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Have Your Own Ex Libris

 

 Have Your Own Ex Libris

Anne Fadiman's first essay, "Marrying Libraries," (original title: Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader) is very funny compared with "I have been reading these books," written by the Japanese writer Tachibana Takasi. While Takasi's essay dealt with practical reading for readers, Anne Fadiman, the current editor of the "American Scholar," explores the emotional time in a relationship between book lovers in her essay. This witty collection of essays recounts a lifelong love affair with books and language. For Fadiman, as for many passionate readers, the books she loves have become chapters in her own life story. The abovementioned title "Ex Libris" reflects the bookworm's love for books.
An Ex Libris (bookplate) is an artistic tag or crest reproduced by means of existing printing techniques, which some people or institutions use to place on the first pages of their books, as a signal of ownership. This Latin phrase has its origin in a signal left at the end of medieval codex to indicate to whom that copy belonged.
Even though Koreans are unaccustomed to this bookplate, one woodcut artist's exhibition recently drew a large audience.
An exhibition of the Ex Libris was displayed by the bookplate artist Nam Gung-sun at the Dongsanbang gallery in Kyeonji-dong, Seoul, from May 1-10, 2002.
Over many years Mr. Nam has perfected his expertise in a relatively rare art: The design of Ex Libris or bookplates. When carving the bookplates for literary persons including Park Wan-seo, Ha Sung-ran and Yoon Dae-nyung as well as Han Bi-ya, who is a well-known traveler, he catches their unique personality.
Mr. Nam said that this exhibition of bookplates, which have utility and beauty, is very meaningful when we consider that they expand communication with the general public and show the diversity of artistic design.
Major portal sites in Korea such as Daum communication, Sayclub, Freechal, have launched Avatar, or cyber character services, to meet their Netizen's needs. Netizen can now express their personality through the Avatar service.
Ex Libris is also a way to express one's unique personality. How about having your own Ex Libris?

Kim Jung-yoon  sasports@dgu.edu

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