Designer.
From left to right, top to bottom.



001 - Helvetica - Max Miedinger
002 - Garamond - Claude Garamond
003 - Frutiger - Adrian Frutiger
004 - Bodoni - Giambattista Bodoni
005 - Futura - Paul Renner
006 - Times - Stanley Morrison
007 - Akzidenz Grotesk - Günter Gerhard Lange
008 - Officina - Erik Spiekermann
009 - Gill Sans - Eric Gill
010 - Univers - Adrian Frutiger
011 - Optima - Hermann Zapf
012 - Franklin Gothic - Morris Fuller Benton
013 - Bembo - Francesco Griffo (Stanley Morrison)
014 - Interstate - Tobias Frere-Jones
015 - Thesis - Lucas De Groot
016 - Rockwell - Frank Hinman Pierpont
017 - Walbaum - Justus Walbaum
018 - Meta - Erik Spiekermann
019 - Trinité - Bram De Does
020 - DIN - Ludwig Goller
021 - Matrix - Zuzana Licko
022 - OCR-A - American Type Founders
023 - Avant Garde - Herb Lubalin
024 - Lucida - Kris Holmes
025 - Sabon - Jan Tschichold
026 - Zapfino - Hermann Zapf
027 - Letter Gothic - Roger Roberson (photo missing)
028 - Stone - Sumner Stone
029 - Arnhem - Fred Smeijers
030 - Minion - Robert Slimbach
031 - Myriad - Robert Slimbach
032 - Rotis - Otl Aicher
033 - Eurostile - Aldo Novarese
034 - Scala - Martin Majoor
035 - Syntax - Hans Eduard Meyer
036 - Joanna - Eric Gill
037 - Fleischmann - Erhard Kaiser
038 - Palatino - Hermann Zapf
039 - Baskerville - John Baskerville
040 - Fedra - Peter Bilak
041 - Gotham - Tobias Frere-Jones
042 - Lexicon - Bram De Does
043 - Hands - Erik Van Blokand
044 - Metro - William Addison Dwiggins
045 - Didot - Firmin Didot
046 - Formatta - Bernd Mollenstadt (photo missing)
047 - Caslon - William Caslon
048 - Cooper Black - Oswald Cooper
049 - Peignot - Adolphe Mouron Cassandre
050 - Bell Gothic - Chauncey Griffith
051 - Antique Olive - Roger Excoffon
052 - Wilhelm - Rudolf Koch
053 - Info - Erik Spiekermann
054 - Dax - Hans Reichel
055 - Proforma - Petr Van Blokland
056 - Today Sans - Volker Kuester
057 - Prokyon - Erhard Kaiser
058 - Trade Gothic - Jackson Burke
059 - Swift - Gerard Unger
060 - Copperplate - Frederic Goudy
061 - Blur - Neville Brody
062 - Base - Zuzana Licko
063 - Bell Centeniel - Matthew Carter
064 - News Gothic - Morris Fuller Benton
065 - Avenir - Adrian Frutiger
066 - Bernhard Modern - Lucian Bernhard
067 - Amplitude - Christian Schwartz
068 - Trixie - Erik Van Blokand
069 - Quadraat - Fred Smeijers
070 - Neutraface - Christian Schwartz
071 - Nobel - Sjoerd De Roos
072 - Industria - Neville Brody
073 - Bickham Script - Richard Lipton
074 - Bank Gothic - Morris Fuller Benton
075 - Corporate ASE - Kurt Weidemann
076 - Fago - Ole Schafer
077 - Trajan - Carol Twombly
078 - Kabel - Rudolf Koch
079 - House Gothic - Tal Leming
080 - Kosmik - Just Van Rossum
081 - Caecilia - Peter Matthias Noordzij
082 - Mrs Eaves - Zuzana Licko
083 - Corpid - Lucas De Groot
084 - Miller - Matthew Carter
085 - Souvenir - Morris Fuller Benton
086 - Instant Types - Just Van Rossum
087 - Claredon - Robert Besley
088 - Triplex - Zuzana Licko
089 - Benguiat - Ed Benguiat
090 - Zapf Renaissance - Hermann Zapf
091 - Filosofia - Zuzana Licko
0
92 - Chalet - Rich Roat
093 - Quay - David Quay
094 - Cezanne - Richard Kegler
095 - Reporter - Carlos Winkow (photo missing)
096 - Legacy - Ronald Arnholm
097 - Agenda - Greg Thompsom
098 - Bello - Bas Jacobs
099 - Dalliance - Frank Heine
100 - Mistral - Roger Excoffon



