A Daily History of Holes, Dots, Lines, Science, History, Math, the Unintentional Absurd & Nothing |1.6 million words, 7500 images, 4 million hits| Press & appearances in The Times, Le Figaro, MENSA, The Economist, The Guardian, Discovery News, Slate, Le Monde, Sci American Blogs, Le Point, and many other places... 4,200+ total posts
I have developed a sort-of collection in the History of Blank and Empty Things series of not-filled-in applications and diaries and questionnaires and such, from Hitler Jugend diaries to notebooks for Nazi Warsaw telephone directories to applications for membership in the Women's KKK, and so on. This small installment comes on the back inside cover of Labor Conscription, What Does it Mean...Involuntary Servitude!, a hopeful ad for the reader who might be interested in Socialism and receive the magazine People Weekly, as this far Left pamphlet was after all published by the New York Labor News Company on behalf of the Socialist Labor Party U.S.A. This of course in no way bears any resemblance to the modern People Magazine, the fruits and labor of that periodical being sweets and fats.
I saved this image many years ago, and unfortunately I do not have a year/location/maker, nothing at all, just the print. I reckon that the print is in a Baroque style, I think, highly manner and ornate and detailed, and quite empty where there should be obvious detail, as these are the spaces that the eye is directed to by the other elements of the design, except that there is nothing there. No doubt this was designed for an identifying purpose, though that perhaps had not yet been determined.
It is a little curious that the frieze shows a merry peasant party; curiouser still are the three people and a dog on the upper balcony--the middle person seems otherwise engaged in who-knows-what.
As it stands, this is a good candidate for the Blank, Empty, and Missing Things series.
Hans Trzebiatowsky & Karl Spaethe--two engineers turned propagandists--wrote the study/notebook for "students" working through modern German history, Merk- und Arbeitsblatter fuer Reichskunde, which was published in Magdeburg in 1941. It was very successful, as the title page states that this edition ("18...23 Auflage") was the "1058 ,,, 1035, Thausend" which seems to put the print run over one million. Given that there were 66 million people in Germany in 1940, and that 6.6 million were soldiers, this may mean that just about every child between the ages of 12-17 had one of these--in any event, if those publication numbers were accurate, then the publication must have been ubiquitous.
The paperback publication is tall (about 12") and densely written, and for all of that is only 24 pages long. It is designed with perforation along the left-hand edge of the sheets so that the page could be removed and gathered in a two-ring binder. After dealing with the first and second Reichs in pages 1 and 2, the rest of the issue is a history and philosophy lesson on the Third Reich, presented for the Hitler Jugend in the best interests of the Nationalsozialistche Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei.
The images in the publication were striking, and even for a bored general student or Hitler Youth could have lazily flipped through these pages without noticing them and having soem sort of message delivered. For example, this map that shows the state of the alliances in WWI and how the rest of the world outside of these allies stood against Germany:
(Map is about 100% larger than the original)
It should be understood though that the booklet was most definitely not a picture book for kids, as it was detail-heavy and brimming with Nazi needs:
The book was definitely intended for instruction, as the back of every sheet of text is a 40-line ruled notebook page, ready for note--my copy hasn't a word in it.
Manuscripts (MSS), edited by Paul Rosenfeld in New York, 1922-23, was a Small Magazine, a wonderful Dadaist publication with contributions from the leading artisitc/intellectual community including Georgia O'Keefe, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, John Marin, Charles Demuth, and many others. What I'm writing about right now is issue #5--appearing in March 1923--of the six (total) issues that were printed of this short-lived and very highly spirited magazine--the issue shockingly emerged from a box in the studio last night. The striking cover was designed by Georgia O'Keefe, and underneath the cover for issue #5 "one of the most remarkable issues" (according to the Dada Once and For All catalog by Ex Libris in 1983), was the work of the critic and Stieglitz-supporter Herbert Seligmann.
All this aside, what really struck me was the broadside "review" tucked into the twelve-page publication--a very segmented, highly typefaced and fonted (sorry!), very creative look at the composer Edgard Varese's Hyperprism, a very adventurous work for wind, brass, and percussion instruments was completed in 1922 and revised in 1923, and then obviously reviewed by Seligmann in this issue of MSS in 1923. Varese (1887-1965) was a very-modern modernist whose reference to his music as "sound-mass" (among many other things of course) that was in a way similar to the process of crystallization/chemical crystallography gives an insight into the name of the piece to be performed. The review admonished "This is a Serious Work, Those Who Don't Like It PLEASE GO" among other such tidy phraselets. I reproduce this fantastic little gem below:
Also if you'd like to listen to it:
By the way Music and Modern Art by James Leggio reproduces (on page 141) the Varese review as a full-page illustration.
