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Among the objects it catalogues is a pitcher made of salt and inscribed with elaborate texts, an oxymoronic artifact whose first use will dissolve inscription and object alike.
Will books continue to be displaced by electronic texts, only some of which will be granted bodies when a user decides to download them into print form?You run to the bookstore to get a copy of Calvinos new novel, If on a winters night a traveler, only to find that it has been defectively bound, preventing you from completing the story.Disgruntled, you hurl the book through a closed window, reducing its body to "photons, undulatory vibrations, polarized spectra" (p. Not content with this pulverization, you throw it through the wall so that the text breaks up into "electrons, neutrons, neutrinos, elementary particles more and more minute" (p. Still disgusted, in an act of ultimate dispersion you send it through a computer line, causing the textual body to be "reduced to electronic impulses, into the flow of information." With the book "shaken by redundancies and noises," you "let it be degraded into a swirling entropy" (p. The disruptive power of information technologies reappears when you find yourself entangled with Lotaria, a reader who believes books are best read by scanning them into computers and letting the machine analyze word frequency patterns.Distracted by her multiple entanglements, Lotaria presses the wrong key and the story is "erased in an instant demagnetization of the circuits.The multicolored wires now grind out the dust of dissolved words: the the, of of of of, from from from from, that that that that, in columns according to their respective frequency.
Conversely, he loses part of his body to history when a wealthy patron pays in gold for his left hand, on which is inscribed the history relating to the patrons family.