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

James Puckett / The Autograph of Beatrice Warde


James Puckett
The Autograph of Beatrice Warde
THE BIOGRAPHY OF BEATRICE WARDE
January 21st, 2011

Last semester I was lucky to have Brenda Becker, a New York book artist, as a student. Typography and book arts run in Brenda’s family; Beatrice Warde was her aunt. Brenda has a collection of Beatrice Warde’s belongings and kindly lent me this piece, Concerning Some Words by Beatrice Warde & Types by Varied Hands. It contains selections from Warde’s essays laid out by designers including W. A. Dwiggins and Bruce Rogers, printed by John Anderson at the Pickering Press in New Jersey, 1953. This particular copy is especially nice because it was autographed by Warde inside the front cover.












Monday, October 24, 2011

Beatrice Warde / The Crystal Goblet


Beatrice Warde
BIOGRAPHY
THE CRYSTAL GOBLET
Or Printing Should Be Invisible

Imagine that you have before you a flagon of wine. You may choose your own favourite vintage for this imaginary demonstration, so that it be a deep shimmering crimson in colour. You have two goblets before you. One is of solid gold, wrought in the most exquisite patterns. The other is of crystal-clear glass, thin as a bubble, and as transparent. Pour and drink; and according to your choice of goblet, I shall know whether or not you are a connoisseur of wine. For if you have no feelings about wine one way or the other, you will want the sensation of drinking the stuff out of a vessel that may have cost thousands of pounds; but if you are a member of that vanishing tribe, the amateurs of fine vintages, you will choose the crystal, because everything about it is calculated to reveal rather than hide the beautiful thing which it was meant to contain.
Bear with me in this long-winded and fragrant metaphor; for you will find that almost all the virtues of the perfect wine-glass have a parallel in typography. There is the long, thin stem that obviates fingerprints on the bowl. Why? Because no cloud must come between your eyes and the fiery heart of the liquid. Are not the margins on book pages similarly meant to obviate the necessity of fingering the type-page? Again: the glass is colourless or at the most only faintly tinged in the bowl, because the connoisseur judges wine partly by its colour and is impatient of anything that alters it. There are a thousand mannerisms in typography that are as impudent and arbitrary as putting port in tumblers of red or green glass! When a goblet has a base that looks too small for security, it does not matter how cleverly it is weighted; you feel nervous lest it should tip over. There are ways of setting lines of type which may work well enough, and yet keep the reader subconsciously worried by the fear of 'doubling' lines, reading three words as one, and so forth.
Now the man who first chose glass instead of clay or metal to hold his wine was a 'modernist' in the sense in which I am going to use that term. That is, the first thing he asked of his particular object was not 'How should it look?' but 'What must it do?' and to that extent all good typography is modernist.
Wine is so strange and potent a thing that it has been used in the central ritual of religion in one place and time, and attacked by a virago with a hatchet in another. There is only one thing in the world that is capable of stirring and altering men's minds to the same extent, and that is the coherent expression of thought. That is man's chief miracle, unique to man. There is no 'explanation' whatever of the fact that I can make arbitrary sounds which will lead a total stranger to think my own thought. It is sheer magic that I should be able to hold a one-sided conversation by means of black marks on paper with an unknown person half-way across the world. Talking, broadcasting, writing, and printing are all quite literally forms of thought transference, and it is the ability and eagerness to transfer and receive the contents of the mind that is almost alone responsible for human civilization.
If you agree with this, you will agree with my one main idea, i.e. that the most important thing about printing is that it conveys thought, ideas, images, from one mind to other minds. This statement is what you might call the front door of the science of typography. Within lie hundreds of rooms; but unless you start by assuming that printing is meant to convey specific and coherent ideas, it is very easy to find yourself in the wrong house altogether.
Before asking what this statement leads to, let us see what it does not necessarily lead to. If books are printed in order to be read, we must distinguish readability from what the optician would call legibility. A page set in 14-pt Bold Sans is, according to the laboratory tests, more 'legible' than one set in 11-pt Baskerville. A public speaker is more 'audible' in that sense when he bellows. But a good speaking voice is one which is inaudible as a voice. It is the transparent goblet again! I need not warn you that if you begin listening to the inflections and speaking rhythms of a voice from a platform, you are falling asleep. When you listen to a song in a language you do not understand, part of your mind actually does fall asleep, leaving your quite separate aesthetic sensibilities to enjoy themselves unimpeded by your reasoning faculties. The fine arts do that; but that is not the purpose of printing. Type well used is invisible as type, just as the perfect talking voice is the unnoticed vehicle for the transmission of words, ideas.
We may say, therefore, that printing may be delightful for many reasons, but that it is important, first and foremost, as a means of doing something. That is why it is mischievous to call any printed piece a work of art, especially fine art: because that would imply that its first purpose was to exist as an expression of beauty for its own sake and for the delectation of the senses. Calligraphy can almost be considered a fine art nowadays, because its primary economic and educational purpose has been taken away; but printing in English will not qualify as an art until the present English language no longer conveys ideas to future generations, and until printing itself hands its usefulness to some yet unimagined successor.




