Soup of the Hour

Ken Babstock
Methodist Hatchet
"The Decor"

honked at. Is this about style? I remember being
         warned ontology was ugly
by a poet who then ordered the chowder. Grass
         tells a story of listening
It could have been:
  • bouillabaisse
  • vichyssoise
  • gazpacho
But it wasn't.

It was "the chowder".

Could it have been Shark's Fin? Bird's Nest? Egg Drop?

And so for day 1752
30.09.2011

The Double U's Dot

What one loses in reading The Sad Phoenician in Robert Kroetsch's Completed Field Notes is the design by Glenn Goluska for Coach House Press.

What one misses is the erased alphabet that graces the cover, the title page and the section dividers. What one also misses if one looks closely is the truncation of the already partially erased W. It happens only on the cover:

There's a rhombic dot missing.

It's there on the title page
And there in the section divider.
It is so easy to miss because the W is indeed made of two Vs. The alphabetically-educated eye simply backtracks and constructs the missing letter.

Design-wise the incomplete erased W appears on the cover in this fashion to balance the layout. Smart somewhat imperceptible adjustment worthy of the typesetter's art.

And so for day 1751
29.09.2011

Generous Thinking Via Active Listening

I am inspired by the recent work of Kathleen Fitzpatrick. She has undertaken to share in public preliminary work about what I would call an academic ethics. She is working to flesh out what she calls "generous thinking". Key to that generosity is the manner in which we listen. She writes:

I am primarily focused on the ways that we as professors and scholars communicate with a range of broader publics about our work. And some focused thinking about the ways we communicate with those publics is in order, I would suggest, because many of our fields are facing crises that we cannot solve on our own.
In case you think this turn to reflect on broader publics is facile, consider how it is characterized as difficult work:
But I want to acknowledge that adopting a mode of generous thinking is a task that is simultaneously extremely difficult and easily dismissible. We are accustomed to a mode of thought that rebuts, that questions, that complicates, and the kinds of listening and openness for which I am here advocating may well be taken as acceding to a form of cultural naïveté at best, or worse, a politically regressive knuckling-under to the pressures of neoliberal ideologies and institutions. This is the sense in which Rita Felski suggests that scholars have internalized “the assumption that whatever is not critical must therefore be uncritical.”

http://www.plannedobsolescence.net/generous-thinking-introduction/
My own modest contribution to this dialogue is a comment riffing on humility as a way to recognize the experimental and the experiential as worthy objects of generous thinking.
Your invocation of humility brought to mind a formulation found in Catharine R. Stimpson. Where the Meanings Are: Feminism and Cultural Spaces: "humility, a recognition that the self cannot be an exemplum, only an experiment". I am looking forward to reading more. I think that somewhere along the way you and your readers will be broaching the link between the experimental [which we associate with the sciences] and the experiential [which we associate with the performing arts] — the humanities seem to occupy the metadiscursive space that examines and comments upon the experimental and the experiential.
At the acuity of humility ... a case to hear out...

And so for day 1750
28.09.2011

Anagram Margana

Susan Holbrook in the notes to Throaty Wipes helpfully points out that the lines in "What is Poetry" are anagrams of the title. The collection bears as its title one of these lines. I like the associations that arise from these letter remixes.

[…]
ear whist typo
[…]
throaty wipes
or what I types
The genius lies not just in the generation of the anagrams but also in their disposition in a sequence. Holbrook subjects two other phrases to similar treatment: "What is Prose" and "What Poetry Isn't".

A number of anagram generating engines exist on the WWW:

Go wild!
Dig Owl
Dig Low
Gild Ow
Id Glow
Old Wig

Or you can try your hand at solving.

And so for day 1749
27.09.2011

Red Piling on Blue

In her Notes on the Poems, Susan Holbrook provides a variant to the "blurred" section in "Poems for Andy Goldsworthy" in Throaty Wipes. Interesting that in my attempt at deciphering the blur, I gather "red drop" as the topmost layer and "ready" as the bed. The variant betrays my reading as giving "red" and "drop" on separate lines. What do you make of it?

red
drop
in blue
gut in red
tuft in
blue egg
in red belly
in blue
sky in
ready
Now that I squint I can see some blue. It all looks like a still from an animation. Much like a suitable ekphrasis of the sculpture of Andy Goldsworthy.

And so for day 1747
25.09.2011

Sometimes a Great Formalist

Susan Holbrook produces new tricks using "what" to punctuate some old saws.

