Like Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain, [SIC] is a readymade—art conceived, and perhaps discovered, but not “created” by the artist. Of course, all art—and maybe most especially writing—is a readymade at heart. Language is communal and writers, however adventurous, innovative, or transgressive they may be, are ultimately boxed-in, able only to select from already existent words and syntactic structures (which fortunately still leaves plenty of options). In the highfalutin terms of literary theory this is Derrida’s bricoleur versus the myth of the engineer. The bricoleur is a scavenger, assembling all things from the parts of other things; while the engineer is the fabled true originator, the alchemist who alchemizes something from nothing. Blank demonstrates this by appropriating nothing—yielding a vast, barren, stretch of empty pages. [SIC] does the opposite, it appropriates everything, and so the pages swell, brimming with words—words written centuries apart, by a wide array of writers, bound only by the connective tissue of space and authorship. This is a tenuous bond, but as [SIC] argues, still the firmest and only real bond words can share.
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