There is no end to the maze of practices in typography, and this idea of printing as a conveyor is, at least in the minds of all the great typographers with whom I have had the privilege of talking, the one clue that can guide you through the maze. Without this essential humility of mind, I have seen ardent designers go more hopelessly wrong, make more ludicrous mistakes out of an excessive enthusiasm, than I could have thought possible. And with this clue, this purposiveness in the back of your mind, it is possible to do the most unheard-of things, and find that they justify you triumphantly. It is not a waste of time to go to the simple fundamentals and reason from them. In the flurry of your individual problems, I think you will not mind spending half an hour on one broad and simple set of ideas involving abstract principles.
I once was talking to a man who designed a very pleasing advertising type which undoubtedly all of you have used. I said something about what artists think about a certain problem, and he replied with a beautiful gesture: 'Ah, madam, we artists do not think---we feel!' That same day I quoted that remark to another designer of my acquaintance, and he, being less poetically inclined, murmured: 'I'm not feeling very well today, I think!' He was right, he did think; he was the thinking sort; and that is why he is not so good a painter, and to my mind ten times better as a typographer and type designer than the man who instinctively avoided anything as coherent as a reason. I always suspect the typographic enthusiast who takes a printed page from a book and frames it to hang on the wall, for I believe that in order to gratify a sensory delight he has mutilated something infinitely more important. I remember that T.M. Cleland, the famous American typographer, once showed me a very beautiful layout for a Cadillac booklet involving decorations in colour. He did not have the actual text to work with in drawing up his specimen pages, so he had set the lines in Latin. This was not only for the reason that you will all think of; if you have seen the old typefoundries' famous Quousque Tandem copy (i.e. that Latin has few descenders and thus gives a remarkably even line). No, he told me that originally he had set up the dullest 'wording' that he could find (I dare say it was from Hansard), and yet he discovered that the man to whom he submitted it would start reading and making comments on the text. I made some remark on the mentality of Boards of Directors, but Mr Cleland said, 'No: you're wrong; if the reader had not been practically forced to read---if he had not seen those words suddenly imbued with glamour and significance---then the layout would have been a failure. Setting it in Italian or Latin is only an easy way of saying "This is not the text as it will appear".'
Let me start my specific conclusions with book typography, because that contains all the fundamentals, and then go on to a few points about advertising.


The book typographer has the job of erecting a window between the reader inside the room and that landscape which is the author's words. He may put up a stained-glass window of marvellous beauty, but a failure as a window; that is, he may use some rich superb type like text gothic that is something to be looked at, not through. Or he may work in what I call transparent or invisible typography. I have a book at home, of which I have no visual recollection whatever as far as its typography goes; when I think of it, all I see is the Three Musketeers and their comrades swaggering up and down the streets of Paris. The third type of window is one in which the glass is broken into relatively small leaded panes; and this corresponds to what is called 'fine printing' today, in that you are at least conscious that there is a window there, and that someone has enjoyed building it. That is not objectionable, because of a very important fact which has to do with the psychology of the subconscious mind. That is that the mental eye focuses through type and not upon it. The type which, through any arbitrary warping of design or excess of 'colour', gets in the way of the mental picture to be conveyed, is a bad type. Our subconsciousness is always afraid of blunders (which illogical setting, tight spacing and too-wide unleaded lines can trick us into), of boredom, and of officiousness. The running headline that keeps shouting at us, the line that looks like one long word, the capitals jammed together without hair-spaces---these mean subconscious squinting and loss of mental focus.
And if what I have said is true of book printing, even of the most exquisite limited editions, it is fifty times more obvious in advertising, where the one and only justification for the purchase of space is that you are conveying a message---that you are implanting a desire, straight into the mind of the reader. It is tragically easy to throw away half the reader-interest of an advertisement by setting the simple and compelling argument in a face which is uncomfortably alien to the classic reasonableness of the book-face. Get attention as you will by your headline, and make any pretty type pictures you like if you are sure that the copy is useless as a means of selling goods; but if you are happy enough to have really good copy to work with, I beg you to remember that thousands of people pay hard-earned money for the privilege of reading quietly set book-pages, and that only your wildest ingenuity can stop people from reading a really interesting text.
Printing demands a humility of mind, for the lack of which many of the fine arts are even now floundering in self-conscious and maudlin experiments. There is nothing simple or dull in achieving the transparent page. Vulgar ostentation is twice as easy as discipline. When you realise that ugly typography never effaces itself; you will be able to capture beauty as the wise men capture happiness by aiming at something else. The 'stunt typographer' learns the fickleness of rich men who hate to read. Not for them are long breaths held over serif and kern, they will not appreciate your splitting of hair-spaces. Nobody (save the other craftsmen) will appreciate half your skill. But you may spend endless years of happy experiment in devising that crystalline goblet which is worthy to hold the vintage of the human mind.

