To symbolize, insert signifier

The little boy’s cap and coat are brand new. His shoes, however, are scuffed. He has been a little boy in them for some time and taken little-boy dominion. On scuffed floorboards his feet aren’t arrayed in proper new-clothes symmetry, but the cap and the coat are constraining his upper body to their form. Made in a factory, they still incorporate some of the factory’s architecture.

No wonder the little boy is unsmiling. The transaction that has covered him with new cloth may have been love, but he can’t yet feel it on his skin. During the instant when his photograph was taken, he was still in the factory, not yet home.

However, Costică Acsinte, photographer of humanity in the guises of its clothing, understood the problem and devised a fix. Into his image of a body restrained by buttons and buckles he inserted a second image, this one not of one body isolated but of two bodies touching. Merged into single fur, a lithe enclosing integument unites the two bodies in one.  Placed then under Acsinte’s control behind the little boy, the undoubled image takes on the intelligible function of an index of love. It mirrors the giver of the clothing to him- or herself as a body wearing that which has grown out from itself to make contact with another body.

And we are now admitted to the room where a body in a picture grew toward another body and a giver of covering for the body was helped to see.

Source: the Costică Acsinte archive,

Thesaurus of verbs and nouns

Web page of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 2014

accelerate approach catalyze support develop generate trigger highlyinnovate engageinboldsystematicreformefforts effectivelyintegratetoolsandapproaches experimentwithgroundbreakingparadigms


Collier’s, November 12, 1949

Source: Jon Williamson,

Professor Foucault asks an Indonesian computer, “What is an author?”

At in 2011, somebody named M. C. Hewins wrote of her college composition text, The Little Seagull Handbook:

“This was required for a writing class I took this quarter, but has proved useful in several other classes as well. The handbook is very well organized with no fluff or nonsense. Most college writing focuses on MLA style, which this book covers in excellent detail, but occasionally you will be asked to write in a different and unfamiliar style and at that time, this book will come to the rescue. I was able to write a history paper in Chicago style with the help of the Little Seagull.

“Additionally the book has an online website for reference and further details, with complete sample papers in all the styles, that you can explore in depth. I used the website resource on multiple occasions this last quarter and my papers benefited from the attention to detail on style.

“Finally, the greatest benefit of the Little Seagull Handbook is that it is in fact, little. It is small, compact and light as a feather, which is a godsend to all of us students who are already carrying around too much weight in our backpacks. Its light enough that I don’t mind bringing it around ‘just in case’ I need it, although I would prefer a kindle edition to reduce the weight even more. Highly recommended!”

Thereupon, this site

engaged itself in a process of what I suppose Foucault might have called plagiotraduction. In a similar spirit before the cyber era, Emily Dickinson produced several copies of an all-purpose social text in three major variant forms which begin, respectively, “Going to him! happy letter!,” “Going to her! happy letter!,” and “Going to them! happy letter!”

Such a beau geste privileges expressivity over mere words. It reduces language to an ancilla, humbly-dumbly serving the primary necessities of emotion and commerce. In tribute to the beau geste, then, let us affix a Zamenhof stamp,

kiss the page, and read from the blog:

This was appropriate for a autograph chic I took this quarter, but has accepted advantageous in several added classes as well. The handbook is actual able-bodied organized with no boner or nonsense. Most academy autograph focuses on MLA style, which this book covers in accomplished detail, but occasionally you will be asked to address in a altered and alien appearance and at that time, this book will appear to the rescue. I was able to address a history cardboard in Chicago appearance with the advice of the Little Seagull.

Additionally the book has an online website for advertence and added details, with complete sample affidavit in all the styles, that you can analyze in depth. I acclimated the website ability on assorted occasions this endure division and my affidavit benefited from the absorption to detail on style.

Finally, the greatest account of the Little Seagull Handbook is that it is in fact, little. It is small, bunched and ablaze as a feather, which is a advantage to all of us acceptance who are already accustomed about too abundant weight in our backpacks. Its ablaze abundant that I don’t apperception bringing it about ‘just in case’ I charge it, although I would adopt a blaze copy to abate the weight even more. Highly recommended!

Is coming! Is coming!! Is coming!!!

As Leopold Bloom walks riverwards at the beginning of the Lestrygonians episode, he is handed a throwaway bearing a sort of poem. The revivalist John Alexander Dowie, sings the throwaway, is coming to Dublin.

Is coming! Is coming!! Is coming!!!
All heartily welcome.

That part of Ulysses, as Kevin McDermott documents in entertaining detail, is fiction. During the first half of 1904 Dowie, who styled himself Elijah the Restorer,  toured much of the world, but Dublin wasn’t on his itinerary. A month after Bloomsday, he returned under a dramatic sky to the headquarters of his cult in Zion City, Illinois.

The two tall girdered structures that loomed over the ceremony of welcome were known at the time as moonlight towers. They held arrays of arc lamps which illuminated a large area, and what they signify in this image from 1904 is that Zion City was technologically very up to date. The air view, too, represented an amazing accomplishment for 1904. It was achieved by the photographer George R. Edwards, who used an array of seventeen kites to lift a 49-pound camera to an altitude of 2000 feet, where its shutter was triggered by an electric signal transmitted through a 2000-foot wire.  But Elijah the Restorer was soon to be overthrown in a cathedral coup, and Zion City then ceased to be monumental. Now called only Zion, it is now only one more Chicago suburb, its cult only the cult of the outlet store. All that remains of Dowie and his Christian Catholic Church is a few pages in Ulysses about disposable language. At the beginning of Lestrygonians Poldy will throw Elijah’s throwaway away, at the end of Oxen of the Sun the sound of Elijah’s sermon will be drowned in Stephen’s vomit, and in Circe his prayer for the whores goes unanswered (“Our Mr President, he twig the whole lot and he ain’t saying nothing”).

I’ve posted elsewhere about this (, and McDermott’s post includes one of the many newspaper articles from the time about Dowie and his scandalous reputation. But (a) the photograph of Zion City here is a better reproduction than the one in my earlier post, and (b) I’ve now discovered a couple of items from the Hawaiian Star (now the Honolulu Star-Advertiser) which entertainingly demonstrate one more affinity between the giant story of Ulysses and the little stories of Dubliners. To live either on a small island like Ireland or on a small island like Oahu is to learn experimentally the meaning of the term insular, so in the spirit of the insular I now offer you Honolulu’s view of Elijah the Restorer, 1904. The first two images are the full newspaper pages; the third is trimmed and pasted to show only the two main stories about Dowie, leaving out the third story about his acrostic bank.


Kevin McDermott, “A. J. Christ Dowie and the Harmonial Philosophy.” Music in the Works of James Joyce,

Meredith Rizzo, “Before Drone Cameras: Kite Cameras!”

The originals of all three images here are downloadable from the Library of Congress. I’ve photoshopped all of them for clarity and tonal balance. Click any image to enlarge it.