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We Are Here
Kristen Gallagher

From the author's note: "This work began years ago when Andrew Levy asked me to write an essay for the special issue of Crayon titled 'On Beauty.' I felt I had nothing to say about beauty and felt averse to a study of Kant or Hegel or formal aesthetics. I also hadn't been writing much, adjuncting at two CUNY schools and feeling more exhausted than inspired. So in the spirit of Gilbert Sorrentino's idea that constraint 'serves to destroy the much-cherished myth of inspiration, and its idiot brother, writer's block,' I decided to do something semi-procedural: I would go to 'beautiful' places with various close friends and audio recording equipment, and then later listen back to recordings of the excursions, transcribe them, and see if anything interesting emerged. After my first three outings, I transcribed for the first time. Within minutes it became clear that on these trips a great deal of time was spent consulting maps and otherwise orienting oneself--and the language of that was not only interesting but often funny. It had that quality of Perec's work that I love, his capacity for capturing those things that are so obvious, so ubiquitous, that we don't notice them. I thought surely this language must be happening all the time. So I decided to keep attending to it and collect incidents of it until I had 99 pages. Mostly this manuscript comes from these types of recorded trips, but sometimes the language just started happening and I would have to later reconstruct a scene relying on either memory or notes taken on my blackberry. Thanks to my fellow travelers: Steve Zultanski, Matvei Yankelevich, Phyllis van Slyck, Joanna Scutts, Laura Tanenbaum, Morgan Puett, Karen Miller, Sadie Levy, Gita Levy, Robert Fitterman, Tony Hightower, David Girves, Eileen Gallagher, Edward Gallagher, Gracie Cox, Ron Alexander, Pam Alexander, Chris Alexander."

Published Spring 2011
7" x 7" / 124 Pages
ISBN 978-0-9848857-1-8

Purchase: $15 via SPD
Download: free pdf

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