The inaugural Hieronymus Journal savours slow publishing in the digital age
‘We may well be hurtling into a future of unimaginable change and opportunity, but it does not need to be one that is devoid of quality, great craftsmanship and intellectual challenge,’ reads the opening page of The Hieronymus Journal, a new publication that will be released periodically, whenever it’s ready. The first edition was a year in the making.
The hard-won journal is a product of Swiss company Hieronymus, a brand dedicated to the high culture of paper and writing. At Hieronymus, pen-to-paper rituals are just that, moments that ‘give the mind time for thought, for ourselves, and for others’, offering meditative escape from the static of insistent inter(net)connection. As such, this tactile, beautifully bound collection of stories, interviews, photography, and typographic poetry, finds its basis ‘in the firm belief that the analogue not only has a place in the age of digital reproduction, but is essential to its balanced development – to our balanced development.’
Editor Sophie Lovell calls the journal a ‘mindspace miscellany’, which is an accurate description of this eclectic, world-wise book. Chapter one sees record-breaking ice-diver Johanna Nordblad on an escape under frozen planes, in a quest for ‘extreme relaxation’.
Next, we float alongside artist, game developer and ‘virtual voyager’ William Chyr on a tour of his gravity-defying digital environments, via his real-world inspirations (Tadao Ando’s concrete staircases, MC Escher etchings, the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright).
Then, we holiday inside the mind of Irish author Eimear McBride, who attempts to pin down the ever-illusive ‘muse’ through a trip along the stacks of the library where she used to work. We trace the spines of Shakespeare, Tsvetayeva, Tennessee Williams and O’Casey as we go.
The narratives continue to unfold, through Jensen & Skodvin-designed cabins in Norway, through composer Max Richter’s aural landscapes, through the retro-futuristic, role-playing fashion photography of artist Ryan Burke. What strikes most clearly in each of these tales is their ability to jump between spaces, times and subject matters with sensuality. The vivid punch of ice diving gives way to the mind-bending vortices of digital gaming, which in turn succumbs to the old-book musk of an Irish library. Through these sensitively curated chronicles, we salute a history of the printed word and image, enjoying its timeless value and relevancy, while looking eagerly forwards to the untold potentials of publishing. §