Not Your Standard American Dictionary

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Laurie Spitz and Amee J. Pollack, Spitz & Pollack’s New Standard and Movable Dictionary of the American Language: Comparing Selected Words and Phrases, Re-Interpreted with Full Definitions Abridged ed. (New York: Spitz & Pollack Publishers, 2005). One of 35 copies. Gift of the artists. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2015- in process.

spitz dictionary3It isn’t often we get a book with a warning. This one comes with two. The first reads: Caution: Rule of Accountability Applied. This is a handmade, movable book requiring the readers to take action to change the text. However, excessively harsh pulling of the pieces–whether in anger or empathy with the contents–will result in permanent damage.

The second: Warning: First Amendment Invoked. Spitz & Pollack’s New Standard and Movable Dictionary, Abridged Edition, is fully protected by copyright and the First Amendment. All persons are warned against infringing on our rights.
spitz dictionary8The Graphic Arts Collection is very lucky to add one of the last copies of this limited edition artists’ book to our library. The offset and digitally printed volume includes eight movables, including wheels, slides, dissolves, and spinners.

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spitz dictionary4Amee J. Pollack and Laurie Spitz have collaborated on many projects but Pollack singled out this dictionary, completed in 2005, as one of her favorites. “Bush was re-elected, and it was quite upsetting to Laurie and me,” she said. “So we created a dictionary with movables and it was a reinterpretation of words for our times.” Manipulate the circle and the word oil becomes spoil; reason becomes treason; and so on.
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