This is a set of eight images about the reading mind, titled “Man of Letters”. It’s been a work in progress and I have completed it now. It blends the cityscape of the classic reader with the colorful flashes of the mind that is inspired by reading books.
In this photographic collage I used several photos that were taken at different times in different locations and joined them to create the pictures. The so created different levels talk to each other.
All the cityscapes were photographed in LA, and the landscapes are from California. I blended the different photographs just as a reader blends the imaginative scenes in the book with the landscape or cityscape where he is reading.
Reading engages you that you seem to forget where you are. It has happened to many readers that they read on a train or a bus, and suddenly noticed they didn’t recognize the landscape outside for a moment. They were so included into their books they had forgotten all about their environment.
“Man of Letters” is an expression derived from the French “homme des lettres” and means a person who is knowledgeable in literature and the arts, and he may even be a writer himself.
I was also inspired by the air of book illustrations. Those pieces of art that focus your mind and pin down your thoughts so you can often remember the whole book by its illustrations. They are part of the sensual contact with a book, adding to the touch and smell of paper, the shapes of the typeface, the character the page appearance in the typesetting.
We get so much involved in books that we merge with the book and seem to a part of it as in “Man of Letters VII”
My father would constantly read and buy books, and so am I. When I was a boy, he would always pay half on every book I bought and thus provide a subvention to my growing love of books.
He had thousands himself, and I guess I have not rolled far from his tree and through all the moves through several countries and two continents have still a large number of physical books. Open a book, and open a world.