2015 · TacÃ¡mbaro
From the book's rear cover, extensively: "Harry Duncan was a major Master Printer, from whom many younger workers learned enough that legions of poets can be forever grateful to have had their work presented so appropriately that the material particulars, text and all, will melt way, vanish into thin air, leaving the work — the POEM — imprinted in the reader's brain, as if an electronic chip had been implanted: as some crafty publisher might attempt some day, hoping to equal the impact of a Harry Duncan book.
"Harry Duncan was also a distinctive though not prolific poet and translator; a stylist as eloquent and elegant in prose as in speech and bearing; a fine italic penman; and husband of Nancy, whose genius, separate but equal, was of the theater, though still imprinted in the memories of fellow actors and audiences, especially children.
"The Inner Tympan brings together every published piece of Duncan's writing that could be found, and constitutes thus a self-portrait; not one consciously planned, certainly not one he helped to gather, but neither is it one he would have rejected."
Duncan (1916–97) is "considered the father of the post-World War II private-press movement" (Ray Anello, "Reading the Fine Print," Newsweek, August 16, 1982, p. 64). He operated the Cummington Press beginning in 1939 in Cummington, MA, later at Iowa City after becoming director in 1956 of the typographical laboratory at the University of Iowa's School of Journalism, and later still in 1972 in Omaha, NB, where he created the University of Nebraska's fine arts press, Abattoir Editions.
The first edition of The Inner Tympan was printed in 2005 in an edition of 30 copies by Juan Pascoe — Duncan's last apprentice, then and now a master hand-printer in Mexico — for his friends and those of Harry and Nancy Duncan, the Cummington Press, and the Taller Martín Pescador. This second edition "was set in Enrico, a digital version of the 12-point type cut and cast in 1600 by Enrico Martinez in Mexico City, and drawn by Gonzalo Garcia Barcha in the final years of the twentieth century" (colophon). Publisher's illustrated hardcover binding. New. With a four-page pamphlet of "Some memories of the Cummington Press" by Gloria Goldsmith Gowdy, printed by Juan Pascoe in 100 copies "with HD's pressmark & PWW's drawing for The Winter Sea," laid in. (Inventory #: 40713)