* With all her brass agleam, Miss Howe passes Mr. Death on the right.
** Susan Howe is the author of a book called Pierce-Arrow. The Pierce-Arrow made of metal, photographed here, was an American luxury car of the early twentieth century. Susan Howe’s vehicle, the Pierce-Arrow made of words, is a rhapsody on themes of and by and about Charles Sanders Peirce, an American philosopher who wrote an essay called “How to Make Our Ideas Clear” and died in poverty.
*** Susan Howe is also the author of a book called My Emily Dickinson.
**** Mr. Casaubon’s punch line: In this image, Miss Dickinson may be the passenger in the ghostly vehicle on the right. Her driver slowly drove, according to the trip log, but even a heartbeat moves enough to make us and the record in images of our lives unclear.
Source of the image: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/98508090/. Photoshopped.
Visible only in the tropics – that is, in the latitudes between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn – this is the zenith passage or Lahaina noon: the moment when the sun is directly overhead and an object standing vertically will cast no shadow. In the tropics it comes twice a year: when the sun is on its way north to the Tropic of Cancer (which it will reach at the summer solstice) and when it is on its way back south to the Tropic of Capricorn (which it will reach at the winter solstice). In Hawaii, where I took this picture today, the dates are in May and July.
And the picture’s title comes from a poem by Emily Dickinson, “I had been hungry all the years.”
In 2012 the Emily Dickinson International Society inaugurated a series of online publications called New Directions in Dickinson Studies. Unfortunately, members of the society showed little interest and the series came to an end in 2013.
I posted an article there myself in 2012, and it’s still up on the site’s page at http://newdirectionsindickinsonstudies.org/?m=201211. However, all of its image links are now broken. To spell out what that means: it got published with peer review (good!), and fast, unlike paper publication (good!) — but now it can’t be read (as if every library that held it had burned down!). So, academic types:
do your students refuse to buy textbooks because they think everything is online?
Do your administrators say they don’t need libraries because they think everything is online?
If your answer to either of those questions is Yes, then please join me as we all say as loudly as we can, to students and administrators and Silicon Valley / Wall Street “reformers”:
There’s a moral there.
And here, a tiny dandelion timidly sprouting in the ashes of the library, is my article with its links intact.