Title: Guilty Bystander

Photographer: Ralph Gibson
Author: Lauren Shakely
Publisher: Random House
Designer: Not listed


Image Title: Untitled 1968 [from 'The Somnambulist']
Book Genre: Poetry

The image on the cover of 'Guilty Bystander', was originally published in photographer Ralph Gibson's book, 'The Somnambulist', which came out in 1970. It was the first of a trilogy (the others being 'Deja Vu' and 'Days at Sea'), and published by Lustrum, Gibson's own press. Technically, a somnambulist is a sleepwalker, but Gibson used the title as metaphor for a kind of novel-without-words, dealing with the unconscious mind. This picture, of a silhouetted, haloed hand about to grasp a doorknob, appears early in 'The Somnambulist', and may be seen to symbolize the transition between the life of the world and the life of dreams. It is graphically compelling and open-ended enough in terms of meaning to represent the title of Lauren Shakely's book of poems.

As for the 'Point of Interest' on this page, well, sorry... I just couldn't resist. KB

See 'Multiple Uses' for other books with the same cover image:

Multiple Uses :