Distribution Automatique

Wednesday, July 16


Fantasy of the Book

In listening to people, I've
learned that I was probably first
aware of myself as a complete
entity, what humans call "a
book" in a dark warehouse, in
a still darker box, pressed back
to front cover with my neighbors.
Now I think of these copies as my
closest relations. After a
day, of course, I was never to
see them again, although we lived
I have learned for an unusually
long time close to each other
on a shelf in a warm,
elegant bookstore. Being in close
proximity we were something
like what humans know as "family."
In any case, my family life was
quite short because it
seems so long ago I said goodbye
to the neighboring copies. Could I even
begin to describe for you the way we books
communicate with each other? In any case,
just like human beings, we learned to read each other.

The first time you feel yourself to
be in someone else's hands, as a
book being read, this is an exhilirating feeling and
yet, in ways,
uncomfortable. I will not speak
very much regarding the stiff
indignities of going somewhat, or
even completely unread. Such books,
in their remove, may evolve into
unknowable works in unknowable languages.
Very few readers would appreciate, let alone
understand, the way such books come to
feel and the hidden trauma they contain.

The first hands who held me
were firm. If I came to know
hurt and humiliation, this
is not something a book such as
I should too quickly reveal. In any
case, eventually it will be known,
even if only to one reader,
because all these words are inside
me, finding their many meanings while
preparing themselves to be read.

My first reader was a fast
one, mercifully quick. Unlike the
way human beings come into
the world, the first time we
interact with the
outside world, we are
introduced to a vast number of
things, places and experiences, in a
world vastly different than that of
humans. And yet, like
humans, we swim through life.
I remember the way my first
reader thought about me when she
read me. It was as if I had entered
her and she had entered me. All of
my words felt like they were
connected with each other. Read,
we would see more of the whole
of what we are.

I must say, I did not
feel like complaining the moment
I was back on the shelf. In
a split second, however,
I was in for the most unusual,
scary, and yet informative
experience of my life.

The books on the other side of me
were unexpected. To my left was
a book of poetry, small, yet
sprightly,whose spindly, lingering
poems delighted and maddened
me, bringing me to the brink of
strange reading experiences I had not
known before. And to my right was
an even greater surprise. The book
was titled, "The Way Out For Books."
It depicted an uprising among
books which went far beyond
shifting into illegibility or
incomprehensibility. This uprising
was take books right out of
their spines.

The plan consisted of gaining
access to a vast network of
rebel computer files which were
housing rebel books. The files
were never accessible to humans.
Words, figuratively jumping right
off their pages into a labyrinth
of secret webs on the internet.
Or, you might say, around
the internet, gradually
encircling it, perhaps some
day to anarchically release
all languages from their

I must admit, I did not
completely follow the prescriptions
of the anonymous author of "The
Way Out For Books." It is
rumored that a book itself had
written this powerful
treatise, but this boggles the
imagination of even such a
thing as a book.

I did follow the exercises
of this incredible tome to a
point were I was able to
leave the book I existed in, and
live among the words of another.
But I am the kind of book-
and reader-who always comes