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BABEL Verlag
Kevin Perryman


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Grain of Dust from the Floor of Heaven

Staubkorn vom Boden des Himmels

George Mackay Brown (1921-1996) was one of the finest Scottish poets of the twentieth century. As well as novels, plays and magnificent short stories, he published some 30 volumes of poetry. A reviewer calls George Mackay Brown "a northern Lorca ... [who wrote with] a stark visual simplicity reminiscent of seasonal miniatures in a medieval Book of Hours." (Chapman)

George Mackay Brown's themes are reflected in the monosyllables that recur, as in nursery rhymes or charms, over and over again in the poems: "light", "stone", "star", "fish", "bread", "plough", "fire", "child", "corn", "sea", "sun", "song". Peace, death and love are also central concerns. The modern world of cities, cynicism and global players is not sung in George Mackay Brown's poems. They are as rural as Orkney, the home he hardly ever left. In the words of Seamus Heaney, George Mackay Brown "transforms everything by passing it through the eye of the needle of Orkney. ... He has added uniquely and steadfastly to the riches of poetry in English."

In 2001 George Mackay Brown would have turned 80. BABEL, which has been privileged to be associated with the author since 1985, is pleased to announce Staubkorn vom Boden des Himmels, the first bilingual selection of the author's poems (translated into German by K. A. Perryman).

Staubkorn vom Boden des Himmels was set in Monotype Bodoni at Martino Mardersteig's Stamperia Valdonega in Verona; the front matter and initials were set by hand. It was printed (the title page in two colours) letterpress on off-white deckle-edged acid-free rag paper by Magnani. Format: 24.5 x 16.6 cm; 90 pp.; sewn.

80 copies are numbered and bound for subscribers in quarter black buckram over boards; backstrip gilt lettered, front cover blocked in gilt; top edge gilt.

1000 unnumbered copies are softbound, with a light grey Fabriano wrap-around jacket printed in gold and black, but identical in every other respect.

George Mackay Brown   STAUBKORN VOM BODEN DES HIMMELS (bilingual)   ISBN 978-3-931798-19-2   £ 18

STAUBKORN VOM BODEN DES HIMMELS special: half buckram, numbered (1-80)    £ 79

cf. Foresterhill and Dove-Marks on Stone

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