discounting the dropped words (and the mangled French words in the English translation in a quotation from Georges Perec [1974] “Attempt at an Inventory of the Liquid and Solid Foodstuffs Ingurgitated by Me in the Course of the Year Nineteen Hundred and Seventy-Four”), there are to be found two instances of dropped letters in Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age (Columbia University Press, 2011) by Kenneth Goldsmith.

[p. 136] quoting from a Sol LeWitt contract between artist and draftsman

“The draftsman perceives the artist’s plan, the[n] reorders it to his own experience and understanding”

[p. 142] in a quotation from Roland Barthes “The Death of the Author”

“We might regret this insincerity, but we should not be able to withhold o[u]r admiration”

The one instance marks a temporal disturbance [the/then]; the other, a fusion of selectivity and subjectivity [or/our]. These are little boxes. They open the text up to dérive.

They become for me readable instances where the dropped letter “u” and “n” shout back out to the “uncreative”. Undoing requires attention to detail and an openness to semiotic flow. A commitment to practice. (A while back I found some interesting typographic events in Avital Ronell’s The Telephone Book which served as affordances for further reading, drrring.)

What is here play with tracing a field of associations through reading typographical errors as meaningful is a type of shadowboxing with language. Goldsmith evokes such box and shadow play by analogy to cellphone use in public.

Everyone is intensely aware of the phenomenon of public cell phone use, most viewing it as inconsiderate, a nuisance. But I like to think of it as a release, a new level of textual richness, a reimagining of public discourse, half conversations resulting in a breakdown of narrative, a city full of mad people spewing remarkable soliloquies. It used to be this type of talk was limited to the insane and the drunken; today everyone shadowboxes language.

Though texting may have overtaken cellphone conversation, there is still the kernel of truth in the notion of shadowboxing language. We pick up pieces and with enough runway we lift off undetered …

And so for day 1320

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