Zhu Jian’s Qing shi bao, a Cultural Revolution novel published in 1976, includes illustrations by Chen Danqing that are examples of Cultural Revolution art, and also of the artist’s works in that time period as an “educated youth” in rural areas. Approximately one year later, Chen completed his famous painting “Writing a Letter to Chairman Mao,” and traveled to Tibet where he got inspired for his Tibet series.
Hesburgh Libraries has just purchased a rare pre-Reformation pamphlet, Avisamentum de concubinariis non absolvendis (Strasbourg, 1507), that features a scathing attack on the practice of concubinage (consorting with prostitutes) among the clergy. Usually attributed to Jakob Wimpfeling, a humanist in the circle of Erasmus, this is an interesting example of the role print played in the disseminating works that detailed clerical abuses in the years leading up to the Reformation.
Hesburgh’s copy is rubricated throughout and contains marginal annotations in two different contemporary hands. There are only four other known North American holdings of this edition.
Frag. I. 36 is a single leaf from a type of devotional manuscript known as a Psalter-Hours. As its name implies, the book contained a Psalter as well as the Hours of the Virgin accompanied by other texts. The Psalter-Hours grew in popularity among the laity in the mid to late thirteenth century, whereas the few earlier examples were used by monastics. The Book of Hours became far more common in later centuries for the laity and eventually displaced the Psalter-Hours, though not completely.
This particular leaf contains a portion of the Office for the Dead, which the living would pray to ease the departed’s time in Purgatory. The end of Job 10.20 is followed by a responsory and a versicle. The text on the verso breaks off at Psalm 22.2.
The decorative borders are typical of Flemish painting during the thirteenth century. The initials are inhabited by grotesques and a playful illustration of a dog chasing a hare occupies the lower margin of the verso.
Hesburgh Libraries has just acquired the first (and only) edition of De laude monasticae religionis opusculum (Paris, 1513) by the Flemish theologian Josse Clichtove (1472?-1543). This prolific Catholic apologist of the Reformation era wrote a spirited defense of monasticism. In this work, he attacked the anti-monastic views of the famed Christian humanist, Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536), although Erasmus is not mentioned by name in the text. This would be the first of numerous polemical exchanges between the two.
In addition to Notre Dame’s copy, there are only six other North American holdings of this title.
Since the late 1960s, Uruguayan writer Cristina Peri Rossi has written 5 novels, 10 collections of short stories, 18 books of poetry, 4 books of essays, and innumerable cultural articles published in major European newspapers. Her works have garnered critical praise and won her many international awards over the years.
In the early 1970s, Peri Rossi was exiled from Uruguay to Spain as the country came under control of a military regime. The political violence endemic in Uruguay and the broader Southern Cone during the 1970s and 1980s is allegorized in many of her works. This violence and censorship affected an entire generation of authors and intellectuals from Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile and influenced their work. In recent critical studies, these authors have been recognized as the “Generation of ’72,” with Peri Rossi often being identified as the leading voice of this group.
The Cristina Peri Rossi Papers at Notre Dame include manuscript drafts of her published novels as well as unpublished poems and short stories, handwritten diaries, photographs, recorded interviews, and correspondence with family, friends, and other major Latin American and Spanish authors and intellectuals.
The Very Rev. Jeremiah Donovan, D.D., professor of Rhetoric at Maynooth College, travelled to Rome in the 1830s and resided there for nine years. He documented his observations and recounted his impressions in his four-volume Rome, Ancient and Modern and Its Environs, printed privately by Crispino Puccinelli in 1842-44. Enhancing the text are 62 copperplate engravings by Roman artist, Gaetano Cottafavi.
The preface delineates the text’s arrangement as a “rapid historical sketch . . . with notices geological, statistical, political and religious,” followed by an admirably detailed description of the modern city’s “churches, palaces, museums, galleries, charitable institutions, hospitals, prisons, schools, colleges, universities, and other public establishments.” The work continues with “the antiquities ranged for the most part in chronological order” and “conducts the stranger through the environs of Rome” before concluding with a “copious and accurate index.”
Donovan emphasized his “personal observation and methodical description” and does not spare his subjects “unflinching but impartial criticism” even in light of Rome’s “transcendent and peculiar charms.”
The Bamberg Apocalypse facsimile is an original-format copy of a manuscript commissioned by Otto III (980-1002 AD). After his untimely death, the manuscript was left unfinished in the scriptorium of the Benedictine Abbey of Reichenau in Southern Germany. His successor, Henry II (973-1024 AD) ordered it finished. Thus, the manuscript dates to 1000-1020.
Containing 106 leaves in total, the first fifty-seven leaves of the Bamberg Apocalypse (Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek, Msc. Bibl. 140) contain the text and images of the Apocalypse of St. John from the Bible (a.k.a., Revelation). The remaining leaves of the manuscript include gospel pericopes (extracted readings) for specific feasts. There are a hundred decorated initials throughout the manuscript along with fifty-seven images, or miniatures, forty-nine of which provide striking visual interpretations of the prophecies contained in the Apocalypse concerning the end of the world and the final judgment, all with significant gold decoration.
The image shown above, described in the facing text, depicts Apocalypse 12:1-5. The woman, who has brought forth a man child, is clothed with the sun and has the moon under her feet. The great dragon with its seven heads and ten horns looks on in the foreground. Though the text describes a red dragon, the image features a multi-colored dragon—red, gold, and purple. Standing in the background is the Church that houses the Ark of the Covenant.
There were many ornate apocalypses and apocalypse commentaries produced during the Middle Ages, and, while we do not own the manuscripts, Hesburgh Libraries’ Rare Books and Special Collections houses facsimiles of several in addition to this recently acquired version. Be sure to search “apocalypse” in our database of facsimiles for more information on these fascinating, illustrated manuscript facsimiles.
Lissitzky utilized contemporaneous state-of-the-art typographical and book design techniques to create and to glorify the official image of the new Soviet state by incorporating photomontage, overlays, peek-a-boo images, photo-collages, accordion foldouts, as well as colorful maps and graphs.
Lissitzky and his team were highly praised for the work, which underscored the triumph of the first five-year plan and the transformation of the old economy into the new industrial Soviet power led by Joseph Stalin.
The volume is bound in contemporary, blind-stamped pig skin over boards. On the front is a central medallion with the bust of Ludwig the Pious, surrounded by a knotted foliate pattern and border with medallions of noted humanists including Erasmus, Martin [Luther], John [of Saxony], and Philip [Melanchthon].
In pursuit of building a complete collection of Ediciones Vigía, RBSC recently added nine hand-made books from the Cuban publishing house. Our collection now totals just under 200 books.
The press was founded in 1985 in Matanzas, a city just east of Havana, in response to a repressive period in the 1970s. During this time, artists who were seen as on the margins of society—gay, opposed to revolutionary values, outside the mainstream—were ignored or punished. A small group led by Rolando Estévez, a theater designer, and Alfredo Zaldívar, a writer, undertook a project to open a press to publish these types of works.
The nine new acquisitions are fine examples of Ediciones Vigía’s hallmarks. They are hand made from readily available, inexpensive materials. All nine are shown above, with detail views of Canción de redención below.