Codex 應生,應死?

What is a Codex? 為什麼這個書的形態使設計師又愛又恨呢?我繼續在書香中尋找線索。

在Philip B. Meggs的 ‘A History of Graphic Design’ (P.39) 裡提到:

The invention of parchment, which was so much more durable than papyrus, and the codex format, which could take thicker paint because it did not have to be rolled, open new possibilities for design and illustration.

這道出了Codex的出現是用來代替 Scroll 卷軸的。

在Andrew Haslam 的 ‘Book Design’一書中,他對Codex所作的解釋是:

Codex: Historically, a manscript text bound in book form – as opposed to a scroll.

而在 Keith A. Smith 的 ‘STRUCTURE OF THE VISUAL BOOK’ 對 Codex 所下的定義是:

Codex: One of the four types of books. The other types being the fan, the Venetian blind, the oriental fold. Type is determined by how it is bound. The codex is bound along one edge.

Keith A. Smith 則著重提到 Codex 是四大書種之一,其他的分別是 fan (扇裝書,bind 一口釘的)、Venetian blind (百葉簾式的書)、oriental fold (相等於中國的經折裝 )。這四大書種的分別在於它們的裝訂方法。

另外,JAMES BETTLEY 在 ‘The Art of the Book: FROM MEDIEVAL MANUSCRIPT TO GRAPHIC NOVEL’ 的第三章 ‘Bindings’ (P.56) 中提到:

The book as we know it today is technically known as a codex. The word is derived from the Latin for tree trunk, an interesting parallel with the origin of the word ‘book’, which is generally believed to have come from the word for ‘beech’. Why these words are associated with the tree is still much debated.

The codex came into existence in Rome in the third century BC, when clay writing tablets were joined together by thongs. By the first century BC, tablets had been replaced by membranes or sheets of parchment. The codex gained in popularity, providing most cheap and portable books by the first century AD. The scroll, however, remained the chief means of distributing text throughout the Roman period. Early Christians popularised the codex, and, made from papyrus leaves, it was much used by them in Alexandria.

The rise of Christianity brought the codex growing prestige. The scroll became associated with pagan writings and by the late fourth century AD had almost completely been displaced. The codex developed further. With the use of parchment and paper, large sheets were folded over to create two leaves. When inserted one into another and stitched, the folds gave greater strength to flexible but structurally weak material like paper.

James Bettley 清楚解釋了 Codex 掘起的經過,還一用就沿用了五百多年,直到現在。而在第八章 ‘Book Art’ 一文 (P.164) 提到:

Over the last 500 years or so, the most popular format for such work has been the codex: moveable type printed on paper, and sewn or glued together between outer boards.

我們又再看看我國用 Codex 的歷史。

在《翻開——當代中國書籍設計》一書中,杭間的文章《「開卷」——中國古代書籍藝術的審美形態》裡提到:

(P.8) 從先秦的「簡策裝」到唐宋以後的「經折裝」、「卷軸裝」、「旋風裝」、「蝴蝶裝」、「裱褙裝」、「線裝」等,一直到近世機械印刷術傳入後的種種複雜豐富的現代裝幀形態,一部書籍形態發展的歷史,也是獨特的審美文化史。

(P.15) 從裝訂方法來分,除前面說這的簡策裝、卷軸裝外,宋元時期還流行蝴蝶裝。蝴蝶裝是以書頁中縫為界,將有字的一面向裡折,然後將書頁對疊起來,把折頁的背粘在包背紙上,其特點是每頁都是單張,形似蝴蝶,書打開後,四面留白很大,使效果十分雅致。一些經卷和奏折也用經折裝,卷首和卷尾用韌性較好的紙或布帛,不但不易損壞,不但不易損壞,也便於經常性閱讀的開啟。在卷軸裝和經折裝之間,還有一種過渡形式,是將折疊好的經卷首尾各長出一段,再卷起來,就為「旋風裝」,意為打開時如旋風之翻頁。包背裝是用紙捻將書頁固定,然後在外面用書皮包裹,其原理有些如現在的精裝書。至於線裝,則因簡易、牢固、美觀而成為明清古籍的裝幀主流。

