Book Art News Forum distinguishes extraordinary
book of poems by Nilly Dagan


 

Limited edition of “In Everyone There Are Four Sons” now on exhibit in Hall 4.1
Frankfurt, 16.10.2008 - In the Book Art section of th
e 60th Frankfurt Book Fair, the colorful and surprising writing debut by Israeli poet Nilly Dagan “In Everyone There Are Four Sons” has been selected as one of this year’s most impressive new book designs on exhibit. The chosen work is actually two books in one, designed as a single unit by Ido Agassi, and published by Even Hoshen in a limited edition of 54 signed and numbered copies

Equally impressive are the concept behind the book itself and its contents, including the audio CD which comes with it, featuring music by David Elharrar and Amos Ever-Hadani.

Poetry is a gift that isn’t given for life”, one line of a poem reads. A line which Nilly Dagan herself embodies, as she only began writing three years ago, shortly after receiving a pacemaker. This life-changing experience opened her eyes to the worlds of imagination and inspiration which she craftily interweaves with the familiar worlds of inner and outer reality. This gives her poetry a fascinating multi-vocal quality which communicates on many levels simultaneously.

Nelly Dagan’s words not only leap from the page, they literally take on a life of their own. The poet’s express goal is to have her poems translated, set to music and read aloud, hence the audio CD included. For instance, read by actress Gilya Stern, these words immediately sweep the listener away on a journey across time and space:

“My grandmother was once a friend of Anne Frank. Today, she is a ‘getaway driver’ taking the coastal road to Netanya in a silvery automobile…to the Four Seasons Hotel, where she plays a wild card game.”

Like the contents, brief and involving, the packaging captures the attention, as well. In Hall 4.1, near the head of aisle Q, the Book Art News Forum displays this year’s selection of best book art, with Nilly Dagan’s book prominently placed at the top of the foremost display case.

What is perhaps most striking about this limited edition of the book is the metal sculpture “Quartet” by artist David Gerstein, who has created a visual representation of the four sons in the Passover haggada, which the book title refers to, “In Everyone There Are Four Sons”. The sculpture acts as a kind of center divider between two language versions of the book, like butterfly wings, identical in content, yet one in Hebrew and the other in English.

Or they might also be Spanish and Arabic versions of the book and CD, which are currently in translation and will be available soon. Four languages for the four sons who represent the four elements of which all things are made.

 
 

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