December 30, 2004
William Gillespie arrives, is interviewed, and learns how to mourn Derrida at the Slought Foundation, where we meet the unfractioned Christian Bök. Back at the Convention Center, in a panel on Wallace Stevens, Charles Bernstein describes Reading, PA as “a place aggressively without aesthetic decoration.” Poets manifest themselves: Joshua Corey, Jena Osman, and Bob Perelman among them. Author, artist, scholar, and publisher Johanna Drucker, who has the same effect on electronic literature scholar/authors as Indiana Jones did on his archeology class, describes an Ivanhoe game and then joins Christian Bök, Scott, and me back at Slought in a public discussion, opening the exhibit of Implementation there. Matt Kirschenbaum unfolds the NORA project’s plan for doing text mining on large corpora of literature. At the book exhibit, an intrepid loot collector scores a fountain pen as well as a shopping bag with an enlarged image of an Ayn Rand postage stamp. An editor who has flown The Chronicle of Higher Education for a new, web-based publication interviews a room full of so-called “bloggers.” Visiting humanists are lured to a German restaurant, an English pub, and a sushi bar. XML markup and a 1983 USENET posting appear on a screen thanks to transparencies and an overhead projector. The heavy security at the convention provides the only hint that the Culture War may still be going on.