The Tragedy of Othello / The Tragedy of Desdemona

Edition of 26 lettered A-Z, with 10 numbered deluxe, printed letterpress, front and verso. Page designs in red ink with brown text, with over 50 original drawings. The Tragedy of Othello the Moor of Venice – by William Shakespeare: 192-pages printed letterpress on Mohawk Superfine. The Tragedy of Desdemona – by Mindy Belloff: 150-pages printed letterpress on Johannot Arches cotton rag papers, text includes ancient Nag Hammadi poetry, narrative passages of Ovid, Dostoevsky, and Alice Walker, statistics compiled from a variety of sources including the United Nations and current news sources.

Miniature book, dos-a-dos binding with letterpress printed St. Armand cotton paper covers, and Suminagashi marbled edges. Standard bound by Mindy Belloff, custom crafted box and deluxe leather binding by Celine Lombardi. Book 3-1/2 h x 2-3/4 w x 1-3/4 d, with LCD screen Video Card 2 x 4 inches resolution 320 x 240, cinematic 8:44 minute video time capsule with USB port and accordion booklet of video credits, inside a unique custom box with 2 pull-out drawers, wrapped in book cloth, 6.5 x 4 x 2.75 inches. Deluxe (scroll down below). 

Damn her, lewd minx! O, damn her!
Come, go with me apart; I will withdraw,
To furnish me with some swift means of death for the fair devil. – Othello

This double-bound miniature pairs a classic seventeenth-century Shakespearean text with historic and contemporary poetry and writings, along with current news and statistics on femicide. The two volumes are paired, Othello on one side, Desdemona on the other, sharing the same back-not as literal, but perhaps a parallel to Iago’s description of marital conjugation of the beast with two backs-however, the two texts and various voices are conjoined in dialogue and are inseparable. The layered narrative includes a video component, also in dialog with issues around gender and class. On the video, one views a montage of images, 8:30 minutes long. This includes clips from film and theater productions of “Othello,” news headlines of sensational stories from the mid-1990’s, recent women’s marches from the #MeToo movement, and other poignant contemporary stories and statistics. The video functions as a time capsule, for a generation coming of age in the 1970’s-90’s.

Soft you. A word or two before you go. Speak of me as I am
Of one that loved not wisely, but too well. – Othello

I loved her; always have and always will.
If we had a problem, it’s because I loved her so much. – O.J.

William Shakespeare’s “Othello,” based on a 16th-century tale in Giraldi Cinthio’s “Gli Hecatommithi,” was a popular play in Elizabethan England, that still resonates with audiences today. The story begins with devotional love, an elopement and hope for the future, interrupted by the machinations of the villain Iago, and ends in tragedy within a few days. The character Othello, a respected General who marries and then murders a younger woman, Lady Desdemona, parallels a modern Othello in the sports and television personality of O.J. Simpson, who was accused of the double murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman in 1994. Both are tragic stories of jealous rage, domestic violence, male dominance, upper class privilege, and femicide. In “The Tragedy of Desdemona,” closing arguments of the legal case and diary entries of the victim are revisted, along with historic and contemporary poetry, writings from the 4th-century Nag Hammadi codices, excerpts of writings from Ovid, Dostoevsky, and Alice Walker, current news headlines, global statistics on femicide, the 2021 Supreme Court decision overturning Roe, the 1993 case of Lorena Bobbitt, and the myth of Medusa, among other information. The intention in this edition is not to offer answers to readers on gender disparities or racial prejudices either during Shakespeare’s time or now, but to create dialog, conflicting though it may be—that address questions around gender, identity, jealousy, control, dominance, domestic abuse, and racial divides.

Violence against women and girls is “still so deeply embedded in cultures around the world that it is almost invisible,” the UN says, describing it as “a construct of power and a means of maintaining the status-quo…..Gender‑based violence and discrimination against women continue unabated, even as the pandemic continues to exact a greater toll on them than their male counterparts.” – United Nations

According to a UN Report, an estimated 81,100 women and girls were killed intentionally in 2021 and at least 45,000 were killed by partners or family members.

A percentage of sales from this edition will be donated to help support victims of domestic violence. This may include:  Project Opal (The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence NCADV with the National Domestic Violence Hotline) and UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women (


Deluxe numbered 1-10: designed by Mindy Belloff, includes a selection of original drawings hand painted in watercolor and gouache. Includes a larger LCD screen Video Card 3-1/2 x 5 inches, resolution 470 x 320, cinematic 8:44 minute video time capsule with USB port and accordion booklet of video credits letterpress printed. Dos-a-Dos binding, hand sewn on cords with cover in brown quarter leather and beige calf skin, leather tips, leather onlays, and 23-karat gilt covers, housed inside a unique brown and red cloth clamshell box with suede cloth inside covering, 11 x 8 x 2-1/4 inches bound by Celine Lombardi.


Posted in Artist's Books, Fine Editions

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