JF Ptak Science Books Post 2691
There are some things that stand to be admired simply because exist. They may be mundane, but they are the magnificent mundane, brought to life by sheer force of will. Such I think is the case of Mr. Hoerger's Poemusicdramuraliterature Epic Poem the Immortal memory in the Glorious Tragedy of Life (1946). The work is billed as a "Valentine Day Classic, quintuple of Art", the "greatest scope ever attempted in a work on paper". It is a big claim made by a little book--bound in red cloth, it measures 4"x2.5" and is 86 pages long, though the word count for all of the little pages only makes it to about 8000 words, or about 20 type pages. I don't think that the book ever actually catches up to itself, as for what I can see of it, it is always one step ahead of itself and one step behind.
(I'm guessing that Mr. Hoerger could have lived at 160 Bleeker Street--it is the Mills Building No. 1, and was built in 1910, where today you could easily spend 4.5k/month for a one-bedroom place...unless the printer for this book was in the basement, and Mr. Hoerger lived elsewhere. This copy by the way came to me via the Library of Congress and is one of the Copyright Deposit copies. There are at least five other works copyrighted by Mr. Hoerger; Highroad Number Z, Vintage One (1941), Immortal Aid (1946), The Daze of Forty-Nine (1958), and Deep Surprise, post-Abstraction, Space-age Understatement (1961).)
We are reminded of the new sort of "work on paper" this is on the half-title page (identified so), as well as the non-sequitur "art & university libraries, esp", which seems like an enormous emotion of some unidentifiable sort that the author brings to bear on the possible reader:
The extraordinary cover:
And a sample of the writing, which is, at the very least, quite something; it seems a major attempt at producing and communicating ideas that are just too far in an unreachable zone for me, though I have to give credit to the author for his imagination and for completing a project.
I should point out that in the last section of the last page reproduced here something is "calibrated" at "50 septillion light years", which is a pretty big number in the scale of the base -illions, especially when you think about the universe being "only" 13 billion years old--that means that the width of the universe in 26 billion light yeas wide or 156 billion light years in the altogether or some such, but 26,000,000,000 is crushed by the 50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 light years being discussed here. Of course there's also the fast-forward to the future part, introducing the year 1,000,000,000. That would be impossibly far into the future, considering that Homo sapien has been around for 150,000 years or so, and that there have been about 7,500 generations in that time. The Year Ten Billion would entail 400 million generations (and that's assuming that we haven't started to "live" forever after the year 3000 or 2500 or whatever) since we have been brought to our present medical modernity in the scant eight or nine generations since Joseph Lister invented the idea of sterilizing operating instruments, and considering again that we are just three or so generations removed from DNA (1953) and the first successful heart transplant (1967) and how far the replacement of human bits has come since then, it is impossible to say where medicine might be in a 50 generations or a thousand years, let alone in ten billion years.
I do have to commend the author for thinking big. And: he does make you think.