看畢這段歷史後,我真的覺得我國的BINDING名是特別優美的;蝴蝶裝、旋風裝。而線裝書則相等於西方的 Codex (這是我個人認為的,我不知是否一定相等,但以 “moveable type printed on paper, and sewn or glued together between outer boards” 這個角度看,兩者是無大差異的。),明朝國祚為 276 年,清朝國祚為 268 年,總計是 544 年,即是與西方也是差不多流行了五百多年。

Book = Codex?

但就是因為 Codex 這個binding方法所產生的書過於流行,使很多人甚至以為書就只有 Codex ;完全忽略了其他 Format 的書。書籍設計師孫浚良不只一次在訪問中批評Codex限制了書的形態、寫作的空間、閱讀的形式與人的思想。

在明報訪問〈書籍設計﹕要令文字摸得 ——訪書籍設計師孫浚良〉中,Les指出:

書的形態或構成,卻為寫作定下框架﹕Codex的側邊釘裝頁形式,使閱讀需有次序的起承轉合,「寫到第十六個字要轉行、要翻頁,」卻忽視了坊間千篇一律的書的形態,不過是附庸於系統與制度的暴力性﹕古騰堡活版印刷之後,工業革命讓人憧憬速度與量產,書如非統一面貌便上不了印刷機。

在網上日誌 Orangedays 的訪談〈書的身體〉中,Les提到:

孫浚良指出,現代書本的形式多以codex的形式出現─一頁頁裁好後,在一邊釘裝,讓讀者可以逐頁揭。這種形式最初是用來代替一卷一卷的聖經的,因着携帶、閱讀及儲存上的方便,便一直沿用,甚至令人以為,不是這個樣子的,就稱不上是書本。
  
「這又與社會發展有關。人只是走向數量及速度的最大化,但人的手及人性都跟不上。這種跟不上的狀況就展現在書的形式之上,使人們相信書就應該是這樣的。這就如一篇文章,我們以為一定要有intro、body、conclusion,以為有這樣的形式,才是一篇文章,而不知它應有很多其他寫法。」

  
「這種逐頁揭的形態會局限了內容。」他指出,作者往往會想,自己所寫的會被分成一頁一頁,而且是連續地被閱讀的。這種閱讀模式就會令作者以某一類特定的形式寫作,從而局限了創意。

《號外》的 ‘City Book Review’ 的專題訪談〈孫浚良:解放書的「軀束」〉裡,Les再次批評,挑戰權威:

因為我們今時今日見到的書,就是LES最不滿的地方。為什麼書會變成這樣的模式呢?
其實自從1455年2月23日,GUTENBERG開始了活版印刷,出了第一本書之後,書便開始定形。直至2006年的今天,這種書的歷史還不夠600年。「首先,傳統的書已經BOUND好了,現在書的這個FORM已經告訴你一件事:你要如何去寫作。即是你必須由第一頁開始寫,寫到最後一頁,這個FORM已經給了你一個次序,而你的邏輯便因為這本書而改變,你幾時試過由後面開始寫?你會由INTRO開始寫,立論然後寫CONTENT,之後係內容和結論。但是,你平時思考也是這樣的嗎?如果不是,為什麼你又要這樣寫?我覺得是書的形式改變了我們的寫作,亦都令的們習慣了某種閱讀模式。

他認為應該解放書的FORM,奪回自己的身體!