[…]
your head what is not heat
more than you can chew what is kept above water
a rose garden what is bitten off
an old dog what did I never promise you
the trees what cannot be taught new tricks
the dust what can one not see the forest for
[…]
"Aside From" in Joy Is So Exhausting indeed does keep us with an eye on both forest and trees until we grow cross-eyed: head above water, more than you chew is bitten off, a rose garden did I never promise you, an old dog cannot be taught new tricks, the trees can one not see the forest for, the dust … is bit.

And so for day 1747
25.09.2011

Rah for the Honey

These snippets could be well at home on a T-Shirt.

Beekeepers for Lorca

[…]

Mestinks; you lather
Susan Holbrook. "Q & A" in Joy Is So Exhausting.

And so for day 1746
24.09.2011

The L Word

By the time I reached the end of this reclamation poem, I chortled.

You might say the world lesbian with a shudder, like there are cooties crawling up your back porch.

You might say the world lesbian like you're reading it out of a science textbook.

You might whisper the world lesbian because it's naughty.

[…]

You might say the word lesbian like you're keeping dyke for your friends.

You might say the word lesbian like salt-water taffy.

You might say the world lesbian with shudder and say let's do it again, sweet pea.
Susan Holbrook. "Shudder" in Misled.

And so for day 1745
23.09.2011

The Modulated Tricolon

André Alexis in A (BookThug, 2013) offers up for the reader's delectation a tricolon in parallel. The weirdness (a hospital room with three mannequins that look like three versions of Anna Akhmatova) is alleviated by the classical poise of the prose concluding the paragraph.

They were all versions of Anna Akhmatova, young and beautiful, middle-aged and sensual, old and dignified.
We have here in miniature the course of a life with the implication that it was a life well-lived. This in part is realized by avoiding a rising tricolon where the segments get progressively longer (aka tricolon crescens) and emphasizing the modulation evoked by equally balanced segments. Such a life like such an expression lingers with finesse, impresses with gentleness and speaks with smoothness.

And so for day 1744
22.09.2011

Poet Master: Computer Tamer

January 22, 2010.
NY Times
Gary Snyder
Why I Take Good Care of My Macintosh

Because it broods under its hood like a perched falcon,

Because it jumps like a skittish horse and sometimes throws me,

[…]

Because I have let it move in with me right inside the tent,

And it goes with me out every morning;

We fill up our baskets, get back home,

Feel rich, relax, I throw it a scrap and it hums.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/technology/personaltech/22sfbriefs.html
Domestication through harvesting.

And so for day 1743
21.09.2011

Displacing Display

I will never quite look at a cursor the same way again:

[…]
The arrow-headed cursor points
Into space, but glides like a shark between
Sandbar and reef
[...]
From Mark Ford's "Inside" in Soft Sift (Faber & Faber, 2001).

Gives new meaning to surfing the net.

And so for day 1742
20.09.2011

Belying Brevity

Basil Johnston. Ojibway Heritage

Of the animal beings, the dog was endowed with the least exceptional powers. He was less fleet than the fox; he was weaker than the wolf; he was less cunning than the mink. Compared to the fisher, the dog was a poor swimmer; beside the deer, the dog was awkward. Less gifted than his brothers, the dog had nothing to offer. He could not serve. Nevertheless, he felt constrained to do something. In his despondency, he pledged to give his love. Others could serve according to their natures and capacities; he to his.
This passage about the dog is embedded in the story of the first humans.
In the first year, the animal beings nourished and nurtured the infants and the spirit woman

[... section about what each animal gives, followed by the dog section quoted above which continues thus ...]

Consequently, the dog settled down by the side of the bed in which the sleeping infants lay, alternately sitting or lying down. He gazed into their eyes, placed his head near their feet, or played to amuse them. The babies smiled. From that time on the dog never left the side of man.
I am of the persuasion that the passage derives its strength from the clincher: "The babies smiled."

For some reason, there comes to mind the shortest verse in the King James Bible: "Jesus wept." (John 11:35).

The succinct phrase, however, does not tell us how long the keening nor the duration of the smiling.

And so for day 1741
19.09.2011

Machine Poem Mix

Jonathan Ball. Ex Machina BookThug, 2009.

Like Cortázar's Hopscotch, each section is numbered and, unlike the novel, each line offers a path to read on, a sort of hyperlink in print.

[50]


The poem is not written by machines. [36]

It is the root, the cause of machines. [17]

As the book does not birth the poem, but is its vessel in the world. [15]

Clothing the Word in flesh, so that it might finally die. [63]
One can with diligence assemble a poem out of the references.
The poem is not written by machines.[36]

The machine spawns new machines. [05]

Improvements are necessary. Conceived and carried. [40]

(while in secret new machines produce new needs) [11]

(offering themselves to answer to the problems they pose) [41]

It is the root, the cause of machines.[17]

The machine that will never think. [04]

The machine we believe will never think. [26]

The machine that, thinking, chooses, suicide. [37]

As the book does not birth the poem, but is its vessel in the world.[15]

"Physiologically, man in the normal use of technology […] is perpetually modified by it and in turn finds ever new ways of modifying his technology." [34]

"Man becomes, as it were, the sex organs of the machine world, as the bee of the plant world, enabling it to fecundate and to evolve ever new forms." [27]

"The machine world reciprocates man's love by expediting his wishes and desires, namely, in providing him with wealth." [26]

Steel and your warming sex. [62]

Clothing the Word in flesh, so that it might finally die.[63]

My spine is broken. [01]

My ribs are splayed open like wings. [64]

And if one continues the resulting fan reduces the initial set of lines to a point. That's the point.

And so for day 1740
18.09.2011

Aciola

In The Physiology of Taste, after extolling the ne plus ultra concoction of chocolate (cocoa, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla), Brillat-Savarin goes on to enumerate other "adjuncts".

It is to this small number of substances that taste and experience have reduced the numerous ingredients which had been successively tried as adjuncts to cocoa, such as pepper, pimento, aniseed, ginger, aciola, and others.

Translated by Anne Drayton
"Aciola" is given as "aciole" in the French of the 1825 Physiologie du goût. Le Trésor de la Langue Française informatisé remarks that "aciole" does not appear in the standard dictionaries. It appears to be a coinage of Brillat-Savarin from the Latin aciola, a variation of acucula or acicula according to the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae as cited by the Trésor.

The Trésor nicely translates the Latin back into French as "cerfeuil". Of the many plants that carry this name, one should note the "cerfeuil musqué" or Myrrhis odorata (sweet cicely) whose seeds like those of anise would be agreeable added to cocoa.

And so for day 1739
17.09.2011

Invisible Extra Colo(u)r

On John Ashbery

Like Wallace Stevens, whom he cites as a precedent, Ashbery favors picturesque titles that bear a quizzical relation to the lines that follow. If his poems were paintings, these titles would amount to an invisible extra color.
THE PLEASURES OF POETRY
By David Lehman
Published: December 16, 1984
New York Times Magazine

And so for day 1738
16.09.2011

Explosive Ending Expanding

A simple poem about the encounter with gentle beasts, gorgeous ponies, ends with amazing bravura…

She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.
conclusion to "A Blessing" by James Wright
from Above the River: The Complete Poems and Selected Prose
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/46481

So much depends on those line endings that break... those line breaks that prolong the ending...

And so for day 1737
15.09.2011

Fantasia on a Formula

It's a formula you discover perhaps after the third or fourth iteration because it is done with variations in the syntax and what appears to be a storyline because of the play of pronouns (I, we, he). The formula is a tad more complex than a generation of a list (perfect by countless meme-seeders) and blends in well with the pronoun play.

Place / mixed up names / movie.

Here be some three stanzas torn out of context.

On the outskirts of Moscow we failed to distinguish clearly between Charles and Burl Ives;
Our punishment was to sit through Sergei Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible, Parts I and II, twice.

I met a man in New York who couldn't tell the difference between George
And Zbigniew Herbert: his favourite film was Kenji Mizoguchi's Ugetsu Monogatari, which he insisted we see together.

In Cardiff I confounded Edward, Dylan, and R.S. Thomas;
To get over my embarrassment I went to a performance of Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville.
from "Early to Bed, Early to Rise" by Mark Ford in Soft Sift.

And so for day 1736
14.09.2011

Good Word on Good Food

A tricolon and a snatch more…

To entertain successfully one must create with the imagination of a playwright, plan with the skill of a director, and perform with the instincts of an actor. And, as any showman will tell you, there is no greater reward than pleasing your audience.
James A. Beard from the final lines of his introduction to James Beard's Menus for Entertaining. Trust his prose. Trust his recipes.

And so for day 1735
13.09.2011

What is Taught and What Teaches

Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1996)
Volume 1 - Looking Forward Looking Back
Part Three: Building the Foundation of a Renewed Relationship
Chapter 15 - Rekindling the Fire in the subsection "Words Are Not Enough"

The perception of the world as ever changing, ever requiring the human being to be alert to the requirements of proper relations, means that views from every vantage point are valuable in making decisions. While older persons are generally thought to be wiser by virtue of their longer experience, the perceptions of children and young people are not discounted. The roles of teacher and learner in an Aboriginal world can be interchangeable, depending on the context.
Quite apart from the who, I am brought to consider in ever changing world two elements: mobilizable knowledge and transferable skill. One of course is a product and can be captured in artefacts, songs and performances. The other is learnt by observation and by doing and by refining technique. Each belongs together: we learn from people and things. Views from every vantage point. It means in non-Aboriginal culture being able to read in the widest sense of the meaning of the word.

In trying to distinguish word-bound learning/teaching from experiential learning/teaching, RCAP gives a characterization of a Western view of language and learning/teaching that is partial. The paragraph preceding the one above about older persons and children invokes the land as context different from word-bound journeys
The need to walk on the land in order to know it is a different approach to knowledge than the one-dimensional, literate approach to knowing. Persons schooled in a literate culture are accustomed to having all the context they need to understand a communication embedded in the text before them. This is partly what is meant by 'clear writing', which is urged upon children as soon as they begin communicating practical or academic content. Persons taught to use all their senses — to absorb every clue to interpreting a complex, dynamic reality — may well smile at the illusion that words alone, stripped of complementary sound and colour and texture, can convey meaning adequately.
But words have colour, timbre, accent, nuance. They call out to the senses.

Where I defended theory here I seek to explicate the literate approach as being complex and learnt from hours and years of observation as to the workings of language and its environments. Clarity in writing is no mean accomplishment and certainly ranks with being able to identify medicines or gut a fish.

A word about "context". It is like a bundle we bring to our encounters. It is a mobilized knowledge and it is tested by the transferable skills we bring, the questions we ask. Persons schooled in a literate culture are accustomed to doing research to establish which context fits.

There is intrinsic worth in walking the land. In interpreting a text. Challenging cognitive separatism.

And so for day 1734
12.09.2011

forces still at play

I once experienced a group learning session that ended with an attentive silence which the teacher disrupted by an over eager closure. It spoilt the mood. It did get me thinking about how and where silence is appreciated.

Months later I came across the notion of joint attention and thought there is something to here about group interaction and the place of silence. The most basic form of joint attention is shared gaze.

What I recall the group experiencing was less a "shared gaze" and more a communal awareness of the environment which was highly conditioned by the group's listening.

What I noticed may be becoming rarer …

Social ecologies of listening are in transition. Spaces and practices of shared listening (the cinema, the street, the market, the bus) are vying for space with the apparatus of individual attention economies and emerging mores of containment and control (the earphones, the mall, the metro). Urban subjectivities are shape-shifting in the uneven fabric that global modernity weaves across new and changing city spaces.

From the fascinating Delhi Listening Group
… or simply as rare as it ever was and needing time and opportunity to emerge. Occasions and structures do arise for shared listening. And sometimes what is needed is being attuned and relishing the sound-filled space (even in the quietest moments) — and growing comfortable and not rushing in to fill group silence — recognizing forms of plenitude.

And so for day 1733
11.09.2011

Reminder of the Failure to Address All My Relations

Elder Jim Dumont closing a special session at Queen's Park devoted to response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He subtly chides all the speakers (through the use of an all-inclusive "we") for overlooking relations that also matter…

Even those things that we fail to mention are a reminder to us that all those that we ask must be wondering why we never talked about them. We didn’t say anything about the animals. We didn’t say anything about the vegetation, the grass and flowers. We didn’t say anything about the rocks, the minerals. We didn’t say anything about the trees when we talked here together.

The absence of that really stands out to the spirit. So it must be telling us that we need to consider those things, because we know that if anything ever happens—that there are no longer any medicines flowing, and that something happens so that the food that grows up from the earth is not edible any more—kindness will disappear from the earth. We will not know how to care about one another. If anything happens that we cut down all the trees, truth and honesty will be gone amongst us. If anything ever happens to the animals, we will lose our ability to share with one another. If anything ever happens to the rocks and the minerals, as it is happening in this country, the very strength that we need to live our life and to live up to the things that we believe in, that strength will be gone.

We need to make that connection in everything that we do. At the end of whatever we’re speaking about, whatever we’re gathered together about, we always say “all my relatives.” When we say that, what we’re saying to all of our relations in this creation as well as our human relations: “We are all related to one another and I will include you in my words. I will include you in my thoughts. I will include you in the decisions that I make.”

We end in that way, asking the spirit to continue to bless us with life and letting all of our relations know that we have considered them and we have been noticed by them.

Remarks in Indigenous language.

http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/house-proceedings/house_detail.do?locale=en&Date=2016-05-30&detailPage=/house-proceedings/transcripts/files_html/30-MAY-2016_L178.htm#P51_4268
An eloquent reminder of interconnectedness. Even the staunch materialist who could not care one whit about blessings from the spirit will recognize a duty of care to the environment that sustains life: kindness will disappear from the earth should something happen so that the food the grows up from the earth is not edible any more.

And so for day 1732
10.09.2011

In the Name of the King

It's a treasure trove. It's a collection of etymologies of words derived from names.

Thou Improper, Thou Uncommon Noun compiled by Willard R. Espy.

Chicken à la King

Chicken à la king is an odd corruption. According to Claridge's Hotel in London, it was invented by its chef to honor J.R. Keene, whose horse had won the Grand Prix in 1881. Others say that Keene's son Foxhall, who called himself the "world's greatest amateur athlete," suggested the dish — diced chicken in a sherry-cream sauce — to the chef at Delmonico's in New York. When the Keenes vanished from the public eye, their name vanished also; chicken à la Keene became chicken à la king.
There is a whole chapter of gastronomic words recorded by Espy, structured round what Brillat-Savarin might eat at a meal. Worth a peek to find the person behind madeleines: Madeleine Paulmier.

And so for day 1731
09.09.2011

Icarian Positions

There is a counterpoint of violence to the invocations of eros in the poetry of Ocean Vuong. Emblematic is the kneeling figure which recurs through Night Sky with Exit Wounds.

Don't worry. Your father is only your father
until one of you forgets. Like how the spine
won't remember its wings
no matter how many times our knees
kiss the pavement.

"Someday I'll Love Ocean Vuong"


               Instead, the year begins
with my knees
               scraping hardwood
another man leaving
               into my throat. Fresh snow

"Devotion"
These read like the pain of patella fractures compounded by an equivalent mesmerization with anatomy. Mind and body dislocated.

And so for day 1730
08.09.2011

Stitching

I came across this mash up i.e. poem while doing a search on a string of words for which I wanted more context and took a second look.

First the source texts:

Artist: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Album: Shahbaaz

Track: Dhyahar-eh-ishq Meh

Draws on the poetry of Mohammed Iqbal … "If God has given you an understanding of nature, then from the silence of flowers create speech."


Track: Jewleh Lal

Thirteenth century Sufi master Lal Shahbaaz Qalandar

"Your name is a torch - let it set my heart on fire!"
And now the capturing poem — not the last three lines:
You Are

You are spoken of in every street,
And there is no other like you in the world,
Enraptured are the rivers,
As are the oceans,
Enraptured are the visible,
And the invisible,
Each moment is a rapture,
Your name is torch - let it set my heart on fire,
If you are the one,
Then from the silence of flowers create speech.

Jade Kaur
http://www.poemhunter.com/best-poems/jade-kaur/you-are-141/
There is no biography for Jade Kaur and no indication that the final lines of this little lyric were cribbed from the liner notes to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's album. Clever stitchery. Inspires a bit of concentration to emphasize the apostrophe:
Torch, set my heart on fire
Raise speech from silent flowers.
Ravishment so sweet. As if through a green fuse

And so for day 1729
07.09.2011

Furnished

Phil Hall in "The Chase" in Conjugation (Book Thug 2016)provides an infinitive that may mistakenly be read as an imperative.

To not let poetry be furniture
Which the Magic 8 folks at CBC read as a rallying cry.

Less like a divan and more like a stool that can be relied on when milking a cow.

More like a kitchen chair upon which you sat getting a haircut.

A bed, a futon, a hammock.

And so for day 1728
06.09.2011

In the Round Almost

Tear off a sheet for a guide to How to Build a House Museum at the AGO and you will discover that Theaster Gates choose in the homage to Frankie Knuckles to include some objects from the AGO permanent collection.