See also Herbert Seligmann, Alfred Stieglitz Talking: Notes on Some of his Conversation, 1925- 1931, New Haven: Yale University Library 1966, for more on MSS.
For more on MSS:
All six issues reproduced at Monoskop, here: https://monoskop.org/MSS
Full text of the MSS Number 5 https://monoskop.org/images/3/3d/MSS_5_Mar_1923.pdf
And this from issue #5 on the previous issue of the magazine: "MSS. Number One contained writings by Sherwood Anderson, Kenneth Burke, Waldo Frank, Paul Rosenfeld, Herbert J. Seligmann, William Carlos Williams. MSS. Number 2 contained writings by John Marin, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Charles Duncan. MSS. Number 3 was entitled "What Is True Art?" by J. B. Kerfoot and W. Rhea Moreau. MSS. Number 4 was entitled "Can A Photograph Have The Significance Of Art?" by Sherwood Anderson, Thomas H. Benton, Ernest Bloch, Oscar Bluemner, Stephan Bourgeois, Gilbert Cannan, Charles Chaplin, Thomas J. Craven, Elizabeth Davidson, Charles Demuth, Marius De Zayas, Arthur G. Dove, Marcel Duchamp, Alfeo Faggi, Waldo Frank, Hutchins Hapgood, J. B. Kerfoot, Gaston Lachaise, Walter Lippmann, John Marin, Kenneth Hayes Miller, George F. Of, Georgia O'Keeffe, Leo Ornstein, Joseph Pennell, Carl Sandburg, Evelyn Scott, Charles Sheeler, Leo Stein, S. Macdonald Wright, Carl Zigrosser, Bibliography. The price of MSS. Number 5 is 15 cents. Subscription to 10 numbers one dollar. The entire cost of this MSS. Number 5 is the printing bill of $130.00 for the present edition of 1,000 copies, presented by Clarence S. Nathan, Inc., and paid by the Tin Whistle Fund. Each author is solely responsible for what appears over his signature. Complaints should be sent to individual authors. Subscriptions will be received by Herbert J. Seligmann, 129 East 10th Street, New York City. Donations of money will be received with thanks by the same. For the cover design: apologies to "Dada" (American), Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, and acknowledgment to "Anonymous." Copyright, 1923, by Herbert J. Seligmann."--from page 2 of MSS Number 5.
This quote is from (Rabi) Israel Goldstein as head of the Zionist Organization of America appeal and addresses the British White Paper of 1939 on Palestine and allowing Jews to immigrate to escape "the hands of the Nazi executioner" in Europe, which amongst many other things limited Jewish immigration to 75,000 for 5 years (1939-1944) with limits of further immigration to be determined by the Arab majority. "Were our pleas for the opening of the doors of Palestine headed in the past few years, at least 300,000 lives would have been saved. Unfortunately, even the immigration of Jews within the limited quota of the White Paper was not facilitated as it might have been" wrote Goldstein in this address.
There is a long and complicated history to the White Paper but suffice to say that while millions of Jews were being slaughtered in Europe the restrictive White Paper remained in place, which meant that the haven for escape to Palestine was largely closed relative to the numbers of people needing to be saved, and that at the end of the war there were still 3000+ visas that hadn't yet been granted. Goldstein makes the case for the extreme peripheral usefulness of the Paper in 1939, but in 1944 when the Axis influence in the Middle East was extremely minor adhering to the white Paper was a tragedy: "if the White Paper was unwise and unworthy then, it is more shameful and baseless now" he wrote.1 ("The Provisional Council of Israel's first constitutional act [in 1948] was a Proclamation that "All legislation resulting from the British Government's White Paper of May, 1939, will at midnight tonight become null and void."--Wiki on the White Paper of 1939.)
Goldstein hoped for a change in the policy--there would be none.
Israel Goldstein (June 18, 1896 – 1986) was an influential Jewish leader in the U.S. and worldwide as a Rabi (and head of the New York Board of Rabis), head of the Jewish National Fund (elected in 1933), head of the Zionist Organization of America (elected 1943), and one of the founders of Brandeis University. The full text of the publication--which was printed sometime between March 30, 1944 and May 30, 1944--is included below. I can find no mention of the communication online.
