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"Sometimes we drug ourselves with dreams of new ideas. The head will save us. The brain alone will set us free. But there are no new ideas still waiting in the wings to save us as women, as human. There are only old and forgotten ones, new combinations, extrapolations and recognitions from within ourselves, along with the renewed courage to try them out. And we must constantly encourage ourselves and each other to attempt the heretical actions our dreams imply and some of our old ideas disparage. In the forefront of our move toward change, there is only our poetry to hint at possibility made real. Our poems formulate the implications of ourselves, what we feel within and dare make real (or bring action into accordance with), our fears, our hopes, our most cherished terrors. For within structures defined by profit, by linear power, by institutional dehumanization, our feelings were not meant to survive. Kept around as unavoidable adjuncts or pleasant pastimes, feelings were meant to kneel to thought as we were meant to kneel to men. But women have survived. As poets. And there are no new pains. We have felt them all already. We have hidden that fact in the same place where we have hidden our power. They lie in our dreams, and it is our dreams that point the way to freedom. They are made realizable through our poems that give us the strength and courage to see, to feel, to speak, and to dare. If what we need to dream, to move our spirits most deeply and directly toward and through promise, is a luxury, then we have given up the core-the fountain-of our power, our womanness; we have give up the future of our worlds. For there are no new ideas. There are only new ways of making them felt, of examining what our ideas really mean (feel like) on Sunday morning at 7 AM, after brunch, during wild love, making war, giving birth; while we suffer the old longings, battle the old warnings and fears of being silent and impotent and alone, while tasting our new possibilities and strengths." -- Audre Lorde, "Poetry is not a luxury"

"Navigate the metaphor, cut and past it into the here and now." -- Paul Miller, Rhythm Science, 28
"Curiosity is a vice that has been stigmatized in turn by Christianity, by philosophy, and even by a certain conception of science. Curiosity, futility. The word, however, pleases me. To me it suggests something altogether different: it evokes 'concern'; it evokes the care one takes for what exists and could exist; a readiness to find strange and singular what surrounds us; a certain relentlessness to break up our familiarities and to regard otherwise the same things; a fervor to grasp what is happening and what passes; a casualness in regard to the traditional hierarchies of the important and the essential.
"I dream of a new age of curiosity. We have the technical means for it; the desire is there; the things to be known are infinite; the people who can employ themselves at this task exist. Why do we suffer? From too little: from the channels that are too narrow, skimpy, quasi-monopolistic, insufficient. There is no point in adopting a protectionist attitude, to prevent 'bad' information from invading and suffocating the 'good.' Rather, we must multiply the paths and the possibility of comings and goings." (Michel Foucault, "The Masked Philosopher"; epigraph to Daston and Park 1998

‘Leave everything. Leave Dada. Leave your wife, leave your mistress. Leave your hopes and fears. Leave your children in the corner of a wood. Leave the substance for the shadow. Leave your easy life… Set out on the road.’ //Andre Breton, from Littérature no. 2 (April 1922)

"Adopt symmetries and rhythms instead of principles. Oppose world systems and acts of state by transforming them into a phrase or a brush stroke. The distancing devise is the stuff of life. Let us be thoroughly new and inventive. Let us rewrite life every day. What we are celebrating is both buffoonery and a requiem mass." (Hugo Ball, Flight Out of Time, 12.III)
"Men may dream in demonstrations, and cut out an illusory world in the shape of axioms, definitions, and propositions, with a final exclusion of fact signed Q.E.D. No formulas for thinking will save us mortals from mistake in our iimperfect apprehension of the matter to be thought about . . . [and] the unemotional intellect may carry us into a mathematical dreamland where nothing is but what is not." -- George Eliot, Daniel Deronda, quoted in McKenzie 2002; for use with Logic of Sense project?
"Merz poetry is abstract. In analogy with merz painting it uses as given parts complete sentences from newspapers, billboards, catalogues, conversations, etcetera, with or without changes. (That is ter- rible.) These parts do not have to fit in with the meaning, because there is no more meaning. (That is also terrible.) There are no more elephants either, there are only parts of the poem. (That is terrible.) And you? (De- sign war loans!) Determine for yourselves what is poem, what is frame." -- Kurt Schwitters

Milton, Areopagitica; books have "a potencie of life" since "they preserve as in a violl the purest efficacie and extraction of that living intellect which bred them ... a good book is the pretious life0blood of a master-spirit, imbalm'd and treasur'd up on purpose to a life beyond life" (qtd on 23 in McKenzie 1986)

  • for use with book-flowers project?

