File puptcrit/puptcrit.0509, message 39

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Subject: RE: [Puptcrit] the importance of Dwiggins marionettes (pre 1958)
Date: Sat, 3 Sep 2005 10:08:17 +0100

Dear Alan,
You ask
2.-Is he important to the history of American Puppetry?

Yes. He is important to WORLD puppet history.

Seeing that some people will have never heard of W.A.D. I thought that
the following may be of general interest.
I am often asked by purchasers of the ABBE book for information on Herr
P=FCterschien on whose system, according to the original, the Dwiggins
designs for counterbalanced marionettes are based.
A clue to the answer is given in the little booklet which was published
by the Boston Library in 1974.  It is a transcript of a talk delivered
to The Bookbuilders of Boston by Dorothy Abbe the previous year.  She
refers to Dr. Hermann P=FCterschien as president of The Society of
Calligraphers of which W.A.D. was secretary.  The whole thing was later
exposed as an enormous joke, the society was imaginary and P=FCterschien
was a pseudonym for Dwiggins. However it had a serious implication, and
influenced the development of good quality American books.
Look at the photo at the beginning of the book and you will see the
twinkle in his eye.
Best wishes

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