Personal Notes

  • I used to write a lot of lists.
  • None of which are currently (2012) online.
  • They are a fascinating device, insinuating -- if not insisting -- that the contained are related (in some supposedly obvious manner)





These ambiguities, redundancies and deficiencies remind us of those which doctor Franz Kuhn attributes to a certain Chinese encyclopaedia entitled ‘Celestial Empire of benevolent Knowledge’. In its remote pages it is written that the animals are divided into: (a) belonging to the emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame, (d) sucking pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous, (g) stray dogs, (h) included in the present classification, (i) frenzied, (j) innumerable, (k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush, (l) et cetera, (m) having just broken the water pitcher, (n) that from a long way off look like flies.




Describing her research in the book’s preface, Fahs talks about sifting through


dusty, lefty zines like Holy Titclamps and DWAN, transcripts of conversations now twenty years old, news clippings, DIY art mags, Hollywood scripts, material from a coroner’s office, half-recorded answering-machine messages, discussions in cat-filled apartments, blurred photos, narratives from shaky memories, phone calls, missing files, consciousness-raising rants of radical feminists, browning letters and postcards, Library of Congress copyright registries, run-ins with the Warhol elite, notes from meetings in now-demolished diners, posters featuring the middle finger, long-forgotten pamphlets and newsletters.





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