Beatrice Warde
The Cristal Goblet
Sixteen Essays on Typography
Londres, 1932





Saturday, October 22, 2011

Julio Cortázar / All Fires the Fire


ALL FIRES THE FIRE
AND OTHER STORIES
By Julio Cortázar
BIOGRAPHY

I think this is the best of the Pantheon Cortázar jackets. The designer is again Kenneth Miyamoto, who had created the jacket for 62: A Model Kit
but the painting on the cover is Paul Klee's The North Sea. The way the central swath vanishes in the distance always makes me think of "The Southern Thruway," one of the eight stories included inside, even though it's an empty beach rather than a superhighway jammed with vacationers returning to Paris.
The back cover features that wonderfully over-the-top Neruda quote: Anyone who doesn’t read Cortázar is doomed. Not to read him is a grave invisible disease which in time can have terrible consequences. Something similar to a man who had never tasted peaches. He would be quietly getting sadder, noticeably paler, and probably little by little, he would lose his hair. I don’t want those things to happen to me, and so I greedily devour all the fabrications, myths, contradictions, and mortal games of the great Julio Cortázar.
Gregory Rabassa was once again the translator. This edition was published in September 1973, the same month that Salvador Allende was overthrown in Chile and the same month that Neruda died.

Posted by Chris Kearin at 7:13 PM
Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Julio Cortázar / Cronopios and Famas


CRONOPIOS AND FAMAS
By Julio Cortázar
BIOGRAPHY

Paul Blackburn and Cortázar were exchanging correspondence about the translation of this book of whimsical stories and fables as early as 1959, three years before the book appeared in Spanish.
Paul, your translation is formidable. I've read it twice, making note in passing of the observations that I have to make to you, and they're minor details. You've managed the spirit of the thing, that way of writing that I used with the cronopios and that comes out beautifully in English (at times it makes me think a little of Damon Runyon, whom I've always admired a great deal). I congratulate you, and I give you a big hug (with one arm only, because the other one is still all messed up).
A subsequent letter refers to a reading Blackburn gave in New York City that included several of the pieces, apparently with great success.
You don't know how happy this makes me. Did you make a tape recording? How I would have liked to hear your voice reading your translations, it would be fabulous. Many thanks for scattering my cronopios in the cafés of 9th Avenue. They must have eaten all the hamburgers, I imagine, and then left without paying. Deplorable conduct of the cronopios in New York.
         Blackburn did eventually send Cortázar a tape, whether from that reading or another.
As it turned out, the cronopios, famas, and esperanzas had to wait their turn until 1969, after Pantheon's publication of two novels and one book of short stories. Dave Holzman did the artwork for this jacket. My copy is a paperback reprint. A Journey Round My Skull has the hardcover version.


Posted by Chris Kearin at 7:39 AM
Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Julio Cortázar / End of the Game


