Johanna Drucker’s Iliazd
              Ryan Ruby
              In 1985, the book artist and future scholar of print and digital aesthetics Johanna Drucker was working on a chapter of her dissertation on Futurist and Dadaist typography in the Bibilothèque Jacques Doucet in Paris. Sitting across from her was a fellow American researcher, flipping through a “marvelous” deluxe edition of a livre d’artiste by someone who clearly belonged to one of these movements, but whose work Drucker did not recognize. The researcher explained that the work was by Ilia Zdanevich, better known by his alias Iliazd: a book artist, poet, playwright, novelist, and publisher who had left his native Georgia for Paris in the 1920s. If she was interested, Zdanevich’s widow Hélène lived nearby, and was always glad to speak to scholars about his work. Drucker was intrigued enough to pay a call on “Madame,” but could not have known that soon she would find herself visiting her daily, working with her on Iliazd’s biography, and becoming her confidante. Nor could Drucker have known that the project would only come to fruition thirty-five years later, with the publication of Iliazd: A Meta-Biography of a Modernist, or that it would look so different from what Hélène had in mind when …

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