Friday, February 24, 2012

Hogarth Press

"Though the Hogarth press evolved into a publishing house for Bloomsbury writers, Leonard also initially purchased the press as a form of therapy for Virginia - printing would be a “manual occupation [that] would take her mind completely off her work” (Woolf, Leonard 233).  As envisioned by Leonard, the mechanical and physical nature of letterpress printing would liberate her imaginative mind. However, the printing press became, instead of mental therapy, a form of “aesthetic therapy” for Virginia - it contributed to and changed her work, rather than allowing her to escape writing.[4] Moreover, it bridged the gap between language and reality; language no longer simply conveyed the fictional world, but was composed of real objects to be physically lifted and moved. Indeed, after Virginia became acquainted with type composition, the physical placement and modification of words, required by letterpress printing, is reflected in her writing. Printing forced her to reevaluate her word choice, punctuation use, and how she built a sentence. Indeed, printing at the Hogarth Press marks the beginning of a new direction in Woolf’s writing, one that playfully experimented with form and composition."

Source: Hogarth Press by Jessica Svendsen, The Modernism Lab at Yale University.

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