Typojanchi 2013
Seoul International Typography Biennale

August 30–October 11
10:00 am– 7:00 pm
Closed every Monday
Free admission

Culture Station Seoul 284
1 Tongil-ro, Jung-gu
Seoul 100-162, Korea
T. 82-2-3407-3500
F. 82-2-3407-3510


Hosted by
Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism

Organized by
Korea Craft & Design Foundation
Korean Society of Typography


Typojanchi 2013
Administration Office
Korea Craft & Design Foundation
5F, 53 Yulgok-no, Jongno-gu
Seoul 110-240, Korea
T. 82-2-398-7945
F. 82-2-398-7999
E. typojanchi@kcdf.kr

Typojanchi 2011

On the Self-Reflexive Page
Offset lithography, sewn in sections, cover
13 x 20 x 1.2 cm, 160 pp
Amsterdam: Roma Publications

Louis Lüthi
Born in 1980, France

Louis Lüthi is a book designer and writer whose work explores the overlap between graphic design and literature. He graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, in 2002, and the Werkplaats Typografie, Arnhem, in 2004. He has published On the Self-Reflexive Page (2010) and Infant A (2012), as well as texts in Dot Dot Dot, The Serving Library, and F. R. David.

Louis Lüthi’s On the Self-Reflexive Page explores the materiality of the page—what he describes as “a determined space at a specific point in a narrative”—and how it has been used as a non-textual device in works of fiction by various authors, from Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy in the eighteenth century through Raymond Roussel, Georges Perec, B. S. Johnson, Alasdair Gray, and W.G. Sebald, to more contemporary examples including Douglas Coupland and Jonathan Safran Foer.

The book reproduces selected pages from other books, classifying them into seven categories: Black Pages, Blank Pages, Drawing Pages, Photography Pages, Text Pages, Number Pages, and Punctuation Pages. The result is a richly documented “typology of self-reflexive pages.” The pages are self-reflexive because they disrupt the “natural” flow of reading and draw attention to the spatial dimensions of the narrative, thus signaling the artificiality of the texts of which they are a part. The pages reproduced in Lüthi’s book are not treated as framed illustrations but instead remain pages, albeit of a new book.

On the Self-Reflexive Page is a modest paperback, but with over one hundred examples organized into categories, a thoughtful essay and a painstakingly compiled bibliography, it exudes a sense of thoroughness (though it does urge readers to refer to the source publications to examine the examples in their original context). The reader is perhaps left with the impression that the use of non-textual elements in fiction has by now been comprehensively exploited, if not quite exhausted.

This impression may come as a disappointment if you are planning to deploy such devices simply to introduce a “new” multimedia experience to reading, or—even worse—breathe a “new life” into the book as a media. But if you are concerned with the kind of work that reflects “an author’s humane skepticism,” you need not be discouraged: for to that end “the use of such elements may yet shift and evolve, may yet find space to maneuver in contemporary works,” as Lüthi suggests.

Self-Reflexive Page

Self-Reflexive Page

Self-Reflexive Page

Self-Reflexive Page

Self-Reflexive Page

© Typojanchi 2013