我也認為書的形態、寫作的模式、閱讀的形式是應該全面解放的。其實 Codex 就好比 「儒家思想」,當年漢武帝「罷黜百家,獨專儒術」,使幾百年來我們也只受儒家一派的教育,思想被困死於儒教;也使得百家學術趨於滅亡、先秦時期開創的科學成果與批判精神後繼乏人。如果書的FORM(流行了幾百年Codex)可以解放的話,讓其他FORM的書可以進入市場一齊玩,出版界百花齊放、百家爭鳴的局面是指日可待的。

但最重要的是讀者的感受,如果可以讓讀者認識多些不同FORM的書,有了基本的認知,我相信他們會接受到其他的Book Format的。當科技再愈來愈進步的時候,我們造更多奇形怪狀的書就可更得心應手了。

各位 Book Designer/ Artist 們,俾心機呀!

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2 Responses to “Codex 應生,應死?”


  1. 1 Hei Shing May 14, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    再來一個小補充:

    「二世紀,基督教徒認為紙莎草(Papyrus)的卷軸型態是異教徒的閱讀習慣,為了不同於異教徒的閱讀習慣而決定採用 Codex 的形態製作《聖經》。Codex 原本是由數塊相同尺寸的木片所構成的筆記本,其組裝方式是在其邊緣上鑿洞後用線穿綁而成。因此當決定使用這種形態而又要具備大量書寫的功能時,勢必要放棄厚重又佔空間的木片,而在輕薄的紙莎草紙與羊皮上進行選擇;最終羊皮以其耐磨損、書寫面廣等重要特點取勝。而這樣的抉擇也使得後來的歐洲所使用的書籍材質以動物的皮革為主,與中國自竹簡以來編向於採用植物性的材質形成了很大的差異。又因為歐洲初期文字並不發達,基督教會為了使人民能理解《聖經》的內容,而以大量的插畫代替了文字的敘述,這樣子的《聖經》也因而被稱為窮人《聖經》。

    拉丁文 Codex 的原意是「用木頭做成的東西」。

    ——節錄自《書的迷戀》(Hunting for Books)

    其實以上的補充在其他英文書裡也說過了,但這可算是詳盡的中文版本,使我們可以更容易理解。

  2. 2 Hei Shing May 17, 2007 at 5:41 am

    再來第二個小補充:

    “A revolutionary format design called the codex began to supplant the scroll (called a rotulus) in Rome and Greece, beginning about the time of Christ. Parchment was gathered in signatures of two, four, or eight sheets. These were folded, stitched, and combined into codices with pages like a modern book. The parchment codex had several advantages over the papyrus scroll. The clumsy process of unrolling and rolling scrolls to look up information yielded to the quick process of opening a codex to the desired page. Papyrus was to fragile to be folded into pages, and the vertical strips on the back of a papyrus scroll made writing on both sides impractical. Both sides of the parchment pages in a codex could be used for writing; this saved storage space and material costs.During the rise of Christianity, from after A.D. 1 until around A.D. 400, scrolls and codices were used side by side. The durability and permanence of the codex appealed to Christians because their writings were considered sacred. With a while pantheon of gods and little clear distinction between god and man, pagan scholars were less inclined to revere their religious writings. Traditionally, pagan writing writings were on scrolls. Christians were involved in comparative study of different texts. It is easy to have several codices open on a table but virtually impossible to have several scrolls unrolled for comparative reference. Christians sought the codex format to alienate themselves from the pagan scroll; pagans clung to their scrolls in resistance to Christianity.”

    ——節錄自 Philip B. Meggs 的 ‘A History of Graphic Design’

    Codex 興起的原因:它的方便收藏、方便閱讀、方便攜帶、還方便很多本打開放在檯上;加上書的材料的興起(Parchment)、對手(Scroll)的不方便;與非常重要的宗教原因。


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Contributor

Hei Shing
chanheishing@gmail.com

書就是… A Book is…


一片紙不但表現時間,也表現空間。而一片片的紙張組合起來的書就是一個高深的容器,盛滿文字,既能從中不斷汲取智慧,又能裝入無限的智慧。

A piece of paper reflects not only time but also space. Books are formed by binding papers together to become containers of words that serve as a reservoir as well as a spring of wisdom.

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