'dos-à-dos' books

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These two hand bound volumes were created and assembled with the help of several local bookbinders using a rare and unique binding method. These hand crafted books function as working models for the philosophy of Other.


The 'dos-à-dos' binding method.

The ‘dos-à-dos’ (or back to back) process, is a type of binding found almost exclusively in the 16th and 17th centuries.  The process uses a zigzag method of attach two books inside of one. Its contents often show why this was done — in it you'll often find two complementary or devotional works, such as a the Bible’s Old and New Testament. While reading one volume you can flip the book over to consult the other. It has seldom been seen for centuries, yet found a revival in the 1950's through Double Ace books.

The 'dos a dos' or tête-bêche format has also been used in dual language dictionaries, and in some more recent 20th century novels. An example is The Loving Couple, a 1956 work by Patrick Dennis. The book records two first-person accounts of a unsteady marriage, one narrated by the husband and when flipped over, the other by the wife. Volume One and Two are presented here as mirrored worlds, rendered as complementary others. Together they present a meandering line through our different modes of thinking, each holding both our instincts and reasons, facts and feelings, or one and other. Ancient Chinese philosophy might call it yin yang, or the principle that all things exist as indivisible and contradictory opposites, and where both sides contain parts of their other.