Spontaneous Particulars | Zookal Textbooks | Zookal Textbooks
  • Author(s) Susan Howe
  • SubtitleThe Telepathy of Archives
  • Edition1
  • Published14th October 2014
  • PublisherW W Norton & Company
  • ISBN9780811223751

The Telepathy of Archives

Great American writers—William Carlos Williams, Jonathan Edwards, Emily Dickinson, Noah Webster, Hart Crane, Wallace Stevens, Henry James—all in the physicality of their archival manuscripts (reproduced in beautiful facsimiles here)—are the presiding spirits of Spontaneous Particulars: Telepathy of Archives. Also woven into Susan Howe's long essay are beautiful photographs of embroideries and textiles from anonymous craftspeople. All the archived materials are links, discoveries, chance encounters, the visual and acoustic shocks of rooting around amid physical archives. These are the telepathies the bibliomaniacal poet relishes. Rummaging in the archives she finds “a deposit of a future yet to come, gathered and guarded...a literal and mythical sense of life hereafter—you permit yourself liberties—in the first place—happiness.” Digital scholarship may offer much for scholars, but Susan Howe loves the materiality of research in real archives and Spontaneous Particulars “is a collaged swan song to the old ways.”

Spontaneous Particulars

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  • Author(s) Susan Howe
  • SubtitleThe Telepathy of Archives
  • Edition1
  • Published14th October 2014
  • PublisherW W Norton & Company
  • ISBN9780811223751

The Telepathy of Archives

Great American writers—William Carlos Williams, Jonathan Edwards, Emily Dickinson, Noah Webster, Hart Crane, Wallace Stevens, Henry James—all in the physicality of their archival manuscripts (reproduced in beautiful facsimiles here)—are the presiding spirits of Spontaneous Particulars: Telepathy of Archives. Also woven into Susan Howe's long essay are beautiful photographs of embroideries and textiles from anonymous craftspeople. All the archived materials are links, discoveries, chance encounters, the visual and acoustic shocks of rooting around amid physical archives. These are the telepathies the bibliomaniacal poet relishes. Rummaging in the archives she finds “a deposit of a future yet to come, gathered and guarded...a literal and mythical sense of life hereafter—you permit yourself liberties—in the first place—happiness.” Digital scholarship may offer much for scholars, but Susan Howe loves the materiality of research in real archives and Spontaneous Particulars “is a collaged swan song to the old ways.”
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