RIGHI, Francois. ~ Malcolm Lowry: Under the Volcano Volume 2 Chapitre 1.
No. 33 of 52 copies. 10 engraved pages including text (in English) and images created on polymer and printed in black by the artist. 10 gravures, textes et images, en taille d’epargne sure poly, imprimees en noir sur la presses de l’artist’. 1 folding leaf printed in red with a long extract from Chapter 1 of Malcom Lowry’s Under the Volcano translated into French (21 x 29.7 cms). Printed on japon paper. 11.8 x 16 cms. 16pp., folded and sewn with red thread. Housed in a black cloth solander box. Extremely good.
The Colophon declares: “Aspects de la lettre du consul G.F. a Y. transformée en forteresse ardente par Monsieur L. Le jour des morts de l'an 1939” (’Aspects of the letter from consul G.F. to Y. transformed into a fiery fortress by Monsieur L. The Day of the Dead, 1939)
François Righi, born in 1946, is a visual artist and publisher. The creation of books polarises his work: he designs, prints, engraves, and sometimes writes unique or very limited edition books that he thinks and realizes like works of total art. The four books he created around Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano are a fascinating part of his output. He was heavily influenced by the 1947 novel which is about Geoffrey Firmin, an alcoholic British consul in the Mexican city of Quauhnahuc on the Day of the Dead in 1938. The whole novel is based on a single day following the Consul from the return of his wife in the morning to his violent death at the end of the day.
Righi has written that his series of four books based on Under the Volcano can be seen as a reduction of Lowry’s masterpiece which he took with him to Mexico. After reading it he wanted to deliver his own vision brought to him by Lowry’s work. He produced one book based on the panic of the Consul and inspired by the unfinished poem in the novel. In this extension of his vision he uses the letter by the Consul which is found and burned as the starting point for his work being interested in the modifications of the form of the letter by the destruction of it. He calls this “Visible Darkness”.