OK, Michael, a bit of slippy diction on my part. But let’s get to more meat
— your response here was too wispy. I don’t doubt that you know what you
mean, but often I don’t. I’m tantalized by the Calvino quote: “once we have
dismantled and reassembled the process of literary composition, the
decisive moment of literary life will be that of reading.” Interesting,
that. But what does it mean? Let’s open the hood and take a look at it.

Also, let me respond to Michael’s responding to Carolyn (is this a meta-meta
reference?), her “it’s easy enough to imagine our grand-children some day
rhapsodizing about the sound of a mouse-click or the feel of a touch pad.”
Cited approvingly, but I get the willies when I contemplate this, not
because kids might not enjoy their mouse-clicks one day, but because I
catch suggestions of the death of the natural and the emergence of proxy
sensualism, one tied up with our full entry into a plasticized and
circuitized order. These synthetic encounters could only become real
pleasures — objects of rhapsody — after we had fully taken leave of our
senses (literally). The implication — again, I’m dire — is that the
foundation world (the natural) will have been transformed beyond
recognition. A utility cable will be beautiful (and not in the surrealist
sense) because we will have lost our purchase on branch and vine and
spiderweb. As I type this I know that it’s going to piss somebody off, but
it needs to be said. The obvious needs to be injected into this discussion.

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