The foreword to the book by the author:
The Calligraphic Line - Thoughts on the Art of Writing
The theme of this study is form. It will investigate how graphic forms are created and shaped. It will seek to discover what form is and how Man uses it to produce symbols of his experience.
Numerous examples of ancient and modern calligraphy, chosen purely formal reasons, will be given to support the following arguments. For the purposes of this study, the meanings of particular symbols are of no consequence; nor are the dates and circumstances of their creation. The author is concerned exclusively with form and will therefore disregard historical considerations. Well designed forms have a timeless quality.
As a consequence of this approach the author will take that liberty of a passing judgement – both positive and negative – on historical scripts. For it is not possible to suggest that everything that survived is good. If is only by making clear distinctions between good and bad forms that principles can be identified. It is only when we ask in all seriousness "What is calligraphy?" that we can expect to arrive at an answer that is applicable today.
This is a well written and well illustrated book by Professor Hans-Joachim Burgert and it will remain a classic reference book for calligraphers world-wide for many years to come.
The original version of this unique book was typeset and printed by the author on his own antique printing press. Since his death, his family with the help of Brody Neuenschwander, the editorial work of Kondrad Bauer and Werner Schneider's support with typography and layout, this book has now been made ready for the 21st century printing process. The contents are the same but easier to read and the illustrations have been optimised for clarity.
Professor Burgert has produced a unique, ever-lasting piece of work here.
- The Role of Form and Function
- Towards the History of Graphic Form
- Calligraphy in the Modern Era
- A New Attempt
- If only we knew what Calligraphy is!
2nd version, 2002 Pb. 185pp, monochrome throughout, A unique piece of work and a treasure that any serious calligrapher would love to own!