I just pictured Gary Lutz as a drug dealer on The Wire w/ “minions.”
“If I go so far as to say that at this point I had a minion, the most it can possibly mean is that once a year, toward the end of it, I had to drive from wherever I was letting myself be lived, wherever I had given for my life to keep being done to me, and this minion-person had to drive from his own whereabouts, where we could meet at a sandwich shop, where, years earlier, while overseeing his minion training, we had flirted w/ each other impatiently, wrongheartedly.”
Derek is very cool. I remember he befriended me on facebook when I was 18 and still in high school. We chatted through messages. I thought he was cool because he had a monkey in his profile picture. And then I checked our Calamari, and I thought, “Why is this guy talking to me when he should be all high and mighty like nearly every other publisher I’ve met” except Craig Snyder, who was, I think/feel, one the first person to publish online and make it hella cool. Officially up to 3 cools in this thing, so I’m at my limit. Word up to Calamari!
Supercession only happens when you imagine text/object as two separate things. The written word is not just an abstraction, it is actually required to be written. You’re undervaluing the power of the cooperation.
I am undervaluing the power of cooperation, maybe, but only because I might be, in your perception, overvaluing the power of affordability and readership.
I concede that image and packaging are inevitabilities of writing. I concede that a bound book turns more heads than a stapled book, and I concede that I prefer a bound book to a stapled-together book. But I do not agree with caring about the image so much that you are ok with making writing only available to exclusive readership. There is a limit, I think. Books aren’t Faberge eggs. They are practical means of distributing information. Being ok with consciously cordoning off art is something I’m not ok with.
Here’s where we have to disagree then: Books aren’t Faberge eggs. Unless they are. And a book as a practical means of distributing information is pigeon-holing it. A book can do that. But it can do other things.
And, to be certain, there are definitely presses that aim for minimalist, “let’s not let anything interfere between text and acquisition,” helvetically-minded pragmatic texts. There is no press-tyrant who’s forcing every published book to look a certain way regardless of content, as if that matters more, and thus supercedes, the text.
The exclusive readership is no different than the exclusive art collector. The point may not be recklessly spreading art to as many consumers as possible, but to create something that transcends the unfair notion that text is text first, image second. They’re both bound in the same visual culture as a unity. You should not be punished or condemned for allowing the imagistic side of writing to shine through.
It’s definitely an admitted personal preference on my part. I like writing so much because it is so bare bones, leaves so much to the imagination, so every time I see more focus on the stuff surrounding the text, or the manner of presentation of the text, I bristle.