Cicero's librarian-slave Dionysus making off with his books (Casson 2001, 71-2)

Cassiodorus; created model monastery named Vivarium after ponds for raising fish nearby; had library (Casson 2001, 144)

"the London 'polyglotte' of 1657 was announced by a prospectus which boasted of its superiority to all prior editions (in terms which were later echoed by Bishop Sprat in his praise of the Royal Society)." (Eisenstein 1983, 68)

"SELL YOUR LANDS, your house, your clothes and your jewelry; burn up your books. On the other hand, buy yourselves stout shoes, travel to the mountains, search the valleys, the deserts, the shores of the sea and the deepest depressions of the earth: note with care the distinctions between animals, the differences of plants, the various kinds of minerals, the properties and mode of origin of everything that exists. BE NOT ASHAMED to study diligently the astronomy and terrestrial philosophy of the peasantry. Lastly, PURCHASE COAL, build furnaces, watch and operate with the fire without wearying. In this way and no other, you will arrive at a knowledge of things and their properties." (Peter "Severinus" Soerensson, Idea Medicinae Philosophiae, 1571)

Saturday, October 2, 2010; Neatness Counts: Essays on the Writer's Desk, by Kevin Kopelson.

"'People are lines,' Deleuze suggests. As lines, people thread together social, political, and cultural elements." (Galloway and Thacker 2007 35)

Dunhuang Library -- collection of 40,000 ancient documents found sealed in a cave; collection split up and sent around the world, now being digitally reconstituted:

Olia Elin, "Still There" -- extended essay on Geocities, its importance and archiving:

"With these sound poems we should renounce language, devastated and made impossible by journalism. We should withdraw into the innermost alchemy of the word, and even surrender the word, thus conserving for poetry its most sacred domain. We should refuse to make poems second-hand; we should stop taking over words (not to mention sentences) which we did not invent entirely anew for our own use. We should no longer be content to achieve poetic effects which, in the final analysis, are but echoes of inspiration …" -- Hugo Ball on notes to Gadji Beri Bimba


"By 1801, Joseph-Marie Jacquard had developed punch cards to hold encoded mechanical patterns for use in his looms. The art of weaving, allowed some human flexibility as a handicraft, was translated into the hard, coded grammar of algorithmic execution." (Galloway and Thacker 2007 112-3)

Ovid, Metamorphoses

  • IV.62: daughters of Minyas tell stories while weaving; at the end, their tapestries turn into living vines
  • VI.1: Arachne challenges Athena to a weaving match, is turned into a spider
  • VI.830: Philomela can't speak because Tereus has cut out her tongue; so she weaves her story and sends the tapestry to her sister Procne

dedicatory preface to Gerard's Herball (1597): "For if delight may prouoke mens labour, what greater delight is htere than to behold the earth apparelled with plants, as with a robe of imbroidered worke, set with orient pearles, and garnished with great diuersitie of rare and costly iewels?" (see Early botany books)

Marvell, "Upon Appleton House"; Isabel Thwaites at Appleton House when it was a nunnery: "Whence in these words one to her weaved, / (As 'twere by chance) thoughts long conceived" (XII/95-6); "'When we have prayed all our beads / Someone the holy legend reads; / While all the rest with needles paint / The face and graces of the saint. / But what the linen can't receive / They in their lives do interweave. / This work the saints best represents; / That serves for altar's ornaments.'" (XVI)

see Rees 2003 on Cavendish's Assaulted and Pursued Chastity and the heroine Travellia's relationship to Penelope; "Cavendish identifies and seizes upon an opportunity to execute a literary transition from the occupation of needlework, or the creation of textiles, to the occupation of writing, that is, the creation of a text" (107)

  • Linda Woodbridge, "Patchwork: Piecing the Early Modern Mind in England's First Century of Print Culture"
  • J. Hillis Miller, Ariadne's Thread: Story Lines
  • Cavendish says she writes in her husband's absence in the same way Penelope wove in Ulysses's absence (qtd on pg 108 in Rees 2003)

Spenser, amoretti, Sonnet 71

"Much of the time, which she might readily have applied to the better efforts of her art, she employed in making coarse garments for the poor. It is probable that there was an idea of penance in this mode of occupation, and that she offered up a real sacrifice of enjoyment in devoting so many hours to such rude handiwork. She had in her nature a rich, voluptuous, Oriental characteristic—a taste for the gorgeously beautiful, which, save in the exquisite productions of her needle, found nothing else, in all the possibilities of her life, to exercise itself upon. Women derive a pleasure, incomprehensible to the other sex, from the delicate toil of the needle. To Hester Prynne it might have been a mode of expressing, and therefore soothing, the passion of her life. Like all other joys, she rejected it as sin. This morbid meddling of conscience with an immaterial matter betokened, it is to be feared, no genuine and steadfast penitence, but something doubtful, something that might be deeply wrong beneath." -- Scarlet Letter

Spitalfields; weaver's windows on Fournier Street

Joseph Addison on Virgil's Georgics [or Eclogues?]

