text spin a l i t y
In the same way that the human spine
is the source of all psychic ailments,
the book spine can be traced
as the source of literature’s catastrophicWe are bound together by name [not name alone]. The spine is a simultaneously interior and exterior facing structure. Its outward face sheathed under a coated cover stock. The interior hidden in the folds of the gutter [point-of-entry].
Where your fingers creep. Threading through a matrix of folds [map of construction] and formulating a pure sensory topography. Past the point of vision. The landscape is isolated by its haptic components. & with this opened hinge, the text is standing on its own.
“But it could do this already?” The thick text [the tome] is an autonomous entity. It does not require external forces to remain upright. This occurs in works such as 2666, Moby Dick, Canopus in Argos, etc. Where the page count is high & the base of the spine is wide.
The tome operates independent of the user-body. Its ability to interface with the reader is only a byproduct of its anatomy [biogenetic trauma]. It is not a required process.
We might then say, “the tome is not meant to be read, it is meant to be viewed.”
It is encountered in the same way one might encounter a building—watching from a distance, admiring the way that it has remained upright all this time. Then entering to see that the interior is equally intricate, although wholly distinct [ext. tome, int. text-body].
Going by this logic, the exterior and interior are observed by separate fields of study, and organized by different foundational theories.
Tome architecture is constricted and unchanging. Variations might occur on the interior level, but the exterior is bound to its base anatomy [spine & wings]. Evolution of this medium must then occur through the introduction of unorthodox methodologies & new materials.
[new materials create new antagonisms]
[the spine projects a weak emission]Guy Debord observes a scene of new material potential in the sandpaper cover spread of his book, Memoires.
The antagonism of Debord’s construct is direct, grating the facade of its neighboring titles. New editions of the text are now hardcover and traditionally bound, but the original Memoires is a cannibalistic organism. It provokes violence.
Crossing the threshold between object and projection. The mark left by Memoires is real. It takes place here. And the evidence of its actions can be documented / recorded / analyzed.
“But Memoires is not a tome. It is barely 75 pages long.” Its uprightness is fragile, and only maintained by rigid plates of the hardcover.
A thin text [the volume] then can be seen as reliant on interfacing [at least in the scope of the traditional paperback]. Its relationship to the user-body is parasitic, utilizing its psychic compatibilities / accessibilities in order to lull the host—so they might be held & supported [spine grafted to spine].
The abrasive surface of the sandpaper subverts this. It forms a threshold between the volume and the tome. The former desiring the autonomy of the latter. Memoires attempts to realize this through the volatility of its physique [thorned ext]. It cannot be touched without doing harm. Its flesh is too coarse for company.
“But Debord was not guided by this theoretical framework.” And it shows in his disinterest. The spine remains untouched. Only the integumentary has seen change [new paint / new drapes].
[what good can come from remaining upright?]
[the spine projects a weak emission]The subject creates an object in the same likeness as themself. The text [volume & tome] is a reflection of its creator. Not in terms of its contents, but in its physical structure. In its spinal compatibility, the text lays claim to the same psychic ailments that we have said to be uniquely our own.
“What binds us?” Debord’s Memoires grates against the flesh of its companions in the same way your voice grates against my ears [negative transmission]. Its spine contains integral structural components, deeper within it contains key informatic pathways.
We then find the text [volume & tome] mirroring the CNS [central nervous system], articulating neural pathways across a closed system. Each object emits a weak radiation—alluding to some form of rudimentary nervous system / proto-mind.
Implying that the book is not strictly an object, that it is instead an object approaching subjecthood. But what instigates this evolutionary process?
The text must be catalyzed by something [word-trigger]. What are the origins of the spine? Its rigid alignment? Even knowing this, I am not sure that it is of any use. Movement is not necessarily teleological. It can be lateral or multi-directional.
Without the meat to encase it, where do the roots of the CNS go? Do they burrow into the shelf / soil / floorboards.
“How does the parasite spread?” It spreads because you read it, enticed by the decadence of the interior. If the tome is an architectural being, then it is a building made to lure you in. A mall or a casino. When you have entered, you become attached. The text travels with you.
[it burrows into your head]
[the spine projects a weak emission]Held in the air, the CNS exposes its antennae and feels for a pliable surface. It finds the face and presses its roots against the readers eyes [enticement].
They circumnavigate the socket and coil around the optic nerve, following the route fully into the skull. The text siphons memory and power from the user, establishing a parasitic bond.
It stands upright two-fold. Once of itself, and again by proxy of the user-body, which it has now gained full functional control over. Articulating the fingers and toes. Then moving to the arms and legs. Feeling for the sensation of having a stomach and pacing a heart.
The roots tighten and pull the text interior close to the face, laying open page over the user-body’s complexion [assimilation].
The text moans in garbled tongues.