W.R. Johnson, Claire Van Vliet and Linda Wary. Narcissus.
(West Burke, VT: Janus Press. 1990.)
Vanderbilt University Special Collections
Narcissus was so handsome that many women and men fell in love with him, all to be rejected. One of his admirers was the nymph Echo, who had been cursed by Hera to repeat only the last words spoken to her. Ameinias, another admirer, was so devastated by Narcissus's indifference toward him that he killed himself. Before doing so, however, Ameinias called on the gods to punish Narcissus. They caused the beautiful youth to gaze into a pond at his reflection. He fell in love with his own image and drowned trying to touch it. The gods then changed him into the flower that bears his name.
This book was designed by Claire Van Vliet. Only the first two leaves contain text: a poem by W.R. Johnson. The book is designed in the shape of an irregular five-sided polygon and constructed from papers of varying size and color. If a paper tab is moved the cover is unfastened and then the book can be unfolded accordion-fashion. The book was designed by Claire Van Vliet and constructed with Linda Wray at the Janus Press with papers by MacGregor-Vinzani. The images were laser printed at the Sarabande Press in New York City and the boxes were made by Sean and Judi Conant in Guildhall Vermont.