‘Sound from the thinking strings’ is a visual, literary, archaeological and historical interpretation of the final years of |xam life. Published by Axeage Private Press and edited by Pippa Skotnes, it includes translations by Stephen Watson, essays by John Parkington and Nigel Penn, original etchings by Pippa Skotnes and a foreword by Stephen Jay Gould.

Sound from the thinking strings was the inaugural publication of Axeage Private Press and was launched with an exhibition at the Iziko South African Museum that included various related objects, manuscripts, photographs and the records of the Breakwater Prison. The edition is limited to 50 copies, some of which are included in the collections of the Iziko South African National Gallery, public libraries and several European and American collections, including Yale’s Centre for the Book and the Smithsonian’s African art collection. The book was widely reviewed and was the recipient of the University of Cape Town Book Award in 1992.

The publication was later also exhibited as part of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award and travelled with the exhibition to all the major centres of the country. It was also the subject of a major court case which was widely publicised in the press in which the National Library sued Pippa Skotnes for free copies of the book under the Legal Deposit Act, maintaining that a book could not be an artwork.