. . . Call Numbers . . . Study for a Representation of Michel Butor‘s MOBILE

              Pitch dark…(3 A.M., solar time)…the blank page of a book beneath a lamp, the cone of light reflecting in the shuttered window. Dark pervades the blank grain; its song of eerie quavers prints through an open screen door. The text does not divest of seeping darkness. Paranoia that the book will never be found in the library is a time capsule concern. Books in libraries. Which brings our attention to the location of each book…rioting deliriously through life like superimposed waterfalls, half rhythm, half darkness…its singular magic, its singular sadness, the edition of Jacques Roubaud‘s THE GREAT FIRE OF LONDON blocked by a sprinkler pipe cannot be taken from the shelf…to feel the delicious echo of the sun in the air of midnight…Always a counterweight of darkness on the globe. The illusion of spaciousness in the dark. The obscure parallax of time’s referents, the creeping exhumation of the public domain, what picture of the United States does it construct? Thomas Jefferson is buried beneath dismembered parts of Francis Scott Fitzgerald, beneath Zane Grey. For much the same reason, PAUL’S BOUTIQUE could not be produced today. The cautious glow of a tablet computer on a front porch. THE LIGHT OF THE WESTERN STARS. It is night. THE DESERT OF WHEAT, TALES OF LONELY TRAILS, K IN THE JUNGLE. Or, it is morning. Pitch dark…The darkness has a different texture…A cautious glow slithers about the text. The characters that use the most ink depend on the typeface, but would often be: M, Q, W, B.

              . . . The novel is so huge, as if sketched across the whole sky . . . words, words . . . The very deep did rot . . . the quaint world described by the book exists in no other real material but ink, and only this ink  . . . some unknown and equivocal mass of plasticity, capable of changing at will to nebulous approximations of the solid, liquid, gaseous, or tenuously unparticled states . . . A clustered fog of placenames idles against the buckram terrain.  “Hello, Michelle!  What is the location of the book?”  “What book?”  “Where is the book located?”  These are real places.  Atop Mount Oread in eastern Kansas, in a study carrell beside a window installed inside an older window . . . N-Dawg was here 2.10.10.  Jesus was here 12-25-0000 . . . long stretches of nothing . . . Your feet are here, and your gaze is elsewhere . . . The swaddled synechdoches of Vladimir Nabokov‘s United States, of Michel Butor‘s United States, the United States of the European academic.  Enamored with the sensation of vastness, but not its implications. A landscape is defined by its juxtaposition around the only few humans in existence.   Some devices of vast intimacy: buzzing telephone in THE CASTLE, water-powered telephony in ADA, the ice-cream Pleiades of MOBILE.  Each spot, each time, as it is written, as it is read, is the only time, the only spot that exists.  Franz Kafka‘s AMERIKA takes place in a bookTHE NATURE THEATER OF OKLAHOMA.  Unto These Hills . . . Under the glow of summer stars . . . the family show too large for any screen . . . there are almost no limits to it . . .