"Last spring, the tech entrepreneur David Orban proposed that his fellow Bitcoin evangelists adopt ‘weaving’ rather than ‘mining’ as their metaphor for the work of encoding and recording the public ledger of Bitcoin transactions. ‘Weavers,’ he wrote, ‘take the intertwined threads and through their expert, value-added activity create a strong fabric – which is exactly what the global distributed network of computers creating the Bitcoin Blockchain does!’" -- from "Losing the Thread," by Virginia Postrel:; see

People <--> Trees

Ovid, Metamorphoses I.754-762; VII.910ff (ants falling from trees become people falling from trees); VIII.1005f, Baucis and Philemon become trees for their piety; VIII.1069, Erysichthon cuts down the oak, which bleeds; IX.511ff, Dryope turns into a tree for plucking the lotus flower; X.190: Cyparissus becomes the cypress tree; X.580-610: Myrrha becomes a tree which Adonis is born from; XI110: women who kill Orpheus turn to oaks;

Dante, suicides come to 8th circle of hell as a tree

Virgil, Aeneid, III.30; plant bleeds and groans when pulled from the earth


"History -- the way it is presented -- is a fraud, because it diminishes the act of our own touching of the past." from Fielding Dawson's The Black Mountain Book, "Notes from Olson's Class," pg. 98
"FOR him I sing, / I raise the present on the past, / (As some perennial tree out of its roots, the present on the past,) / With time and space I him dilate and fuse the immortal laws, / To make himself by them the law unto himself." -- Walt Whitman, "For Him I Sing"
"When we think of the world's future, we always mean the destination it will reach if it keeps going in the direction we can see it going in now; it does not occur to us that its path is not a straight line but a curve, constantly changing direction." (Wittgenstein, Culture and Value, 3e)
"The past cannot exist 'in' time, because time cannot be any sort of frame within which anything can exist. By western definitions, time is something other than space, and yet it is incessantly portrayed as something spatial: as a line, a frame, a background, a landscape, and as having orientation. In common usage, the past is behind us and the future is ahead. We speak of the distant past and the gulf of time that separates us from the ancients. These spatial metaphors for time are ubiquitous because they are grounded metaphors, arising from the spatial experience of time. In nature, time—by itself—has no being whatsoever. It is a mere measurement of spatial motion. But human, or lived time is another matter. Experiential, memorial time is very real because it takes place. The past cannot exist in time: only in space. Histories representing the past represent the places (topoi) of human action. History is not an account of ‘change over time,’ as the cliche´ goes, but rather, change through space. Knowledge of the past, therefore, is literally cartographic: a mapping of the places of history indexed to the coordinates of spacetime." (David Ethington, "Placing the Past: ‘Groundwork’ for a Spatial Theory of History", 465-6)
"What we call history is the history of the word. In the beginning of that history was the word." (Burroughs, Ticket That Exploded, 50)
"Suicide or abstention, why would you choose to do nothing?---This is your only time on earth, and because of an event I'll explain, there's no such thing as a Present, no---a present doesn't exist . . . For lack of the Crowd's declaring itself, for lack of --- everything. Uninformed is he who would proclaim himself his own contemporary, deserting or usurping with equal imprudence, when the past seems to cease and the future to stall, in view of masking the gap. Outside of those All-Paris occasions whose job is to propagate faith in the quotidian nothingness, and inexpert if the plague measures its period to a fragment, important or not, of a century." (Mallarme, Divigations, About the Book, "Restricted Action" 218)
"History may try to break its ties to memory; it may make the schemas of memory more elaborate, superpose and shift coordinates, emphasize connections, or deepen breaks. The dividing line, however, is not there. The dividing line passes not between history and memory but between punctual 'history-memory' systems and diagonal or multilinear assemblages, which are in no way eternal: they have to do with becoming; they are a bit of becoming in the pure state; they are transhistorical." (Deleuze and Guattari 1998 296)
"Everything is what we are, and everything will be, for those who come after us in the diversity of time, what we will have intensely imagined -- what we, that is, by embodying our imagination, will have actually been. The grand, tarnished panorama of History amounts, as I see it, to a flowe of interpretations, a confused consensus of unreliable witness accounts. The novelist is all of us, and we narrate whenever we see, because seeing is complex like everything." (Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet, 27 [page 30])
"Memory and history, far from being synnymous, appear now to be in fundamental opposition. Memory is life, borne by living societies founded in its name. It remains in permanent evolution, opent o the dialectic of remembering and forgetting, unconscious of its successive deformations, vulnerable to manipulation and to appropriation, susceptible to being long dormant and periodically revived. History, on the other hand, is the reconstruction, always problematic and incomplete, of what is no longer. Memory is a perpetually actual phenomenon, a bond tying us to the eternal present; history is a representation of the past." -- Pierre Nora, "Between Memory and History" (Intro to Les lieux de memoire),
"Urizen saw & envied & his imagination was filled / Repining he contemplated the past in his bright sphere / Terrified with his heart & spirit at the visions of futurity / That his dread fancy formd before him in the unformd void" -- William Blake, Four Zoas, Night 2

