The Archive of Bernard Taylor. Selected and Edited by Peter Ward
Hastings-on-Hudson: Understory Books, 2021. 1st Edition. Quarto, publisher's khaki paper-covered boards, spine and upper board stamped in black, black-and-white photo inset to upper board, khaki endpapers, original 5" x 7" photographic print laid in.
Bookseller, photographer, musician and publisher Tom Lecky's sly, Borgesian tour-de-force documentary archive paying homage to the bucolic, nightside of his homeplace, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. "In his preface, filmmaker Peter Ward describes acquiring the archive of Bernard Taylor, an enigmatic former resident of his suburban New York village. Ward selected and edited this group of Taylor’s papers: intimate worksheets that combine a series of photographs, maps, and postcards with illusive short texts that were clearly created for Taylor’s private study. Ward’s editorial interjections – all relating to local history – punctuate the book, and blur distinctions between fiction, biography, and reportage. An afterword by The Publisher contextualizes Taylor’s worksheets, critically re-examines Ward's editorial practices, and describes the agonizing process of preparing this edition. The Archive is equal parts photographic narrative, fiction, puzzle and mystery – an obstructed view of an inward journey that explores the outside world. The questions and answers remain with the reader to piece together" (from the publisher). Illustrated with 80 duotone photographs; with maps, postcards, and other illustrations, with an original 5" x 7" photographic print laid in. While stated "Second edition" on the title-page, this is part of the publisher's ruse, with this the first and only edition. One of 500 unnumbered copies. Issued as UND3, the publisher's third imprint. No dust jacket as issued. Fine. Item #3180