Chapter

Epitaph

Peggy Kamuf

in To Follow

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780748641543
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652136 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748641543.003.0070
Epitaph

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The Advanced Multiple Organized Experimental Basin (AMOEBA) is a circular tank, created by Mitsui Engineering at their Akishima laboratory, which is able to form letters with standing waves, and which does nothing so well as mimic poetic invention, although by reassembling it in a hugely cumbersome, Rube Goldberg-like machine. In the end, however, it must settle for programming possibilities that have been around as long as the single-celled organism invoked by its acronym. Indeed, amoebae – those most elementary of poets, bound up symbiotically, osmotically with their aquatic medium – could doubtless teach these engineers a thing or two about writing in water, about laying down traces of an experience, the singularity of which must risk letting itself drown in repetition to become readable for another, if indeed it does so before vanishing without a trace. The figure of writing on or in water says this vanishing, in other words, the appearance of a disappearance.

Keywords: AMOEBA; water; writing

Chapter.  1973 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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