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to Richard Miller, thanks for re-posting your note to Susan Ballard and
thereby re-opening the thread about how one reads an artist's book.

In that regard, while cleaning out boxes of books I came upon, in a box (who
knows why there? -- after three moves in four years . . .), some of my more
important and to me, formative, literary magazines. New Wilderness Letter, a
journal of intersections of all arts as well as explorations of "mind,
language, nature, & society" (editor's note), and with a concentration on
ethnopoetics, published as issue 11 (1982) a special issue titled "The Book,
Spiritual Instrument."

This issue contains many things primary to the discussion of how one reads
artist's books, or any book, but perhaps most directly, a "translation and
visual interpretation" by Michael Gibbs of Stephane Mallarme's essay, "Le
Livre Instrument Spirituel/The Book, Spiritual Instrument," and a brilliant
2-page essay by Dick Higgins titled simply, "A Book." Good luck in finding
the issue. It's not something most libraries would have, but a university
with a good literary collection which includes small press journals should
have it. If someone can't find it, I would be willing to ask the editor and
authors for permission to re-post the second essay here. I don't know if I
could find the translator/visual interpreter of the Mallarme essay, but
people could probably find the original French or some English translation
of the Mallarme essay elsewhere without too much trouble.

charles alexander


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