from  Aya Press, 1978




The Viridical Book of the Silent Planet came together in 1977 and was published by Glynn Davies’ small press, Aya, in 1978 in three, (count ’em – 3!) versions. There’s a paper edition, ISBN 0-920-544-05-3; 06-1 is a cloth edition, and 07-X is a very short run “deluxe” edition.

The title page calligraphy is by Ann Housden and the whimsical illustrations by Stephen Wohleber. I was thrilled to have these wonderful additions to the text. The deluxe edition is hard cover and hand illuminated by Stephen and comes in a slipcase box. The book includes the very first calagramic letters that ended up as The Alphamiricon in 1987 from Underwhich Editions.

The book takes us into the outer space of language and into the black hole of love where very strange things occur and we are all space and time travellers. So there’s a kind of sci-fi metanarrative running throughout. Just as an example of the sorts of highjacks that can be expected: there’s no such word as “viridical”; there is “vivid” and “viridian”  which refer to a certain green colour, and then there is “veridical” which refers to the possibility of reaching truth through language, the assertion of truth or it’s saying. But beware, here be dragons.

Here is a link to one of the 26 hand-illumninated copies:

And to order this book, please click this link.