1. Goldstein wrote in his memoirs that the rules and restrictions of the White Paper on Jewish immigration were being "rigidly and brutally enforced". --My World as a Jew: The Memoirs of Israel Goldstein, Volume 2, pg 47.
[“Like another black curtain about to be rolled down upon the last hope of escape, the White Paper of 1939 ominously threatens to close all further migration to Palestine,”--Judge Morris Rothenburg, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, http://www.jta.org/1943/09/13/archive/dr-israel-goldstein-elected-president-of-zionist-organization-of-america]
I have been surprised by the strength and endurance of this series on blank and missing people--astonished, really, that there would be so much that would present itself in such incidental ways. I do not go out of my way to find these things, they just come to me in the course of daily living; perhaps if I looked for them I would see them less frequently.
Mr. 52 and Mr. 53 are part of a group picture of Esteemed British Yachtsmen in the 24 August 1884 issue of The Graphic magazine--it is actually a smartly-conceived thumbnail image index of a double-page photo, an easily-readable key to a complex photo. The effect of taking it out of context, though, is remarkable, turning the index into a wood engraving of number-only-blank-faced people with facial hair attributes.
It happens now and then that I unearth interesting bits from the pamphlet collection here that instantly create their own categorization--this in spite of already having a hundred sculpted categories. Works like this demand a deeper inspection to sustain their uncommon non-bond with other similar but not-so works. On the face of it, Fairchild's Nature's Laws... looks like just another quack medical remedy/cure/belief system (or suspension thereof), except that on closer inspection there is more text regarding the product on the pamphlet's covers than in the work itself. The thing does wind up being 36pp long, but it is most testimonial and promise--after all, you can't say all that much abut secret ingredients for the "liver patch" that you were supposed to wear, and you couldn't say much about the medical inventiveness and foundation behind it because there wasn't any. So I guess you fill space with words that aren't necessarily connected to anything and that collectively had no value, much like a year's worth of Trumpian nothingness. Anyway, there's a lot going on on teh covers of this pamphlet, and much like what is going on inside of it, it all adds up to chicken scratches.
D.W. Fairchild. Nature's Laws; New Ideas Concerning Them. A Medical Lecture Delivered in Wesleyan Hall, Boston, on Friday Evening, March 30, 1877...Illustrating the Principles of Absorption, as Developed in the Holman Liver Pad...copied from the Boston Daily Globe of Saturday, March 31st, 1877. 22x14.5cm, 36pp. Printed by the Holman Liver Pad Company, 1877. WorldCat/OCLC locates only two print copies and many others in microform.
(This is an expanded version of an earlier post from 2008, more than 4000 posts ago. I'm reposting it here on the top of the heap today because no doubt the only person who would see the revised version left under the burden of a million other words would be me, so here it is, new-ish and fresh.)
I’ve made several posts about Blank and Missing People which seem to me—having had long exposure to images over the last 30 years—to be quite unusual in the history of popular-published prints. This may actually be a simple corollary to a wider category of Blank Things, or Missing Things. Like Dark Matter. Or white, open, blank spaces on early, honest, maps. (And this may be part of another larger story on The Spaces in Between, (a concept in German known as Zwischenraum), but that’s another story, identifying where the missing stuff might actually “be”.
Right now though I’d like to address blank spaces in literature. It is surprising to me that in Google searches that “blank books” and “blank literature” and “books without words” (once you remove all of the hits for new diaries and new artists’ notepads and such) direct you to graphic novels. This category hardly strikes me as being “blank” as the art and action more than accommodate the absence of written words. (And by the way the graphic novel seems to be a fairly new invention—perhaps the work of Frans Masereel and Rockwell Kent in producing sequential, worldess books were among the first of their genre when they were published in the mid-1920’s?)
Blank literature doesn't mean hollow literature. In one skinny example James Fenimore Cooper's writings may be a little translucent and a little empty, but they aren't blank. (Twain ripped Cooper on this point, cursing Cooper for using a bagful of woodsy woodsmen tricks to drive his story when he should’ve been writing, and not waiting for them to fill up the spaces of his missing narrative: "in his little box of stage properties he kept six or eight cunning devices, tricks, artifices for his savages and woodsmen to deceive and circumvent each other with, and he was never so happy as when he was working these innocent things and seeing them go...(another) favorite stage property that he pulled out of his box pretty frequently was his broken twig. He prized his broken twig above all the rest of hi effects, and worked it hardest..."
