06 August 2010

Notebook Fridays: Craig Dworkin

Craig Dworkin just returned to Utah after a summer of travel, and I thought to ask him to send something for Notebook Fridays; rather than scan a selection from his notebook, however, he submitted a lengthy lexicon with the following note:

"Here's the project: in Laurence Sterne's Tristam Shandy one of the conceits is a 'missing' chapter: the pagination skips ten pages and the narrator announces that he's removed the previous chapter because it was so good it upset the aesthetic balance of the whole book.

So I'm writing the missing chapter to be printed as a signature that can be slipped into a copy of the book to 'complete' it. Hubristic, huh? Formally, it's based on the similarity of the 'f' and 's' letterforms in 18th-century typefaces that still had the 'long-s.' It will use all the eligible vocabulary from the list (though note that the raw list has to be edited down to remove anachronistic terms—both words that would not have been in use in Sterne's day as well as words that will not work with a long-s, which wasn't used in the terminal position)."

Read through the lexicon below:


1 comment:

  1. Maybe the elision was made because the chapter was anachronistic--seems the narrator all of a sudden felt an address to Frank Keunstler & Ted Greenwald was in order! Love this project...