Strophes pour se souvenir
Strophes pour se souvenir (Louis Aragon)
(Pierre Walusinski, 2005)
Bound by Benjamin Elbel in Haarlem in April 2023
W188,5 x H260 x D10
Pixel binding (Japanese structure) in full paper, bookcloth doublures and suede flyleaves. Strophes pour se souvenir is a poem by Louis Aragon written in 1955 to commemorate the execution, 11 years before, of a group of resistants by the nazis, during German occupation of France. The starting point for my binding was a photograph of one of many graffitis written by the convicted on the walls of the 'Chapelle des fusillés' at Mont Valerien (Paris) before their execution. In spite of the grim circumstances, those graffitis, and letters written by convicted to their families (one of them being quoted in the poem by Aragon), speak of equinimity and hope.
I created a paper to emulate the blue of the wall and the writings. The title was tooled in large letters in gold, and gold leaf was added to the border of the boards. The Japanse stitching was done in a light blue dyed thread so it would blend in and not stand out.