An excruciatingly direct example of the worldess book is a remarkable, hoaxing or perhaps just simply demented set (!) of books by Timothy Dexter (Newburyport, Massachusetts). Dexter wrote a semi-incompressible work called A Pickle for the Knowing Ones, which followed his own logic, sentence structure, vocabulary and spelling. It was also printed and published without punctuation. In one sentence. (A sample is found below in the continued reading section.) I think that it is interesting in that someone did it and that it exists and that it was printed in 1802, but aside from that I find little comfort or twisty inspiration from it. His second edition of that work though is much more interesting, not so much in that it continued ((?), I use that word loosely) the shredded intellectual threads laid out in the first edition; it also contains one page of what I think of as a blank book: the missing punctuation marks from the first edition.
Well, not ALL of the missing punctuation, but enough, in the mind of Dexter, to silence some of the complaints of the more faint-hearted readers of his one-sentence, non-punctuated, made-up vocabulary of the first edition. He at least provides the punctuation--separately--in case a weak reader needed some:
[Image from a good treatment of Dexter at http://northofboston.org/north-of-boston-historical-figures-a-pickle-for-your-thoughts/]
He writes “Fourder mister printer the Nowing ones complane of my book the fust edition had no stops I put A nuf here and that may peper and solt as they please."
That's much in the spirit of Spongebob Squarepants and Patrick Star when they "discovered" the use of swear words and curses, which they figured had no meaning except as a sort of comfrot food to be sprinkled in conversation for flavoring--"sentence enhancers" they called them, without knowing (of course!) that their sounds were more than simple garnishes and intellectual punctuation.
It is a brilliantly empty book, all of the characterization present and waiting for the last bit that would make this a book: the words.
The depths or shallownesses of Dexter's private insight is a mystery to me, if that mystery extended beyond an elaborate and peculiar (and deep) sense of humor. The man was a successful if not very odd businessman, after all, so he did have some sort of regulating principle in his life--its just that this sort of dark, removed humor is so incredibly pre-modern that I've gotten stuck thinking about Dexter being a little deranged rather than be prescient.
JF Ptak Science Books Post 712 (from 2011, extended, with a full text scan of Children Who Work in the Nation's Crops by Gertrude Folks Zimand, National Child Labor Committee, 1939.)
“The history of childhood is a nightmare from which we have only recently begun to awaken…” Lloyd Demause
"Give me other mothers and I will give you a better world." St. Augustine, (who does not mention fathers in this context).
The history of kindness to children is a wicked road to tread—I’m not sure why I’m even thinking about it had I the subject not been awakened by bumping into the map seen below. Without any real directed reading on the topic I’ve intuitively felt that “childhood” as an idea, as a part of human development in the Western world, was a young, newish innovation. The simplest way to perhaps measure this is looking for representations of children as children in Medieval and Renaissance art—that is to say children drawn not as little/miniature adults, but drawn as children actually appear. This does not happen very much at all in the early Renaissance, and virtually never happens in the Medieval. Even when looking for images of Christ as a baby in early art it is far more likely to find him depicted as a little man than it is to see him as a child. Children certainly seem to make more appearances as themselves in book illustration (excepting the obvious works on anatomy and childbirth) beginning in the early 16th century, and I’ve a number of reproductions here of children with learning-to-walk walkers and toys from this period. So at the very least the recognition of the concept of difference in very very young adults as “children” in art took a much longer (and unexpected at least to me) time to develop as a concept. And this is only the barest concept, at least recognizing childhood as a stage of development, which doesn’t necessarily say anything about the aspect of kindnesses expressed to them simply because of this stature. That’s an entirely different story.
One way to measure this aspect of childhood--the history of kindness towards children--is in terms of how much work society allowed them to perform in the adult world—and again, it would be shown that it was discovered only recently. As an issue of moral and responsibility, child labor was regulated first in England in a long series of Factory Acts (13 separate acts from 1819 to 1961, including 1819, 1831, 1833, 1844, 1847, 1850, 1874, 1878, 1891, 1901, 1937, 1959, 1961) . That first breathe of morality and responsibility towards happiness (where happiness means not being exploited) codified that children younger than nine were not allowed to work, and that kids between the ages of 9 and 18 could only work up to 72 hours in a six-day week1. Children were used freely and copiously for work in fields, in chimneys, in mines, and in tough bugger places that couldn’t be reached by full-grown adults, as well as in places that could use little hands, or suspended in places where a lightweight helper could be slung, and so on.
