PRINT December 2007

David Rimanelli

LAST SUMMER, I visited my parents’ house, specifically to check out the condition of the hundreds of books I had left in storage years ago. There in the mercifully dry basement I found two separate stacks of boxes, one containing my mother’s old books and the other, mine. In one of her boxes I discovered a faded copy of William Empson’s classic work of literary criticism Seven Types of Ambiguity (1930): It was the first New Directions paperback edition, priced at $1.85. This book, like many from my mother’s library, had always fascinated me as a child, long before I ever read a word of it. It has the best cover ever, with a huge black “7” emblazoned on an otherwise plain white facade. I took her copy with me when I left, though I had my own at home and the cover design hasn’t changed. Some months later, walking through Carol Bove’s exhibition “The Middle Pillar” at Maccarone Inc. in New

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