END OF THE GAME
AND OTHER STORIES
By Julio Cortázar
BIOGRAPHY

The idea of translating selections from Cortázar's work must have been in Paul Blackburn's mind at least from April 1958, when the Argentinian wrote him a friendly letter, in the course of which he outlined the books he had published to date and mentioned that he had just completed a long story, "El perseguidor" ("The Pursuer") based on Charlie Parker. Blackburn seems to have turned his hand first to  Cronopios and Famas
, although that book wouldn't appear in its entirety until 1969. By 1962, Cortázar was writing to Sara Blackburn (Paul's wife, and Cortázar's US editor) about a translation of "Las armas secretas" (apparently just the title story, not the entire volume) by Hardie St. Martin:
It seems formidable to me. It's very faithful, very precise, and it has all of the atmosphere of the original. I marked two or three little things that can be corrected without great effort... I would be delighted if someone would be moved to translate "The Pursuer" and the other stories in the book, but above all "The Pursuer."
I'm not sure what became of St. Martin's translation, but in 1967, after Pantheon had already published The Winners and Hopscotch, End of the Game appeared, containing Blackburn's translations of most of the contents of Bestiario, Las Armas Secretas, and Final del Juego, including the Parker story, "Axolotl," "The Idol of the Cyclades," and twelve other pieces. By then Antonioni's film Blow-Up, which is loosely based on Cortázar's "Las babas del diablo," was about to appear, and so the story was retitled "Blow-Up," a felicitous change as the original title translates to something like "the devil's spittle." When the Collier Books edition appeared a year later the title of the entire volume was changed and a still from the movie became the cover art.
           In the late '70s or early '80s a Harper paperback edition restored the original title, but the subsequent Vintage edition that remains in print is once again Blow-Up.


The original surrealist-derived cover art from the hardcover edition is credited to one Hoot von Zitzewitz, whose identity appears to be a bit mysterious. In a letter to Paul Blackburn and his wife Sara (who was his editor at Pantheon), Cortázar wrote:
Dear Sarita, many thanks for the copy of End of the Game, which is very nice. I have the impression that we have chosen the sequence of stories well, and that some critics will say some interesting things about them.
The same letter also alludes with regret to Sara's decision to leave Pantheon. By 1969 she and Paul Blackburn had divorced and Paul had married for a third time.
(Translations are mine, from the three-volume Alfaguara edition of Cortázar's Cartas.)


Posted by Chris Kearin at 8:04 PM
Monday, October 04, 2010


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ray Bradbury / A Medicine for Melancholy


Picture by Rebecca Dautremer
 A MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY
By Ray Bradbury

"Send for some leeches; bleed her," said Doctor Gimp.
"She has no blood left!" cried Mrs. Wilkes. "Oh, Doctor, what ails our
Camillia?"
"She's not right."
"Yes, yes?"
"She's poorly." The good doctor scowled.
"Go on, go on!"
"She's a fluttering candle flame, no doubt."
"Ah, Doctor Gimp," protested Mr. Wilkes. "You but tell us as you go out what we told you when you came in!"
"No, more! Give her these pills at dawn, high noon, and sunset. A sovereignremedy!"
"Damn, she's stuffed with sovereign remedies now!"
"Tut-tut! That's a shilling as I pass downstairs, sir."
"Go down and send the Devil up!"
Mr. Wilkes shoved a coin in the good doctor's hand.
Whereupon the physician, wheezing, taking snuff, sneezing, stamped down into theswarming streets of London on a sloppy morn in the spring of 1762.
Mr. and Mrs. Wilkes turned to the bed where their sweet Camillia lay pale, thin, yes, but far from unlovely, with large wet lilac eyes, her hair a creek of gold upon her pillow.
"Oh," she almost wept. "What's to become of me? Since the start of spring, three weeks, I've been a ghost in my mirror; I frighten me. To think I'll die without seeing my twentieth birthday."
"Child," said the mother. "Where do you hurt?"
"My arms. My legs. My bosom. My head. How many doctors - six? - have turned me like a beef on a spit. No more. Please, let me pass away untouched."
"What a ghastly, what a mysterious illness," said the mother. "Oh, do something,Mr. Wilkes!"
"What?" asked Mr. Wilkes angrily. "She won't have the physician, the apothecary,or the priest! - and Amen to that! - they've wrung me dry! Shall I run in the street then and bring the Dustman up?"
"Yes," said a voice.
"What!" All three turned to stare.
They had quite forgotten her younger brother, Jamie, who stood picking his teeth at a far window, gazing serenely down into the drizzle and the loud rumbling of the town.
"Four hundred years ago," he said serenely, "it was tried, it worked. Don't bring the Dustman up, no, no. But let us hoist Camillia, cot and all, maneuver her downstairs, and set her up outside our door."
"Why? What for?"
"In a single hour" - Jamie's eyes jumped, counting - "a thousand folk rush by our gate. In one day, twenty thousand people run, hobble, or ride by. Each might eye my swooning sister, each count her teeth, pull her ear lobes, and all, all, mind you, would have a sovereign remedy to offer! One of them would just have to be right!"
"Ah," said Mr. Wilkes, stunned.
"Father!" said Jamie breathlessly. "Have you ever known one single man who didn't think he personally wrote Materia Medica? This green ointment for sour throat, that ox-salve for miasma or bloat? Right now, ten thousand self-appointed apothecaries sneak off down there, their wisdom lost to us!"
"Jamie boy, you're incredible!"
"Cease!" said Mrs. Wilkes. "No daughter of mine will be put on display in this or any street-"
"Fie, woman!" said Mr. Wilkes. "Camillia melts like snow and you hesitate to move her from this hot room? Come, Jamie, lift the bed!"
"Camillia?" Mrs. Wilkes turned to her daughter.
"I may as well die in the open," said Camlila, "where a cool breeze might stir my locks as I…"
"Bosh!" said the father. "You'll not die. Jamie, heave! Ha! There! Out of the way, wife! Up, boy, higher!"
"Oh," cried Camillia faindy. "I fly, I fly…!"


