St Petersburg ATypI 2007 logo
ATypI 08 St Petersburg


Session details

In praise of the letter
Keynote Presentation

Oleg Genisaretskiy

Keynote session K01 | Palace A
Thursday 18 September | 19:00 – 19:50

Theme The Old · The New | Duration: 50 minutes

Being a book person, I noticed long ago that the quality of my reading much depends on the type the book is set in, and its page layout. That dependency deepened with the advent of computers when a selection of type best matching my current state of mind became possible. Learning from the views and writings of a number of remarkable people helped me understand, in my own way, the reasons of that preoccupation. A book artist Boris Zhuravsky explained why a book page in the field of vision of a reader is unconsciously perceived by him as a human face looking at him. Evgeny Shiffers, a stage and film director and a theologian, once conjectured that all scripts originate from those letterforms that appear to us among the images of the “thin doze”, half-way between the vigil and the deep sleep. The remarkable Russian writer Sigismund Kryzanowski wrote in his story The club of letter killers about an imaginary writers’ game that allowed the players to manage without any letters. And Joseph Brodsky concluded his In praise of boredom with a eulogy to the lower- case letter. By drawing those observations together I should like to express, with all clarity I am capable of, my firm conviction that the book, the page, the line, and the letter shall forever remain the truest and the trustiest pillars of our sanity and humanity.

Speaker details

Oleg Genisaretskiy

| Russia

Oleg Genisaretskiy’s main area of interest is the humanitarian strategies and practices; the methodology of visual design, and contemporary design culture; humanitarian psychotherapy and traditional psycho-practices; the Russian spiritual and creational tradition. At different times Genisaretsky served as the head of the Creative Club of the Section of Painting of the Moscow Union of Graphic Artists; the co-chairman of the Religious-Cultural Dialogue “Face-to-Face”; the president of the Russian Association of Visual Anthropology; the president of the Open Museum Association. He authored the monographs Dizayn i kultura [“Design and culture”], Moscow: vniite, 1974; Uprazhneniya suti dela [“Exercises in the matter of fact”], Moscow: Russkii Mir, 1993; Povody i nameki [“Pretexts and hints”], Moscow: Put’, 1993; O vozmozhnosti filosofii [“Of the possibility of philosophy”], in co-operation with David Zilberman, Moscow: Put’, 2005; Navigator: Methodologicheskie prodolzheniya i rashireniya [“The Navigator: Methodological continuations and extensions”], Moscow: Put’, 2005. Main essays and full bibliography can be found at www.prometa.ru.

[ All speakers | All sessions ]