“Here we are alone again. It’s all so slow, so heavy, so sad.” These are the the opening lines of Louis-Ferdinand Celine’s Death on Credit, and the backbone of Tirez a la ligne, Celine, an experimental collaboration between Stephen Hines and Jordan Hurder. Based on a technique called Larding (or “le tireur a la ligne” in French – literally, “pulling on the line”), the two authors took turns adding sentences in between the original sentences, passing the text back and forth as the story grew (first 3, then 5, then 9, and finally 17 sentences long). Then, the authors switched places and repeated the exercise again. In the end, Celine’s stark opening setting for his novel transforms into fertile ground on which to construct elaborate narrative spaces.
This book also represents the first publication for Chance Press in which the formal elements of the book (the binding, the paper, and the typesetting) are as important as the text – not merely a case to hold the pages together, but an integral part of the way the stories in the text are built.
The deluxe hardcover edition is really the heart and soul of this project, and it is how the book was originally imagined. Each signature is printed using Epson Ultrachrome K3 inks in two colors on Canson Infinity Mi-Teintes paper. The signatures are then sewn one at a time into an accordion-folded spine. Finally, the book features a Gocco-printed cover pastedown and is held together by a wraparound band made from Canson Montval watercolor paper and archival heavyweight acrylic. Each copy is signed by each author on the colophon page.
Limited to 20 copies.