Quite suddenly a blue sky opened over London. The population, surprised by the weather, hurried out into the streets, panicking for something to see, to do, to buy. Blind men sang, dogs jigged, clowns shuffled and tumbled, children chalked games and threw balls as if it were carnival time.
Down into all this, tottering, their veins bursting from their brows, Jamie and Mr. Wilkes carried Camillia like a lady Pope sailing high in her sedan-chair cot, eyes clenched shut, praying.
"Careful!" screamed Mrs. Wilkes. "Ah, she's dead! No. There. Put her down. Easy …"
And at last the bed was tilted against the house front so that the River of Humanity surging by could see Camillia, a large pale artolemy Doll put out like a prize in the sun.
"Fetch a quill, ink, paper, lad," said the father. "I'll make notes as to symptoms spoken of and remedies offered this day. Tonight we'll average them out. Now-"
But already a man in the passing crowd had fixed Camillia with a sharp eye.
"She's sick!" he said.
"Ah," said Mr. Wilkes, gleefully. "It begins. The quill boy. There. Go on, sir!"
"She's not well." The man scowled. "She does poorly."
"Does poorly-" Mr. Wilkes wrote, then froze. "Sir?" He looked up suspiciously.
"Are you a physician?"
"I am, sir."
"I thought I knew the words! Jamie, take my cane, drive him off! Go, sir, be gone!"
But the man hastened off, cursing, mightily exasperated.
"She's not well, she does poorly… pah!" mimicked Mr. Wilkes, but stopped. For now a woman, tall and gaunt as a specter fresh risen from the tomb, was pointing a finger at Camillia Wilkes.
"Vapors," she intoned.
"Vapors," wrote Mr. Wilkes, pleased.
"Lung-flux," chanted the woman.
"Lung-flux!" Mr. Wilkes wrote, beaming. "Now, that's more like it!"
"A medicine for melancholy is needed," said the woman palely. "Be there mummy ground to medicine in your house? The best mummies are: Egyptian, Arabian, Hirasphatos, Libyan, all of great use in magnetic disorders. Ask for me, the Gypsy, at the Flodden Road. I sell stone parsley, male frankincense-"
"Flodden Road, stone parsey - slower, woman!"
"Opobalsam, pontic valerian-"
"Wait, woman! Opobalsam, yes! Jamie, stop her!"
But the woman, naming medicines, glided on.
A girl, no more than seventeen, walked up now and stared at Camillia Wilkes.
"She-"
"One moment!" Mr. Wilkes scribbled feverishly. "-magnetic disorders – pontic valerian - drat! Well, young girl, now. What do you see in my daughter's face? You fix her with your gaze, you hardly breathe. So?"
"She-" The strange girl searched deep into Camillia's eyes, flushed, and stammered. "She suffers from … from…"
"Spit it out!"
"She . . . she . . . oh!"
And the girl, with a last look of deepest sympathy, darted off through the crowd.
"Silly girl!"
"No, Papa," murmured Camillia, eyes wide. "Not silly. She saw. She knew. Oh, Jamie, run fetch her, make her tell!"
"No, she offered nothing! Whereas, the Gypsy, see her list!"
"I know it, Papa." Camillia, paler, shut her eyes.
Someone cleared his throat.
A butcher, his apron a scarlet battleground, stood bristling his fierce mustaches there.
"I have seen cows with this look," he said. "I have saved them with brandy and three new eggs. In winter I have saved myself with the same elixir-"
"My daughter is no cow, sir!" Mr. Wilkes threw down his quill. "Nor is she a butcher, nor is it January! Step back, sir, others wait!"
And indeed, now a vast crowd clamored, drawn by the others, aching to advise their favorite swig, recommend some country site where it rained less and shone more sun than in all England or your South of France. Old men and women, especial doctors as all the aged are, clashed by each other in bristles of canes, in phalanxes of crutches and hobble sticks.
"Back!" cried Mrs. Wilkes, alarmed. "They'll crush my daughter like a spring berry!"
"Stand off!" Jamie seized canes and crutches and threw them over the mob, which turned on itself to go seek their missing members.
"Father, I fail, I fail," gasped Camillia.
"Father!" cried Jamie. "There's but one way to stop this riot! Charge them! Make them pay to give us their mind on this ailment!"
"Jamie, you are my son! Quick, boy, paint a sign! Listen, people! Tuppence! Queue up please, a line! Tuppence to speak your piece! Get your money out, yes! That's it. You, sir. You, madame. And you, sir. Now, my quill! Begin!"
The mob boiled in like a dark sea.
Camlia opened one eye and swooned again.


