A Novel of Obsession
by Erica Jong
Harper and Row, 1990
Binding in the style of a writing-box. Wood and wood veneers stained to a
cherry-mahogany hue, inset leather panel. Below is a view of the back of the binding, showing the
brass hinges and the double-hinged spine. The second set of hinges is hidden
under the bottom.
Bound by Minsky 2000
10" x 7" x 3"
Collection of Mechtild Maes, Amsterdam
opening the box a tray is seen, containing writing paper and a fountain
tray closes into the box lid, revealing a rattan lining which is the endpaper of
It is a binding, and not a box. The text is integral to the structure, as can be seen in the
back endpapers are rattan.
is a view that shows all the parts:
are four different women's names on the stationery: Isadora Wing, Leila Zandberg,
Erica Jong and Mechtild Maes. Isadora is a fictitious author created by the
actual author, Erica Jong. Leila is a character of Isadora's, who maintains a
dialogue with her creator throughout the novel. Mechtild is the collector who
commissioned this work.
The concept of this binding is that the book is
a woman's very private diary, and is hidden from the world, disguised as an
anonymous writing box or "cry-box."
Below is the text of an e-mail
from the author:
Subject: Any Woman's Blues
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2000 13:03:15 -0400
From: erica jong
To: Richard Minsky
Richard--The binding is beautiful! I love it. Thanks for linking to my site. Best, Erica
Below is a commentary from Mechtild
Subject: any woman's blues
Date: Sun, 8 Oct 2000 02:22:49 +0200
From: mechtild maes
To: Richard Minsky
When I read books, I learn a lot about myself.
To me, books are like
living beings. I can smell them,
I can touch them, and I can flatter them. I can lose myself, or
force themselves on me and rule over
me. But they can never let me down.
So I learned a lot about my life when I read the books of
Erica Jong... especially Any Woman's Blues. I let myself roam through all the hidden
thoughts and forbidden desires,
which are described in her books
with a lot
When I read Any Woman's Blues, I suddenly realized that the life I live is
the life I want to live--a life with freedom of
speaking, of opinion and of movement.
And a life which allows me to enjoy
reading books, appreciating art, and developing myself, with humor and
love. Being very happy with this consciousness, I decided to raise a little
Searching on the internet, I found Richard Minsky's website, and saw two
unique bindings on books by Erica Jong. I know these books very well, and
his bindings illuminate precisely what I experienced while reading them.
I decided that I had enough confidence in Richard Minsky to let him create
a work that would represent my feelings.
My confidence was right! Richard Minsky has bound Any Woman's Blues in a
wonderful, simple wooden writing-box with different compartments,
like this book is written and
like life is. In this box the hidden thoughts and forbidden desires can rest
peacefully until they are beckoned and released.
time I look at this writing-box, I realize what a great thing it is to
have the ability to let things
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