Historically speaking, controlling children seems to have been the major part of dealing with a child: from controlling its body function (with enemas and such), to movement (swaddling to completely restrict motion), to crying (dunking a crying infant in a pail of ice cold water to stop it from crying),and to mood (feeding fussy children liquor and opiates to make it docile. ) The severe beating of children was the great "other" option in dealing with all manner of childhood issues, the thorny crown of behavior modification. On this point Lloyd Demause in his “The Evolution of Childhood” examines 2000 statements of advice on child rearing prior to the 18th century and found that most advocated severe beatings. He noted that the severity of the beatings was common and “a regular part of the child’s life.” The instruments of behavior advocacy here included “whips of all kinds, the cat o’nine tails, shovels, iron and wooden rods, bundles of sticks, the discipline—a whip made of small chains--, and special school instruments like the flapper, made to induce raising blisters.” (Demause, page 41.) Rousseau—hardly alone among the great philosophers—advocated whippings and beatings from infancy; plenty of the great social thinkers from this period and earlier had little use or accommodation for children, even their own.
There’s also the controlling of the mind via images and fear and promise of retribution of hell, as well as the introduction of spooks, ghosts, goblins and other sorts of child-stealers and –eaters. You’d think that the rough and tough and pretty scary stories of Brothers Grimm would be enough, but it doesn’t come close to the really scary guys: Mormo, Canida, Poine, Sybaris, Acco, Empuss, Gorgon, Ephiatles and others were brought in to do the job of control that spanking and beating and hell couldn’t modify.
Then there’s the sexual misconduct and abuse, which was evidently deep and well practiced for thousands of years, with older Roman men and Athenian rent-a-boy being famous examples of something wider and established. Just from reading a bit through some of the standard histories of childhood it is very easy to see the vast amount of sanctioned abuse that seems to constitute one of society's many sorely soft and cancerous underbellies.
Returning to child labor, for most people in the United States the grotesque nature of this activity was finally revealed to the great masses through the work of the legendary photographer Lewis Hine, whose documentary images of the conditions of children and the laboring classes was an extraordinary dose of reality. It took the unimpeachable foundation of the photograph to hammer home to people that children were being subjected to rigorous labor abuse. (The photo above shows children working in a glass factory at midnight.)
But Factory Acts and Lewis Hine et alia made only incremental change in the exploitation of the very young--evidently economies large and small were addicted to the idea. Which brings us to the map that started this thought: it appeared on the back cover of Children Who Work in the Nation's Crops, written by Gertrude Folks Zimand, and published by the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) in 1940. The map on the back cover shows the migration routes of the young workers:
There's no surprise to what the map showed, though it was a surprise to see the map itself. The NCLC is still around, and so are the children working in the fields. The map has stayed pretty much the same.
The rest of the pamphlet does not pamper the brittle semi-hidden world of the child laborer. I've included the entire work, below.
UNICEF states that there are still hundreds of millions of children being worked illegally throughout the world, and I can't help but wonder who it is that assembles those free Happy Meals toys (watch that copyright!) which are purchased in the millions for a penny or so apiece. When things like that are as cheap as they are, as impossibly cheap as they are, there must be someone, somewhere, paying the price.
1. The high points (taken from Wiki) of the Factory Act of 1833 stated:
Children (ages 14–18) must not work more than 12 hours a day with an hour lunch break. Note that this enabled employers to run two 'shifts' of child labour each working day in order to employ their adult male workers for longer.
Children (ages 9–13) must not work more than 8 hours with an hour lunch break.
Children (ages 9–13) must have two hours of education per day.
Outlawed the employment of children under 9 in the textile industry.
Children under 18 must not work at night.
provided for routine inspections of factories.
Also, good reads on the history of childhood:
G. Rattray Taylor, The Angel Makers David Hunt, Parents and Children in History George Payne, The Child in Human Progress Philippe Aries, Centuries of Childhood
Lloyd Demause,editor, The History of Childhood.
