The Library, by David Schulz. Light Rail Works, 112 pages, Digital printing, Perfect bound, 9 x 12”, edition of 100, 2019.

To purchase the book, please email davidschulzworks at gmail dot com. $50.


      The Library is a meditation on realization and loss through the practice of reading. After his father’s unexpected death, the author searched for him in selected books from his father’s library in an attempt to access and preserve his (and his father’s) memories and thoughts as well as to give shape to questions about a disturbing past.
      A fugue-structure assembles photographs of books from his father’s library alongside the author’s prose-poems which respond to his reading of those books. As photographs of books bear witness to the objects with which the father had physical contact, the texts emanating from those objects imagine representations of his thoughts as he read. Photo-collages of forests represent the visual thoughts of the author as he attempted to read his own father, who was often obscured by the enigmas of despair and anxiety.
      The multiple voices and narrative perspectives encountered in the books from the library expose a series of formative events within and surrounding the father’s life. They also inspire the author to create an imagined history in the resulting prose-poems.
      The culminating book—a portrait in absentia—creates a parallel reality to his father, one that masks actual memories and obstructs his father’s voice as it probes the space between documentation and invention, and between the imperative to understand and the impossibility of knowing.
      The Library has a second iteration consisting of books referenced in The Library that have been un-bound and reassembled onto a new substrate with binding thread. Onto these pages, one of the forest collages (also from The Library) is printed and distributed over the entire assemblage of pages. This expanded book form includes the corresponding prose-poems printed along the bottom edge of the new assemblages.
      The 2 pieces illustrated below are: Akhmatova, 55” x 40”; and Bulgakov, 37” x 31”. The frames are made of rough-hewn chestnut that was harvested and milled 300 years ago and used in the original farm building in Connecticut where the source images for the forest collages were made.
      Below the assemblages: Double-paged spreads from The Library.