Karen Hanmer

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Title: Nevermore, Again

Nevermore, Again

Nevermore, Again

Nevermore Again: Poe Exhumed | 2010

Deluxe edition of 25, 44 pages, 6 1/2 x 4 1/4 x 1/4" | $450
Standard edition of 50, 40 pages, 6 3/8 x 4 1/4 x 1/8” | $275
Chapbook edition of 50, 32 pages, 6 3/8 x 4 1/4 x 1/8” | $50

Read excerpts and view additional images here

A criminal undone by his own bravado.

A national hero who has no substance.

A prosperous people believing they are immune to the tragedies befalling their neighbors.

A man leaving for a hike in the hills and coming back with an unbelievable story.

A large swath of society falling for a hoax.

Current events mirror tales written by Edgar Allan Poe over one hundred and fifty years ago. Nevermore Again: Poe Exhumed pairs twelve Poe stories with equally spine-tingling stories from the news. The Premature Burial and the struggling economy, The Balloon Hoax and the hunt for weapons of mass destruction, A Tale of The Ragged Mountains and politicians’ dalliances in the Appalachian Mountains and beyond, William Wilson and genetically modified food, The Black Cat and the bravado of a former Illinois governor, The Man that Was Used Up and the meteoric rise of a former Alaska governor.

The typography and design for Nevermore Again: Poe Exhumed are based on the first edition of Poe’s first published work, Tamerlane and Other Poems. Only twelve copies of this modest pamphlet are known to exist of the fifty printed in Boston in 1827.

The Standard Edition is presented in a paper wrapper. The construction is based on the first edition of Tamerlane.

The Deluxe Edition is presented in an early 19th-century-style publisher’s binding with marbled paper by Pamela Smith. The endpapers incorporate the design of the wrapper for the Standard Edition.

Both the Standard and Deluxe editions are inkjet printed on Ruscombe Mill pale wove handmade paper. Images of the first edition of Tamerlane and Other Poems on the enclosure courtesy of University of Chicago Library, Special Collections Research Center.

The Chapbook is a single-signature pamphlet on French Construction whitewash in wrapper of Bugra.

Although few people today are likely to confuse Edgar Allan Poe with Nostrodamus or to view his stories and poems as predictions of the future, book artist Karen Hanmer has cleverly and forcefully shown Poe’s relevance to today’s world in “Nevermore, Again: Poe Exhumed.”

By showing--with jarring emphasis--the connection between such Poe masterpieces as “The Premature Burial,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” and “The Black Cat” (fourteen stories and poems are referenced) and modern dilemmas or scandals, Hanmer illustrates that some things never change. Unfortunately.

In “Nevermore, Again,” themes of hoax, false assurance and security, loose tongues, overreactions based on fear, and misleading facades with no underlying substance in Poe’s tales are linked to modern incidents such as the Iraqi war, political sex scandals, Internet impropriety, and man-made, technology-driven natural disasters.

As in his own day, Poe is read today for the goose-bumps his stories can raise. As “Nevermore, Again” points out, our modern life can raise even more goose-bumps, with consequences far beyond a disturbed sleep. Perhaps nothing in Poe is--or should be--more disturbing than what we are confronted with in the world around us today.

William K. Finley
Head, Special Collections & University Archives, Jackson Library, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro