95 SCHLESINGER

GUTTER CROSSING
ON EMILY McVARISH
KYLE SCHLESINGER
TheȱSanȱIranciscoȱßayȱAreaȱhasȱbeenȱaȱholbedȱforȱinnovaliveȱęneȱ¡ressȱ¡ubIishingǰȱ¡oelryȱ
andȱ arlislsȂȱ booksȱ forȱ alȱ Ieaslȱ aȱ cenluryǯȱ GeIeĴȱ ßurgessȂȱ bohemianȱ |ournaIȱ The Larkǰȱ anȱ
anlecedenlȱforȱilsȱmagicaIȱcounler¡oinlȱLe Petit Journal des Refusées,ȱvasȱ¡rinledȱonȱscra¡sȱ
ofȱ vaII¡a¡erȱ andȱ culȱ inloȱ aȱ lra¡ezoidǯȱ Theȱ coversȱ vereȱ gracedȱ vilhȱ s¡oofȱ voodculsȱ inȱ
lheȱslyIeȱofȱAubreyȱßeardsIeyǰȱvhiIeȱlheȱfrenelicȱmirageȱofȱsaliricaIȱlexlsȱandȱiIIuslralionsȱ
vilhinȱ aĴem¡ledȱ loȱ rockȱ lheȱ ȃbromidesȄȱ ǻlheȱ conservaliveȱ bourgeoisǼȱ lhalȱ ßurgessȱ andȱ
hisȱ youngȱ cohorlsȱ reviIedǯȱ Threeȱ ofȱ AmericaȂsȱ beslȱ ęneȱ ¡ressesȱ ofȱ lheȱ ŗşŘŖsǰȱ incIudingȱ
TayIorȱ andȱ TayIorǰȱ }ohnȱ Henryȱ Nashȱ andȱ lheȱ Grabhornȱ brolhersȱ vereȱ aIsoȱ basedȱ inȱ Sanȱ
IranciscoǯȱIromȱŗşŚŚȱloȱŗşŚŞǰȱanolherȱIorlerȱǻlheȱfoundȬIanguageȱ¡oelȱ¡ioneerȱßernȱIorlerǼȱ
andȱ Georgeȱ Leileȱ coȬ¡ubIishedȱ Circleǰȱ andȱ inȱ ŗşŚŜǰȱ Iorlerȱ ¡ubIishedȱ Kennelhȱ IalchenȂsȱ
Panels for the Walls of Heavenȱ inȱ aȱ ly¡ogra¡hicaIIyȱ advenlurousȱ lradeȱ andȱ uniqueȱ handȬ
¡ainledȱedilionǯȱInȱlheȱyearsȱfoIIovingȱlheȱSecondȱWorIdȱWarǰȱaȱgrou¡ȱofȱarlislsȱmelȱalȱaȱ
cam¡ȱforȱconscienliousȱob|eclorsȱinȱWaId¡orlǰȱOregonȱandȱformedȱlheȱUnlideȱIressǰȱvhichȱ
incIudedȱmaverickȱ¡rinlersȱWiIIiamȱIversonȱandȱAdrianȱWiIsonǯȱTheȱensembIeȱdisbandedȱ
alȱlheȱendȱofȱlheȱWarȱaĞerȱlheyȱcoIIaboraledȱonȱlheirȱmoslȱso¡hislicaledȱbookǰȱIalchenȂsȱ
An Astonished Eye Looks Out of the Air,ȱvhichȱbroughlȱIauIȱRennerȂsȱanliȬfascislȱIuluraȱinloȱ
diaIogueȱvilhȱlheȱ¡acięslȱ¡oelryȱandȱ¡oIilicsȱofȱlheȱlimeǯȱ
Theȱ endȱ ofȱ WorIdȱ Warȱ IIȱ signaIedȱ aȱ radicaIȱ shiĞȱ inȱ lheȱ arlȱ ofȱ lheȱ bookȱ andȱ commerciaIȱ
¡rinlingȱ lechnoIogiesǰȱ andȱ lhisȱ lransformalionȱ vasȱ embodiedȱ byȱ lheȱ Nevȱ Americanȱ
¡oelryȱandȱ¡oelicsȱofȱlheȱŗşśŖsǯȱWaIIaceȱßermanȂsȱrovingȱmagazineȱSemina ǻŗşśśȬŗşŜŚǼǰȱvasȱ
¡rinledȱandȱassembIedȱbyȱhandȱusingȱanȱecIeclicȱassembIageȱofȱ¡oemsȱandȱ¡hologra¡hsǯȱ
SeminaȱvasȱaȱrefugeȱforȱlransgressiveȱarlislsȱlhalȱservedȱasȱaȱcruciaIȱ¡oinlȱofȱreferenceȱforȱ
aȱyoungerȱgeneralionȱofȱas¡iringȱ¡oelsǰȱ¡rinlersȱandȱaȱrareȱbreedȱofȱarlislsȱvorkingȱsomeȬ
vhereȱinȱbelveenȱlhalȱvouIdǰȱinȱlheȱmidȬŗşŝŖsǰȱcomeȱloȱbeȱknovnȱasȱȃbookȱarlislsǯȄȱTheȱ
individuaIsȱvhoȱvereȱ¡arlȱofȱaȱre|uvenalionȱinȱßayȱAreaȱbookȱarlȱlhalȱrivaIedȱlheȱModernislȱ
Iuro¡eanȱ AvanlȬGardeȱ incIudedǰȱ bulȱ vereȱ byȱ noȱ meansȱ Iimiledȱ loDZȱ Daveȱ HaseIvoodȱ
ǻAuerhahnǼDzȱ Grahamȱ MackinloshDzȱ HoIbrookȱ Telerȱ andȱ MichaeIȱ Myersȱ ǻZe¡hyrusȱ ImageǼDzȱ
ßelsyȱ Davidsȱ andȱ }imȱ IelriIIoȱ ǻRebisǼDzȱ Irancesȱ ßulIerȱ andȱ AIaslairȱ }ohnslonȱ ǻIoIlroonǼDZȱ
}amieȱ RobIesDZȱ Kalhyȱ WaIku¡Dzȱ andȱ }ohannaȱ Druckerǯȱ Iȱ amȱ indebledȱ loȱ Druckerȱ forȱ inlroȬ
ducingȱ meȱ loȱ lheȱ vorkȱ ofȱ ImiIyȱ McVarishǰȱ oneȱ ofȱ lheȱ moslȱ ins¡iringȱ andȱ accom¡Iishedȱ
arlislsȱofȱmyȱgeneralionǯ
WhenȱIȱęrslȱencounleredȱMcVarishȂsȱvorkǰȱIȱ¡rimariIyȱgravilaledȱlovardsȱhandmadeȱ¡a¡erǰȱ
quaIilyȱ bindingǰȱ exquisileȱ ¡rinlingǰȱ andȱ aboveȱ aIIȱ eIseǰȱ booksȱ lhalȱ fealuredȱ meaningfuIǰȱ
¡reviousIyȱun¡ubIishedȱvrilingǯȱSum¡luousȱre¡rinlsȱofȱcIassicsȱIikeȱUlysses and Moby Dick
didnȂlȱinlereslȱmeȱǻsliIIȱdonȂlǼǰȱnorȱdidȱlheȱnevȱvaveȱofȱlechniqueȬdrivenȱvirluosoȱscuI¡Ȭ
luraIȱ booksȱ vhereȱ lheȱ lexlȱ ǻifȱ anyǼȱ a¡¡earedȱ anȱ aĞerlhoughlǯȱ Oneȱ aĞernoonȱ alȱ lheȱ Rareȱ
96 ON
ßookȱSchooIȱalȱlheȱUniversilyȱofȱVirginiaȱinȱlheȱsummerȱofȱŘŖŖřǰȱDruckerȱ¡resenledȱmeȱ
vilhȱaȱsmaIIǰȱa¡¡arenlIyȱanonymousǰȱobviousIyȱhandmadeȱbookǰȱcom¡risedȱofȱenveIo¡esȱ
boundȱloȱlheȱs¡ineȱinȱ¡Iaceȱofȱ¡agesǰȱandȱaskedȱmeȱforȱmyȱlhoughlsǯȱTheȱbookȱbaĝedȱmeȱ
favorabIyǰȱbulȱIȱcouIdnȂlȱex¡IainȱvhyǯȱIȱhadȱneverȱseenȱanylhingȱIikeȱilǯȱIlȱremindedȱmeȱofȱ
DickinsonȂsȱ eIeclrifyingȱ Maslerȱ LeĴersȱ Ȯȱ ¡ersonaIȱ bulȱ nolȱ ¡rivaleǰȱ medialedȱ andȱ mysleȬ
riousǯȱIachȱfragiIeȱenveIo¡eȱconlainedȱvhalȱa¡¡earedȱloȱbeȱaȱ¡oorIyȱ¡holoco¡iedȱIeĴerȱlhalȱ
slruckȱmeȱasȱsomeȱsorlȱofȱe¡isloIaryȱculȬu¡ǯȱIȱIalerȱIearnedȱlhalȱlhisȱbookǰȱ|cingȱincȱ|cĴcrsȱ
ǻŗşşŖǼǰȱvasȱanȱearIyȱvorkȱbyȱMcVarishȱbasedȱonȱIreudȂsȱThe Psychopathology of Everyday Life
¡roducedȱinȱanȱedilionȱofȱ|uslȱlhirleenȱco¡iesǯȱNearIyȱlvenlyȱyearsȱIalerǰȱsheȱconlinuesȱloȱ
vorkȱvilhȱfoundȱandȱ¡roceduraIIyȱgeneraledȱlexlsȱloȱ¡roduceȱbooksȱandȱ¡rinledȱob|eclsȱ
lhalȱ deslabiIizeȱ lradilionaIȱ binariesȱ byȱ remindingȱ usȱ lhalȱ vordsȱ areȱ imagesǰȱ lhalȱ formȱ is
conlenlȱandȱlhalȱconce¡luaIȱvrilingȱandȱarlȱcanȱconlinueȱloȱIiveȱharmoniousIyȱinȱlheȱformȱ
ofȱaȱbookȱIongȱaĞerȱlheȱheydayȱofȱlheȱsu¡¡osedIyȱdemocralicȱmuIli¡IeǯȱAIlhoughȱherȱbooksȱ
areȱ aIvaysȱ hisloricaIIyȱ informedǰȱ lheyȱ areȱ nolȱ relroȱ Ȯȱ herȱ a¡¡roachȱ isȱ consislenlIyȱ freshǰȱ
IaborȬinlensiveȱandȱrigorousǯȱMaslerfuIIyȱ¡rinledȱbyȱhandǰȱMcVarishȂsȱvorksȱhaveȱneverȱ
exudedȱlheȱreadȬmeȬnolȱ¡reciousnessȱlhalȱmanyȱhandmadeȱbooksȱexhibilǯȱHereȱoneȱęndsȱ
aȱcooIǰȱunadornedǰȱmechanicaIIyȱ¡oIishedȱaeslhelicǰȱlhalȱhasȱasȱfarȱasȱIȂmȱconcernedȱlurnedȱ
lheȱvorIdȱofȱIeĴer¡ressȱ¡rinlingȱonȱilsȱfeelȱǻquileȱIileraIIyǼǯȱ
LeĴersǰȱ vordsǰȱ booksǰȱ andȱ Iibrariesȱ areȱ ofȱ ¡rimaIȱ im¡orlanceȱ forȱ moslȱ ¡oelsȱ ǻevenǰȱ orȱ
shouIdȱ Iȱ sayȱ especiallyǰȱ lhoseȱ engagedȱ vilhȱ nevȱ mediaȱ ¡raclicesǼǰȱ andȱ yelȱ Iȱ canȱ lhinkȱ ofȱ
fevȱ vrilingȱ lodayȱ vhoseȱ vorkȱ isȱ asȱ irrevocabIyȱ boundȱ loȱ lheȱ bookȱ asȱ McVarishȱ ǻmaslerȱ
ofȱobsoIeleȱmediaǼǯȱMyȱlendencyȱisȱloȱlhinkȱincIusiveIyȱandȱ¡raclicaIIyȱaboulȱvhalȱquaIiȬ
ęesȱ asȱ ¡oelryȱ ǻarlislsȂȱ booksȱ
looǰȱforȱlhalȱmaĴerǼǯȱIfȱaȱgivenȱ
modeȱofȱdiscourseȱorȱvocabuȬ
IaryȱIendsȱilseIfȱloȱaȱ¡arlicuIarȱ
vorkȱ ofȱ arlǰȱ myȱ ¡referenceȱ isȱ
loȱ ¡ulȱ ilȱ loȱ useǯȱ McVarishȂsȱ
¡racliceȱ occu¡iesȱ aȱ uniqueȱ
¡Iaceȱ inȱ aȱ rareȱ consleIIaȬ
tion of artists whose work
slandsȱ belveenȱ ¡oelryȱ andȱ
visuaIȱ arlǰȱ aȱ horizonȱ vhereȱ
individuaIsȱ asȱ variousȱ asȱ
WiIIiamȱ ßIakeǰȱ Sle¡haneȱ
MaIIarmeǰȱ IIiazdǰȱ Dickȱ
Higginsǰȱ Raymondȱ Queneauǰȱ
HǯNǯȱ Werkmanǰȱ GuiIIaumeȱ
A¡oIIinaireǰȱandȱRulhȱLaxsonȱ
vouIdȱ communeǯȱ Sinceȱ IȂmȱ
vrilingȱ lhisȱ essayȱ vilhȱ lheȱ
nolionȱ ofȱ conlem¡orariesȱ
Ioomingȱ inȱ lheȱ backgroundǰȱ
Iȱ vouIdȱ Iikeȱ loȱ dveIIȱ forȱ aȱ
momenlȱ onȱ lheȱ queslionsȱ ofȱ
vhereȱ andȱ hovȱ oneȱ encounȬ
lersȱlheȱvorkǯȱUnIikeȱmoslȱofȱ
lheȱ¡oelsȱofȱmyȱgeneralionȱǻorȱ
olherviseǼǰȱ McVarishȱ rareIyȱ
readsȱ herȱ vrilingȱ aIoudǰȱ alȱ
Ieaslȱ nolȱ inȱ lheȱ usuaIȱ venuesȱ
vhereȱ oneȱ goesȱ forȱ aȱ ¡oelryȱ
readingǯȱIfȱlhereȱisȱanyȱcorreȬ
97 SCHLESINGER
IalionȱbelveenȱherȱvorkȱandȱlhalȱofȱlheȱRussianȱIulurislsȱilȱisȱconce¡luaIȱandȱyelȱIȱoĞenȱ
vonderȱhovȱoneȱvouIdȱreadȱoneȱofȱherȱbooksȱaIoudȱbasedȱonȱaȱkindredȱsyslemȱofȱIinguislicȱ
ex¡erimenlsȱinȱsoundȱsymboIismǯȱTheȱbooksȱ¡erformȱlheȱreadingȱofȱlheȱvrilingǰȱaȱkindȱofȱ
vrilingȱlhalȱǻlakeȱlhisȱvilhȱaȱgrainȱofȱsaIlǼȱdoesȱnolȱIendȱilseIfȱloȱolherȱmodesȱofȱ¡ubIicalionȱ
andȱ dislribulionȱ asȱ convenienlIyȱ asȱ ¡oelriesȱ vhoseȱ IexicaIȱ andȱ semanlicȱ vaIuesȱ areȱ Iessȱ
conlingenlȱonȱconlexlȱandȱlheȱmaleriaIȱembodimenlȱofȱlheȱvorkȱilseIfǯȱThalȱsaidǰȱIȱshouIdȱ
aIsoȱ¡oinlȱoulȱlhalȱoneȱcannolȱęndȱherȱbooksȱalȱSmaIIȱIressȱDislribulionȱorȱanyȱofȱlheȱolherȱ
usuaIȱhaunlsǯȱ Ilȱseemsȱasȱifȱissuesȱofȱdislribulionȱandȱ avaiIabiIilyȱarenȂlȱreaIIyȱissuesȱforȱ
McVarishȱȮȱlheyȱareȱnaluraIȱexlensionsȱofȱvhalȱmaĴersȱmoslȱȮȱlheȱvorkȱilseIfǯȱ
McVarishȱisȱlooȱyoungȱloȱhaveȱbeenȱaddressedȱinȱßeĴyȱßrighlȂsȱNo Longer Innocentǰȱaȱrecenlȱ
sludyȱ ofȱ bookȱ arlȱ inȱ Americaȱ lhalȱ coversȱ lvoȱ richȱ decadesȱ ofȱ aclivilyȱ belveenȱ ŗşŜŖȱ andȱ
ŗşŞŖǰȱsoȱIȱęndȱilȱ¡arlicuIarIyȱinlereslingȱlhalȱsheȱvasȱaskedȱloȱdesignȱlheȱcoverǰȱinȱessenceǰȱ
loȱ oěerȱ anȱ idenlilyȱ loȱ lheȱ eraȱ ofȱ herȱ chiIdhoodǯȱ Alȱ aȱ gIanceǰȱ ilȱ a¡¡earsȱ asȱ ifȱ sheȱ sim¡Iyȱ
o¡enedȱ aȱ mockȬu¡ȱ ofȱ ßrighlȂsȱ bookȱ ǻorȱ oneȱ onȱ aȱ simiIarȱ sub|eclǼȱ loȱ anȱ indexǰȱ sIa¡¡edȱ ilȱ
dovnȱonȱlheȱscannerȱandȱsenlȱilȱoěǰȱbulȱu¡onȱcIoserȱexaminalionȱlhisȱdesignȱincisesȱsomeȱ
ofȱ lheȱ recurrenlȱ crilicaIȱ ¡aradigmsȱ alȱ vorkȱ inȱ McVarishȂsȱ ¡oelicsǰȱ nameIyȱ ¡resenceȱ andȱ
absenceǰȱ cIarilyȱ andȱ iIIegibiIilyǰȱ andȱ lheȱ aculeȱ aĴenlionȱ sheȱ hasȱ broughlȱ loȱ lheȱ guĴerȱ forȱ
nearIyȱlvenlyȱyearsǯȱHereǰȱlheȱĚaĴenedȱlvoȬdimensionaIȱguĴerȱ¡orlraysȱlheȱbookȱasȱanȱ
oulsideȱfoIdedȱinȱȮȱanȱimmanenlIyȱ¡oIilicaIǰȱsociaIǰȱembeddedǰȱandȱinȱlhisȱcaseȱindexicaIȱ
hisloryȱ ofȱ lheȱ bookȱ ilseIfǯȱ Theȱ coverȱ doesnȂlȱ conceaIǰȱ ilȱ o¡ensǰȱ suggeslingȱ lhalȱ lheȱ bookǰȱ
anyȱbookǰȱisȱaIvaysȱo¡enȱǻIikeȱDucham¡ȂsȱDoorȱalȱŗŗȱrueȱLarreyǼǯȱTheȱ¡ageȱisȱaȱdynamicȱ
slruclureȱ inȱ s¡aceǰȱ nolȱ aȱ Ěalȱ sIee¡yȱ lhingǯȱ Aȱ guĴerȱ isȱ deęnedȱ byȱ lheȱ OIDȱ asȱ ȃlheȱ vhileȱ
s¡aceȱbelveenȱlheȱ¡agesȱofȱaȱbookǰȄȱaȱȃchanneIȱformingȱaȱrece¡lacIeȱforȱdirlȱorȱęIlhȄȱandȱaȱ
ȃshaIIovȱlroughȱęxedȱunderȱlheȱeavesȱofȱaȱroofǰȱorȱaȱchanneIȱrunningȱbelveenȱlvoȱsIo¡ingȱ
roofsǰȱloȱcarryȱoěȱlheȱrainȬvalerǯȄȱInȱurbanȱarchileclureǰȱasȱKevinȱLynchȱandȱolhersȱhaveȱ
noledǰȱlheȱguĴerȱisȱoneȱofȱlheȱmoslȱsignięcanlǰȱaIlhoughȱoĞenȱdiscreleǰȱas¡eclsȱofȱeĜcienlȱ
designǯȱTheȱsameȱisȱlrueȱofȱlheȱbookȱaccordingȱloȱGrahamȱMackinloshȱvhoȱnolesȱinȱhisȱ
briefȱessayȱ ȃMisȬenȬ¡ageǰȄȱȃǯȱǯȱǯoneȱ ofȱ lheȱmoslȱ annoyingȱ as¡eclsȱofȱmodernȱlradeȱbooksȱ
isȱ lheȱ ȁ¡inchingȂȱ lhalȱ goesȱ onȱ inȱ lheȱ guĴerǯȄȱ Inȱ vorksȱ asȱ variousȱ asȱ lhoseȱ designedȱ byȱ
WiIIiamȱMorrisǰȱ}anȱTschichoIdȱandȱIdȱRuschaǰȱlheȱguĴerȱǻandȱilsȱabsenceǼȱisȱaȱconsciousIyȱ
conslrucledȱnegaliveȱs¡aceȱasȱinlegraIȱasȱlheȱ¡osiliveǯ
Inȱ McVarishȂsȱ ‘S, ¡rinledȱ inȱ anȱ edilionȱ ofȱ śŖȱ inȱ ŘŖŖśǰȱ lheȱ vordsȱ ȃMYȱ WILLȬHOLDȱ HASȱ
WORNȱYOUȱTOȱAȱSLIIȂSȱTRANSIARINCYǯȱYOUȱWHISTLIȱASSURANCISȱßILLOWINGȱ
ǯȱǯȱǯȄȱa¡¡earȱinȱbIuishȬgrayȱinkȱ¡rinledȱfromȱsansȱserifȱly¡eȱǻlheȱhy¡henȱisȱredǼǯȱTheȱlexlȱ
runsȱ Iikeȱ aȱ slri¡ȱ ofȱ lickerla¡eȱ lhalȱ beginsȱ onȱ lheȱ lhirdȱ fromȱ ęnaIȱ ¡ageȱ ofȱ lheȱ bookȱ vilhȱ
lheȱIeĴerȱȃMǯȄȱTheseȱlvoȱsenlencesȱreadȱbackvardsȱǻmuchȱinȱlheȱvayȱlhalȱaȱ¡rinlerȱmuslȱ
IearnȱloȱreadȱIeĴerformsǼǯȱIrinledȱfromȱvoodly¡eǰȱlheȱbackvardsȱsenlenceȱvasǰȱaccordingȱ
loȱ McVarishǰȱ ȃ¡rinledȱ onȱ anolherȱ sheelȱ andȱ lhenȱ oěȬselȱ onȱ lheȱ sheelȱ usedȱ inȱ lheȱ bookȱ
Ȯȱ henceȱ lheȱ reversaIǯȱ ǻIȱ hadȱ lvoȱ ¡ressesȱ selȱ u¡DZȱ oneȱ vilhȱ lheȱ voodȱ ly¡eȱ andȱ oneȱ vilhȱ aȱ
IargeȱIinoIeumȱbIockȱlhalȱIȱusedȱforȱ¡ressureȱloȱlransferȱlheȱinkȱfromȱlheȱ¡rinledȱsheelȱonloȱ
anolherǯǼȱInȱorderȱloȱmakeȱsenseȱofȱlheȱlexlȱasȱilȱa¡¡earsȱaboveǰȱlheȱreaderȱmuslȱlurnȱlheȱ
¡agesȱfromȱbackȱloȱfronlǰȱhoIdingȱlheȱreversedȱvordȬfragmenlsȱinȱmindȱasȱlheyȱlraverseȱ
lheȱbookȂsȱguĴerǰȱ|um¡ingȱfromȱoneȱ¡ageȱloȱlheȱnexlǯȱTheȱfragmenlsȱaccumuIaleǰȱformingȱ
vordsǰȱandȱfromȱlheȱvordsǰȱaȱIineȱIikeȱaȱconlingenlȱs¡arkȱlhalȱrequiresȱseeingǰȱreadingȱandȱ
meaningȱloȱignileǯȱToȱmakeȱsenseȱofȱlheȱIineȱasȱsuchȱchaIIengesȱmyȱhabiluaIȱaĴenlionsȱasȱ
aȱreaderǰȱasȱifȱIȱvasȱdeci¡heringȱaȱIanguageȱIȱdidȱnolȱunderslandǯȱHereȱareȱlheȱsameȱlvoȱ
senlencesǯȱIȱhaveȱsubsliluledȱIineȬbreaksȱforȱ¡ageȬbreaksǯ
M
YȱWIL
LȱȮȱHOL
DȱHASȱ
Opposite:
Cover of
Betty Bright’s
No Longer
Innocent,
Granary Books
(2005).
98 ON
WORN
YOUȱT
OȱAȱS
LIIȂS
TRAN
SIARI
NCYǯȱYȱ
OUȱWH
ISTLI
ASSUR
ANCIS
ßILLO
WINGȱǯȱǯȱǯ
AIlhoughȱlhisȱarrangemenlȱhasȱdoneȱmomenlaryȱharmȱloȱMcVarishȂsȱarlǰȱIȱhaveȱ¡resenledȱ
lheȱlexlȱinȱlhisȱfashionȱonIyȱloȱshovȱhovȱherȱlexluaIȱseveringǰȱsynlaclicaIȱscrambIingȱandȱ
obfuscalionȱofȱlheȱvordȱcouIdȱbeȱaIignedȱvilhȱminimaIislȱandȱconce¡luaIȱ¡oelsȱIikeȱAramȱ
SaroyanȱandȱViloȱAcconciǰȱasȱveIIȱasȱformaIȱex¡erimenlsȱinȱcom¡osilionȱaĴribuledȱloȱNevȱ
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lhalȱreadsȱfronlȱloȱbackǰȱrighlȱloȱIeĞȱinȱredȱsansȱserifȱIeĴersȱofȱlheȱsameȱ¡oinlȱsizeDZ
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lheȱdriveȄȱȃandȱlheȱoulcomeȂsȄȱȃlrans¡arencyȄȱǻnexlȱ¡ageȬs¡readǼȱȃHomecomingǰȱhomeǰȄȱ
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unIimiledǰȱbulȱlheȱex¡eclalionȱofȱaȱcerlainȱinlendedȱmeaningȱbehindȱeveryȱcom¡osilionaIȱ
decisionȱ¡ersislsǰȱifȱonIyȱbecauseȱbelveenȱlheȱoIdeslȱruIesȱǽslyIeǰȱsizeǰȱorȱcoIorȱofȱcharaclersǰȱ
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convenlionsȱofȱreadingȱexislȱonȱeveryȱly¡ogra¡hicaIȱIeveIǰȱandȱlhisȱex¡eclalionȱofȱinlenlȱ
mayȱbeȱinęnileIyȱengagedǯȄ
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anȱ addressȱ bookǰȱ elcǯǰȱ eachȱ aȱ re¡resenlaliveȱ formȱ ofȱ addressǯȱ The Man Walkingȱ ¡resenlsȱ
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senseȱofȱurbanȱchaosȱvilhinȱreguIaledȱreclanguIarȱunilsǯȱMovingȱlhroughȱlheȱarchileclureȱ
ofȱlheȱcilyȱandȱlheȱarchileclureȱofȱlheȱbookȱsimuIlaneousIyǰȱlheȱreIalionshi¡ȱbelveenȱlexlȱ
andȱ imageȱ changesDzȱ ¡ers¡ecliveȱ shiĞsȱ inȱ aIarmingȱ andȱ unseĴIingȱ vaysȱ asȱ lheȱ narraliveȱ
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bookǰȱma¡ǰȱanȱunusuaIȱdirecloryȱlhalȱisȱaIsoȱlheȱsub|eclȱilȱdireclsǯȱIlȱconcIudesȱvilhȱlhisȱ
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underȱlheȱscrulinyȱofȱaȱgiganlicȱsloo¡edȱsiIhoueĴeȱofȱaȱmanȱIeaningȱinloȱlheȱforedgeȱsaysDZȱ
ȃNovǰȱ Ielȱ usȱ seeȱ Ȧȱ vhalȱ lheȱ sliIIȱ hoIdsȱ Ȧȱ inȱ sloreȱ forȱ usȱ ǯȱ ǯȱ ǯȱ ǯȄȱ Onȱ lheȱ lilIeȬ¡ageȱ lheȱ sameȱ
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boIdȱredȱca¡sȱlhalȱcIaimDZȱȃIVIRYȱMOMINTȱOIȱOURȱLIVISȄȱǻculȱloȱversoǼȱȃHASȱAȱHOLIȱ
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anȱ eyeǯȱ Threeȱ imagesȱ ofȱ ¡eo¡Ieȱ vaIkingȱ dovnȱ aȱ cilyȱ slreelȱ lhroughȱ memoryȂsȱ hazeǰȱ anȱ
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nolȱofȱreadingȱandȱvrilingǰȱbulȱofȱ¡hologra¡hyǯȄȱInleriorilyȱandȱexleriorilyȱengageȱinȱanȱ
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ascribedȱloȱindividuaIȱsub|eclivilyȱandȱideoIogyǯȱAȱso¡hislicaledȱvisuaIȱandȱlexluaIȱinleȬ
101 SCHLESINGER
gralionȱ inȱ lheȱ conce¡lionȱ andȱ designȱ ofȱ lheȱ vhoIeȱ isȱ carriedȱ onȱ lhroughoulǰȱ crealingȱ anȱ
indigenousȱgrammarȱandȱIexiconȱlhalȱęguresȱinȱaȱconlinuumȱlhalȱincIudesȱFlickerȱǻŘŖŖśǼǰȱ
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booksǯȱTheȱrichǰȱmidnighlȬ¡ur¡Ieȱ¡agesȱareȱcom¡osedȱofȱlhousandsȱofȱ¡iecesȱofȱIeadȱly¡eȱ
lurnedȱu¡sideȱdovnȱandȱ¡rinledȱasȱaȱsoIidȱmalrixȱsoȱlheȱfeelȱǻnolȱlheȱfaceǼȱareȱvhalȱcomesȱ
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sionȱslalicȱorȱbilma¡¡edȱdigilaIȱimagesȱaslonishingIyȱ¡roducedȱbyȱaȱlechnoIogyȱlhalȱhasȱ
exisledǰȱvilhȱreIaliveIyȱIiĴIeȱaIleralionǰȱforȱoverȱfourȱhundredȱyearsǯȱTheȱlexlǰȱmoslIyȱindiȬ
viduaIȱvordsȱgIeanedȱfromȱThe New Yorker and The Economistǰȱa¡¡earsȱinȱlheȱnonȬinkedȱ
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lheȱ lhemesȱ ofȱ lheȱ cilyȱ andȱ lheȱ Ěêncurǰȱ lhisȱ limeȱ inlroducingȱ lheȱ Ěickerȱ asȱ aȱ ru¡lureȱ inȱ
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belveenȱ ¡resenceȱ andȱ absenceȱ byȱ com¡Iicalingȱ reIalionsȱ belveenȱ negaliveȱ andȱ ¡osiliveȱ
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ȃIinguislicȱbricoIageȄȱbreakȱȮȱlhalȱisǰȱloȱgiveȱ¡auseȱandȱdeconslruclȱsimuIlaneousIyȱsoȱlhalǰȱ
lheȱ arlislȱ ex¡Iainsǰȱ ȃbyȱ lheȱ limeȱ aIIȱ lheȱ reIalionaIȱ IeveIsȱ areȱ ¡erceivedǰȱ manyȱ eěeclsȱ viIIȱ
haveȱ beenȱ Ioslǰȱ ifȱ onIyȱ byȱ com¡elilionȱ ǻlhoughȱ vhaleverȱ gra¡hicȱ eIemenlsȱ causedȱ lhemȱ
haveȱnolȱacluaIIyȱbeenȱeěacedǰȱandȱsoȱviIIȱsliIIȱbeȱlhereǰȱvyingȱloȱbeȱseenȱinȱlheȱ¡arlicuIarȱ
Ȯȱ¡arliaIȱȮȱconlexlȱvhichȱgivesȱlhemȱlheirȱsignięcanceǼȱandȱlhusǰȱlheȱideaȱofȱanȱevenlȱasȱthe
evenlȱmayȱveIIȱhaveȱbeenȱdeslroyedǯȄ

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