In this gallery, you will find Frankie's signature baseball caps on display, and his reel-to-reel can be found on the first floor of the AGO in Gallery 122. Gates transferred two small Italian Baroque sculptures by Massimiliano Soldani Benzi (Italian 1656-1740) — the bronzes Dancing Faun and Marsyas Playing the Double Flute, both gifted by Margaret and Ian Ross — to this room from their regular home downstairs. They seem to have crossed time and space to dance ecstatically to the house beat.
Note how the Guide privileges the searcher: no wall plaques to explain, tear off a sheet at the table by the elevator and discover that the reel-to-reel player is housed elsewhere in the building.

Gates has chosen to display the bronzes in a case embedded in the wall thus impeding the possibility of doing a 360 tour of the items. The Dancing Faun is displayed with back to the viewer and there is no mirror to permit a view of the front.

Lesson: just as bodies move on the dance floor artefacts move in space and time and the view is always partial, provisional.

dance moves dance moves dance moves

pieces pieces pieces

And so for day 1727
05.09.2011

All Flags Are Tatters

Recovering from a bout of illness it seems perversively bracing to read Joseph Brodsky from Nature Morte

All talk is a barren trade.
A writing on the wind's wall.
for it is back from the country of sickness that we realize not only the good days pass but so too does the pain.

Ferron builds to much the same sentiment in a different spiritual context with the song "The Cart" released on Phantom Center. She craftily builds the refrain over the course of the song. First we learn that "the cart is on a wheel" and then that "the wheel is on a hill". We are set into ever more courses of motion (the hill is made of shifting sand) thus agrandizing the view. Until just before appealing to the listeners to "Hold fast to the Mother as she turns us round" we are given a view of law:
And the cart is on a wheel
And the wheel is on a hill
And the hill is shifting sand
And inside these laws we stand.
The song ends with another turn and another again. We are riding not so much standing. Ground to sand and flung to the wind.

And so for day 1726
04.09.2011

A little crazy brightness

These are the opening utterances and they gain by the cascade layout: each a step into the next.

Loon tongue
            muttertongue
                        idiom savant.
from "Glossolalia" in A Provisional Map of the Lost Continent by Gregory Mahrer.

And so for day 1725
03.09.2011

The Genteel Slide into Vulgarity

The semantic slip followed by the gesture going all the way.

[…]
As one strokes a cat and feels the ridgy skull beneath the fur and tickles
It behind its ears. The cat twists its head and moves it toward your fingers
Like the lifting thighs of someone fucked, moving up to meet the stroke.
The sun strokes all now in this zone, reaching in through windows to jell
[…]
That's from Hymn to Life by James Schuyler.

This is from Robert Penn Warren "American Portrait: Old Style" — describing the life path of a friend talented for baseball …
[…]
To pass through to what? No, not
To some wild white peak dreamed westward,
And each sunrise a promise to keep. No, only
The Big Leagues, not even a bird dog,
And girls that popped gum while they screwed.

Yes, this was his path, and no batter
Could do what booze finally did:
Just blow him off the mound — but anyway,
[…]
And I turn to Gregory Mahrer to summarize in an abstract fashion the progression from words and gesture:
The technique is quite simple — a few thrown
breaths followed by a series of gestural forays —
from "Ideograph" in A Provisional Map of the Lost Continent.

And so for day 1724
02.09.2011

Systems, Technologies and Experiences

Lynn Coady. Who Needs Books? : Reading in the Digital Age.

She acutely unknots the tangle of concepts:

The problem with this conversation we've been having over the past couple of decades is that it perpetually confuses capitalism with technology and technology with culture itself. Technology exists apart from, but is profoundly influenced by, capitalism, and the same can be said of culture. And just because our still-new technologies are currently having a profound impact on our culture, doesn't mean our culture would be any better or worse off without them — it would simply be another version of itself.
What enables such distinctions is the focus on the phenomenology of reading:
The fact that some of us prefer to enact this with a sheaf of printed pages between two bound covers, and some would rather use a Kindle or Kobo doesn't make that experience any less magical, or less singular. Here is why, according to author Rebecca Solnit:
The object we call a book is not the real book, but its potential, like a musical score or seed. It exists fully only in the act of being read; and its real home is inside the head of the reader, where the symphony resides, the seed germinates. A book is a heart that beats only in the chest of another.
The desire readers have for this singular, magical experience, no matter what kind of technology provides it to them, is, I assure you, never going away.
Coady quotes from Solnit's The Faraway Nearby and we are thrilled by the beating of the thrice transposed.

And so for day 1723
01.09.2011