A Word from l’Auteur Morts—


or, the Dead Author. Having deposed the First Person Singular in 1967, Roland Barthes offers Seconds or Thirds, of “grammatical decoys” and “spurious privatives” ill fit to Nominate the person to whom your mannered Narrator was borne by the Wake of non-self-containing Predicates set adrift in 1970 by HMS Sir Bertrand Russell, 37th Erstwhile of Scribblynits-on-Herringbone. Ad quem auspicious terminus, Barthes sounds the inky deep marked twain: E. A. Poe, in whose notorious M. Valdemar, black of tongue and parched of skin, circumscribes the unspeakable Nuit Americaine. Dead Letters, Purloined a Paris and Bowdlerized in Britain; Poe’s Grammars rigged to Pop Grimoires, his dim vale marred: de mort volant—so, quo reaps quid—itched Yank’s chain hoists Harried Petards—in abattoir, abets no bêtes noire. Withal, this book is but a software manual—or, a technology primer—or, a codec codex; or again: a toy box, within which: a tool box, within which: a black box, within which Zeit Geist boxes in the ring of bone. Frankenstein, Einstein, Wittgenstein—all your favorite Monsters will be there; tooth and nail, hammer and tongs, pitchfork and torch. Nobody said you had to let them in. Word,

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