Children Who Work in the Nation's Crops
by Gertrude Folks Zimand, National Child Labor Committee, New York City January 1942
A Note on "Hiding" in Plain Site: Razzle Dazzle Camouflage, 1917-1918 http://longstreet.typepad.com/thesciencebookstore/2015/02/a-note-on-hiding-in-plain-site-razzle-dazzle-camouflage-1917-1918.html
This is just a short note on an unexpected piece of wartime development that I stumbled up leafing through the Illustrated London News for 1916. It seems offhand that this sort of deception wouldn't be very deceiving for very long--this painted bow wave was intended to create the illusion of speed to a watching U-boat and thus throw off the calculations for the launch of a torpedo. I haven't seen images like this very often at all--especially compared to other sorts of camouflage for ships--so I'm guessing that it was not a reliable way of fooling the hunting sub. That said I have seen it more on U.S. ships leading up to WWII, but not very much...
At the outset I thought to write some sort of overview or a little history of the imaginary book, starting of course with Rabelais and then Borges, but there is just so much more than can be accommodated by a simple evening's work that I decided to simply make a few lists of representative creations by a selection of some favorite biblio-creativists. So, help yourself to some interesting and humorous suggestions by Charles Dickens, John Donne, Francois Rabelais, Marcus de Fable, Douglas Adams, Jorges Luis Borges, Umberto Eco, Vladimir Nabokov, Haited Pleat, and J.K. Rowling.
Works invented by Charles Dickens [findable in numerous forms with this list found at http://flavorwire.com/329815/charles-dickens-library-of-fake-books]:
Five Minutes in China. 3 vols. Forty Winks at the Pyramids. 2 vols. Abernethy on the Constitution. 2 vols. Mr. Green’s Overland Mail. 2 vols. Captain Cook’s Life of Savage. 2 vols. A Carpenter’s Bench of Bishops. 2 vols. Toot’s Universal Letter-Writer. 2 vols. Orson’s Art of Etiquette. Downeaster’s Complete Calculator. History of the Middling Ages. 6 vols. Jonah’s Account of the Whale. Captain Parry’s Virtues of Cold Tar. Kant’s Ancient Humbugs. 10 vols. Bowwowdom. A Poem. The Quarrelly Review. 4 vols. The Gunpowder Magazine. 4 vols. Steele. By the Author of “Ion.”
Works invented by John Donne, Catalogus librorum aulicorum incomparabilium et non vendibilium, or The Courtier’s Library of Rare Books Not for Sale,was written between 16-7-1611, and published in 1650: [http://libraryofinvisible.blogspot.com/2014/03/anonymous.html]
Edward Hoby’s Afternoon Belchings On Distinguishing the Sex and Hermaphroditism of Atoms On the art of decyphering and finding some treason in any intercepted letter Concerning the method of emptying the dung from Noah’s Ark Martin Luther, On Shortening the Lord’s Prayer The Princely Ocean, or The Pyramid, or The Colossus, or The Abyss of Wits: where by means of 60,000 letters to the Nobles of all nations … are related everything that is able to be related concerning toothpicks and hangnails On the Navigability of the Waters above the heavens, and whether Ships in the Firmament will land there or on our shores on the Day of Judgment, by John Dee What not? or a confutation of all errors in Theology as well as in the other sciences, and the mechanical arts, by all men, dead, living, and to be born, put together one night after supper
The Art of Cutting the Teeth. Matthew’s Nursery Songs. Paxton’s Bloomers. 5 vols. On the Use of Mercury by the Ancient Poets. Drowsy’s Recollections of Nothing.3 vols. Heavyside’s Conversations with Nobody.3 vols. Commonplace Book of the Oldest Inhabitant.2 vols. Growler’s Gruffiology, with Appendix.4 vols. The Books of Moses and Sons. 2 vols. Burke (of Edinburgh) on the Sublime and Beautiful. 2 vols. Teazer’s Commentaries. King Henry the Eighth’s Evidences of Christianity. 5 vols. Miss Biffin on Deportment. Morrison’s Pills Progress.2 vols. Lady Godiva on the Horse. Munchausen’s Modern Miracles. 4 vols. Richardson’s Show of Dramatic Literature. 12 vols. Hansard’s Guide to Refreshing Sleep
Works invented by Francois Rabelais, a selection from Catalogue of the Choice Books Found by Pantagruel in the Abbey of Saint Victor: Devised by François Rabelais: Translated and Annotated by Walter Klinefelter, a Student of Catalogues (printed in Pantagruel, c. 1532; translated and printed separately, 1952):
The Spur of Cheese
The Codpiece of the Law The Testes of Theology On the Art of Discreetly Farting in Company Three Books on How to Chew Bacon Martingale Breeches with Back-flaps for Turd-droppers
These interesting images of fortifications--protective of nothing, staffed by no one, generally in no landscape--are very lonely design representations found in Pietro Cataneo's I Quattro Primi Libris di Architettura, and printed in 1654. They are forts that protect and capture nothing, at least in this book--they are simply perspectives for fortification design. They float beautifully in the text, lifted somewhat from the pages unencumbered by any human detail.
