Friday, November 06, 2020

Before corona came, Chinese bookbinding packed a lecture hall


Attendees of my "Heavenly Head, Earthly Foot" lecture in
January get ready to uncover thousands of years of bookbinding. Most photos this post by Joan McGuire


As part of the long-running lecture series First Saturday PDX, I brought my presentation regarding the evolution of the world's oldest communications device to Portland State University on Jan. 11, seemingly before time stopped for the rest of the year.

A curator from the renowned Freer Gallery in D.C. came, as did a fellow who grew up among monk bookbinders in rural Oregon, and then there were the Asian Studies students, the Sinophiles of all ages, the former Beijing Scene comrade, newsfolk of my alma mater (one of whom, Joan McGuire, took these pictures), tango dancers (!), and so many people interested in books, adventure, and all the connections we can make across cultures and eras.

Afterward, we continued the conversation over delicious dishes in Chinatown. I had so much fun sharing my story that I look forward to doing it all over again for a similarly minded group in Montana early next year.

After the First Saturday PDX lecture at Portland 
State, people flocked to get their hands on history.


How are your corona projects going? Perhaps it's time to learn bookbinding! To get you started, I'm offering U.S. customers two copies of China Under the Covers: A Binder's Journey to the Roots of Books for $45 (a savings of 25 percent), with free shipping, just click here, paypal.me/manaobooks/45. For international orders, it's $67 for two copies, including shipping, with this link, paypal.me/manaobooks/67. Thank you!

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