Sundown, the streets almost empty, only a few strollers now. Camillia
moth-fluttered her eyelids at a famiiar clinking jingle.
"Three hundred and ninety-nine, four hundred pennies!" Mr. Wilkes counted the last money into a bag held by his grinning son. "There!"
"It will buy me a fine black funeral coach," said the pale girl.
"Hush! Did you imagine, family, so many people, two hundred, would pay to give us their opinion?"
"Yes," said Mrs. Wilkes. "Wives, husbands, children, are deaf to each other. So people gladly pay to have someone listen. Poor things, each today thought he and he alone knew quinsy, dropsy, glanders, could tell the slaver from the hives. So tonight we are rich and two hundred people are happy, having unloaded their full medical kit at our door."
"Gods, instead of quelling the riot, we had to drive them off snapping like pups."
"Read us the list, Father," said Jamie, "of two hundred remedies. Which one is true?"
"I care not," whispered Carillia, sighing. "It grows dark. My stomach is queasy from listening to the names! May I be taken upstairs?"
"Yes, dear. Jamie, lift!"
"Please," said a voice.
Half-bent, the men looked up.
There stood a Dustman of no particular size or shape, his face masked with soot from which shone water-blue eyes and a white slot of an ivory smile. Dust sifted from his sleeves and his pants as he moved, as he talked quietly, nodding.
"I couldn't get through the mob earlier," he said, holding his dirty cap in his hands. "Now, going home, here I am. Must I pay?"
"No, Dustman, you need not," said Camillia gently.
"Hold on-" protested Mr. Wilkes.
But Camillia gave him a soft look and he grew silent.
"Thank you, ma'am." The Dustman's smile flashed like warm sunlight in the growing dusk. "I have but one advice."
He gazed at Camillia. She gazed at him.
"Be this Saint Bosco's Eve, sir, ma 'am?"
"Who knows? Not me, sir!" said Mr. Wilkes.
"I think it is Saint Bosco's Eve, sir. Also, it is the night of the Full Moon. So," said the Dustman humbly, unable to take his eyes from the lovely hauntedgirl, "you must leave your daughter out in the light of that rising moon."
"Out under the moon!" said Mrs. Wilkes.
"Doesn't that make the lunatic?" asked Jamie.
"Beg pardon, sir." The Dustman bowed. "But the full moon soothes all sick animal, be they human or plain field beast. There is a serenity of color, a quietude of touch, a sweet sculpturing of mind and body in full moonlight."
"It may rain-" said the mother uneasily.
"I swear," said the Dustman quickly. "My sister suffered this same swooning paleness. We set her like a potted lily out one spring night with the moon. She lives today in Sussex, the soul of reconstituted health!"
"Reconstituted! Moonlight! And will cost us not one penny of the four hundred we collected this day, Mother, Jamie, Camillia."
"No!" said Mrs. Wilkes. "I won't have it!"
"Mother," said Camillia.
She looked earnestly at the Dustman.
From his grimed face the Dustman gazed back, his smile like a little scimitar in the dark.
"Mother," said Camillia. "I feel it. The moon will cure me, it will, it will."
The mother sighed. "This is not my day, nor night. Let me kiss you for the last time, then. There."
And the mother went upstairs.
Now the Dustman backed off, bowing courteously to all.
"All night, now, remember, beneath the moon, not the slightest disturbance until dawn. Sleep well, young lady. Dream, and dream the best. Good night."
Soot was lost in soot; the man was gone.
Mr. Wilkes and Jamie kissed Camillia's brow.
"Father, Jamie," she said. "Don't worry."
And she was left alone to stare off where at a great distance she thought she saw a smile hung by itself in the dark blink off and on, then go round a corner, vanishing.
She waited for the rising of the moon.
Night in London, the voices growing drowsier in the inns, the slamming of doors, drunken farewells, clocks chiming. Camillia saw a cat like a woman stroll by in her furs, saw a woman like a cat stroll by, both wise, both Egyptian, both smelling of spice. Every quarter hour or so a voice drifted down from above:
"You all right, child?"
"Yes, Father."
"Camillia?"
"Mother, Jamie, I'm fine."
And at last. "Good night."
"Good night."
The last lights out. London asleep.
The moon rose.
And the higher the moon, the larger grew Camillia's eyes as she watched the alleys, the courts, the streets, until at last, at midnight, the moon moved over her to show her like a marble figure atop an ancient tomb.
A motion in darkness.
Camillia pricked her ears.
A faint melody sprang out on the air.
A man stood in the shadows of the court.
Camillia gasped.
The man stepped forth into moonlight, carrying a lute which he strummed softly.
He was a man well-dressed, whose face was handsome and, now anyway, solemn.
"A troubadour," said Camillia aloud.
The man, his finger on his lips, moved slowly forward and soon stood by her cot.
"What are you doing out so late?" asked the girl, unafraid but not knowing why.
         "A friend sent me to make you well."
He touched the lute strings. They hummed sweetly. He was indeed handsome there in the silver light.
"That cannot be," she said, "for it was told me, the moon is my cure."
"And so it will be, maiden."
"What songs do you sing?"
"Songs of spring nights, aches and ailments without name. Shall I name your fever, maiden?"
"If you know it, yes."
"First, the symptoms: raging temperatures, sudden cold, heart fast then slow,storms of temper, then sweet calms, drunkenness from having sipped only well water, dizziness from being touched only thus-"
He touched her wrist, saw her melt toward delicious oblivion, drew back.
"Depressions, elations," he went on. "Dreams-"
"Stop!" she cried, enthralled. "You know me to the letter. Now, name my ailment!"
"I will." He pressed his lips to the palm of her hand so she quaked suddenly. "The name of the ailment is Camillia Wilkes."
"How strange." She shivered, her eyes glinting lilac fires. "Am I then my own affliction? How sick I make myself! Even now, feel my heart!"
"I feel it, so."
"My limbs, they burn with summer heat!"
"Yes. They scorch my fingers."
"But now, the night wind, see how I shudder, cold! I die, I swear it, I die!"
"I will not let you," he said quietly.
"Are you a doctor, then?"
"No, just your plain, your ordinary physician, like another who guessed your trouble this day. The girl who would have named it but ran off in the crowd."
"Yes, I saw in her eyes she knew what had seized me. But, now, my teeth chatter. And no extra blanket!"
"Give room, please. There. Let me see: two arms, two legs, head and body. I'm all here!"
"What, sir!"
"To warm you from the night, of course."
"How like a hearth! Oh, sir, sir, do I know you? Your name?"
Swiftly above her, his head shadowed hers. From it his merry clear-water eyes glowed as did his white ivory slot of a smile.
"Why, Bosco, of course," he said.
"Is there not a saint by that name?"
"Given an hour, you will call me so, yes."
His head bent closer. Thus sooted in shadow, she cried with joyous recognition to welcome her Dustman back.
"The world spins! I pass away! The cure, sweet Doctor, or all is lost!"
"The cure," he said. "And the cure is this . . ."
Somewhere, cats sang. A shoe, shot from a window, tipped them off a fence. Then all was silence and the moon…


"Shh . . ."
Dawn. Tiptoeing downstairs, Mr. and Mrs. Wilkes peered into their courtyard.
"Frozen stone dead from the terrible night, I know it!"
"No, wife, look! Alive! Roses in her cheeks! No, more! Peaches, persimmons! She glows all rosy-milky! Sweet Camillia, alive and well, made whole again!"
They bent by the slumbering girl.
"She smiles, she dreams; what's that she says?"
"The sovereign," sighed the girl, "remedy."
"What, what?"
The girl smiled again, a white smile, in her sleep.
"A medicine," she murmured, "for melancholy."
She opened her eyes.
"Oh, Mother, Father!"
"Daughter! Child! Come upstairs!"
"No." She took their hands, tenderly. "Mother? Father?"
"Yes?"
"No one will see. The sun but rises. Please. Dance with me."
They did not want to dance.
But, celebrating they knew not what, they did.