Anthology research

Our first research task for the new anthology project was to find a literary anthology and evaluate its different elements. The book that I chose is called Failure which I found it in the uni library today.

“Between the poles of success and failure lies a productive space where paradox rules and dogma is refused. This anthology establishes failure as a core concern in contemporary cultural production.”  –Whitechapel Gallery

It is co-published by Whitechapel Gallery and it belongs to a ‘Documents of Contemporary Art’ series of anthologies which can all be found in the library. In the series, all the books have a gate-fold cover with the same type setting but different font color and different images.

The book starts with a contents page that lists all the texts in the anthology. There’s also a divider page and a content list before each section of the book. The book is divided into 5 sections. I think the repetition of the content lists is good because when you get to a new section, you are reminded what is included in it.

I also like the typographical divider pages. I think it goes well with the modern look of the book. The whole book is printed in black and white which also isn’t a problem for the typographical designs.

Each text has a title with the author and year of publishing. The next text begins where the last ends, not on the top of a new page. All footnotes and bibliography are in the end of each text, which I think makes it easy to find. I think that way is better than collecting them all together to the end of the book.

There’s a biography list of all the authors in the end of the book. I think it is a cool addition to the anthology. People my not know all the writers but in this book you can read a couple of sentences about them. That gives more perspective to reading the text too. However, the biography list may only be necessary with professional well know writers. I not sure if we would need it in the anthology that we are designing.


There’s also an index and a bibliography in the end of the book but bibliography does not repeat the bibliographies of each text. It gives additional reference books.


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