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Re: Writing systems

>Sort of reminiscent of the paper footballs we made in grammar school; if I
>understand your technique aright.  How do you plan on holding the things
>together?  Are all the shorter strips of paper glued together into one
>long strip, or have you invented another way?

Not quite. Take a long strip of paper and fold it into successive
equilateral triangles (the fooballs we made overlapped, and were right
triangles). The triangular folded "pages" should be stacked up, so that you
can make as many pages as you want (sort of a 3 way accordion fold). The
neat thing is that you can put 3 distinct texts in such a book. Opening the
book at each point of the triangle gives a series of folded leaves that is
distinct from those obtained by opening the book at another triangle.
Furthermore, each 2-page spread is continuous, with no abutting paper
edges, so that they can even be treated as single skewed quadrilateral

If you unfold the book partially, you can make a variety of hexagonal
layouts composed of pieces of the different streams of the book.

I need to make up vocabulary for some of these concepts. Perhaps a book on
bookbinding would be a good first topic!

>I have too.  The current project (Brithenig) has spawned a book as a
>cultural artifact, being a Grammar Book for the Kernu dialect.  There's
>nothing particularly special or curious about it, though.  The binding is
>oriental, though, because it's easy to do and _very_ sturdy.  The standard
>occidental binding gave me gyp, when I tried my hand at that, and the
>pages kept tearing and the whole thing ended up loose.

I've made western books, but until I read some bookbinding books none of
them was even close to perfect in any number of ways. Not that any of them
are perfect, but they sure got better!

>Other constructed cultures I've worked on have yielded various artifacts
>as well, ranging from books to tools to money (paper and coin).  One of
>the books was a rectangular strip accordion folded and glued into two
>boards.  That way, the bookwriters in question could fit two books into
>one (one book on each side of the strip), or make a single long book.  If
>I remember aright, the language it was written in was Latin based, and it
>was some sort of treatise on the construction of wooden rakes.  The other
>side held the account of some battle or other.  The culture itself can be
>as fun to construct as the language.

The Maya and Aztec used folded books (wrongly, but traditionally) referred
to as codices. They are reported to have used at least some of these books
as "hang up murals" in houses. They are also very handy for reference
works, since you can fold the book out so that any number of pages that you
are interested in are laid out adjacent for immediate inspection.

   -- David

David Durand              dgd@cs.bu.edu  \  david@dynamicDiagrams.com
Boston University Computer Science        \  Sr. Analyst
http://www.cs.bu.edu/students/grads/dgd/   \  Dynamic Diagrams
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