This postcard was provided to British servicemen during WWI for a brief, highly abbreviated, communication with folks at home. The writer could choose between being well, or being in the hospital (via illness or being wounded), or being sent "down to the base". There's a following bit about whether the soldier had received mail and what kind, and then a memory note, telling the receiver that they had "received no letter" from them "lately" or for a heartbreaking "long time".
There's room for a signature--the only writing not a circle--and then room for nothing else. (Another version of this postcard below has been utilized with the "writer" placing a line through the text that was not applicable. In this case the postcard was identified as being for use by British POWs.)
As the card states very explicitly, any other writing would lead to the card being destroyed.
It wasn't much, but for the recipient, it might have been enough. Pity those who received this card with only "for a long time" circled.
"The reverse of a field service postcard showing entries, such as 'I am quite well', to be deleted by the sender as appropriate." MH 34058" Source: Imperial War Museum http://www.iwm.org.uk/history/podcasts/voices-of-the-first-world-war/podcast-21-news-from-the-front
See also this post with another example of a WWI "form letter" : "An Extraordinary POW Postcard 1918" [http://longstreet.typepad.com/thesciencebookstore/2014/09/an-extraordinary-censorable-pow-postcard-1918.html]
“Heaven and earth were one form…. (then they were separated from one another…)”
“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven..” --John Milton, Paradise Lost
In ancient times the representation of the gods and beliefs was handed from one writer or storyteller to the next, on and on, changes here and deletions there, for many generations.This practice was possible (necessary?) because there really wasn’t a solitary scripture to follow (as in the Koran or the Bible) and no priestly class to guard and cherish a particular strong story line in all of its barbed details.
[Image source: wikicommons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Juden_1881.JPG The image is greatly expandable.]
And the key to the map:
There are of course bits that have survived intact for millennia.One of these is this fragment from one of Euripides’ lost plays (only 20% or so are complete), The Wise Melanippe, and begins a statement of cosmogony that states the creation of all things.The separation of heaven and earth has always stuck with me, because this separation begins with Euripides with the creation of the world seems to continue on its way with mini-separations of all things over the course of time—like the cosmological world-bearing turtles—all the way down.
I’m not sure how or who exactly did this heaven-rending, or to what force it owed its being:evidently the Presocratics tended to depersonalize the actions of the gods and grant their actions to natural forces, so the issue with the heaven-separation business may well have been a motive force rather than a god.Anyway it’s the tearing apart, the removal, the separation phenomena that got my attention to begin with, and one which has stayed with me, though I’m sure that Euripides didn’t have that sort of violent rending in mind while describing the birth of the earth.
And so it is with this map1 showing the concentrations of the Jewish people in Europe in the late 19th century. Between the time of the publication of this map—1881—and the beginning of the Nazi regime in Germany in 1933, there were many persecutions and Pogroms and deportations of the Jewish people.Nothing prepared anyone for the concentration camps and the systematic extermination of that people between 1935 and 1945.What this map shows is the distribution of the Jewish people (by percentage of the total population) before they were eviscerated:the difference between this map in 1881 and the map of 1945 would be completely different.The Jews were gone:killed.Some deported.Others escaped.But they were basically torn from Europe in the cruelest manner so that in almost every case the only indicators of their existence were shadows.
There are large-scale maps of this sort of evidence for other groups of people in their pre-Euripidean tearing from their home:maps showing the locations of Indian tribes in North America (pre-Columbian, 17th century, 19th century, they’re all telling pretty much the same devastating story) is one good example of a slender category.There aren’t maps for the mass extermination by starvation created by Joe Stalin, or the millions murdered by Pol Pot or Mao.There are of course more small-scale, localized maps depicting the results of forced relocations or devastating war or drought or hunger or floods.But few, I think, take such a compelling x-ray of a people’s past on a continental scales such as this.
1. "Die Verbreitung der Juden in Mitteleurope" found in Richard Andree's , Volkskunde der Juden..., Verlag von Velhagen & Klefirg in Bielfeld und Leipzig: 1881.