The textured, semi-fabric cover of this pleasantly supple book is an alliteration on the original Danish debut collection Blod by author and activist Rud. Broby, published in 1922 – and highly controversial at the time. There may however have been more factors prompting this choice of material for the cover: Broby’s communist past, or the fact that the skin-like texture associates freely with the title, Blood. This creates tension, especially in combination with the sober ‘archive green’ boards around which the dust jacket is folded.
The book contains not only a – never before published – English translation of Broby’s poems, but also an uncompromising visual report on the writer’s recently opened archives.
The semi-transparent paper pulls us through the book. The visual language of the typography – pretty much everything is capitals – looks stylistically fresh and modern, but is in fact taken directly from the original collection of poems from a century ago. This is continued radically in the typesetting of the translation, almost as if it were a pastiche. Then, in the archive section, the text is placed without embellishment in exactly the place on the pages where it needs to be to provide meaning. In this way, the typography becomes image, and this makes a nice change from the genre of professionally photographed archives we have seen quite frequently in recent years.
As an archive the book did not convince everyone, but the big gesture, the selection and the interplay of images, has been carried out so rigorously that the book as an experience rises above similar publications. Its tactile nature is the added value of this book. This is the type of publication that wins hands down from digital media.