Chronotope: "A term taken over by Mikhail Bakhtin from 1920s science to describe the manner in which literature represents time and space. In different kinds of writing there are differing chronotopes, by which changing historical conceptions of time and space are realised." --

Movable Books

Movable Book Society

histories of pop-up and movable books

"Movable Books: An Illustrated History"

Livres Animes

Pop Goes the Page: Movable and Mechanical Books from the Brenda Forman Collection

see Harkness 2007 (esp. chapter 3) on Elizabethan mathematical instruments

a few images of volvelles from the Grolier club exhibit (and Helfand's book):

to write about

casket mentioned on Swain 1990, 10

trade between cloth and paper; letters sewn, sealed with silk floss; paper embroidered, used to stiffen needlework like gloves in Cat. 34, Morrall and Watt 2008

see Foot 1998 55, Elkanah Settle

Leonhard Thurnheisser, collaborative printshops as natural history museums

on men writing funeral sermons for godly women; search Rainbowe

disruptive animals, bugs in the system; Grace Hopper, squirrels (, jellyfish (, Ellen Ullman's "The Bug"; Jussi Parikka, Insect Media

to learn

EEBO oddities

Note: If you aren't affiliated with Duke University, you need to remove "" from the URLs below for the following links to work.

flap or moving part? at the very end

manuscript wastepaper used

drawings, notes


eating away the page

test pages, messages

unknown weirdness

book still in sheets?

marbled endpapers

thumb of scanner visible:

book finished as a manuscript:


Dan Powell, "EEBO and the Infinite Weirdness":

Shakespeare & Book History

Erne, Shakespeare and the Book Trade

Erne and Kidnie, Textual Performances

A Concise Companion to Shakespeare and the Text

Murphy, Shakespeare in Print

Massai, Shakespeare and the Rise of the Editor

Early Modern Pattern Poems

Trade with Turkey

The Turkish Embassy Letters, By Lady Mary Wortley Montagu


Claes Oldenburg, "Scissors as Monument"

"When Louis F. Anderson took over the editorship of the Houma Ceres in 1856, he admitted that he was “not…very distinguished as a ‘knight of the gray goose quill,'” but assured his new readers that “our pen will not lead us into difficulty” because “our ‘principal assistant,’ the scissors, will be called into frequent requisition—believing as we do, that a good selection is always preferable to a bad editorial” (June 28, 1856)." AND "Antebellum editors frequently touted careful selection over original composition through both serious and satirical commentary on their medium. Cheeky complaints about stolen scissors appear in many newspapers. In “A Scissorless Editor,” the theft of an editor’s scissors is lamented as “a sad dilemma,” because “[a]n editor unscissored is something like a dragoon unhorsed,” while a squib in the Edgefield Advertiser ran in full: “The Cornered Editor.—’Oh Jerusalem! here’s a nice fix! An original article to write, and somebody’s stolen the scissors!'” (February 19, 1852)." -- Ryan Cordell, "Reprinting, Circulation, and the Network Author in Antebellum Newspapers" -


Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Circles" --

The Dictascrivener, 1898 --


Duchamp, "roto reliefs"

Orville Ward Owen, "cipher wheel" to decipher secrets re Shakespeare's non-authorship:

Dada primary text sources

[precursor: 1912: Kandinsky, Klänge]

1916: Richard Huelsenbeck, Fantastic Prayers

1919: Kurt Schwitters, An Anna Blume

1921: Compiled by Huelsenbeck, Dada Almanac

Hugo Ball, Flight Out of Time: A Dada Diary

Picabia, Fifty-Two Mirrors

Hans Arp, Cloud Pump

Book Illustration

Engravings inserted:

Engravings with letterpress?

Saint Wenefride:

Mourning blocks

Wade's Boat

E. H. W. Meyerstein, "Wade's Boat":;view=1up;seq=7