In his novel, The Life of Geronimo Sandoval, which he’s now calling an essay in fiction, Professor Sandoval has another feature of things to deal with: the idea of edges.
I’m laying awake at night thinking about studcuts for a shed, let’s say. Let’s say I want to make a 7 foot cut (about 213 centimeters) and draw a line for cutting. On which side of the line am I to cut for perfect length? The answer is easy. But the I’ve made the wrong cut several times because as I cut I momentarily forget which side establishes length, and I often can’t see with a saw where a cut begins in relation to the line because of the width of the blade, say at 3/32 of an inch, and the starting angle of the cut (my friends tell me this is why I need a miter saw). But the problem is not the reality of the shed, but where the edge actually exists in reality on the stud. The line also has width, thus a cut on any board is board + line width – extraneous piece.
I’m working on a survey of names in a phone book, each a link to a real human being. The phone book, filled with strings of text, is a hypertext of edges, each name an impression or image, a border completing the form of a human body. A library full of books with repeating titles. It’s impossible to cut two studs to perfect length. It’s also hard to fall asleep under these conditions.
Professore, to this I can relate, as picture framer cutting lengths of molding with a miter saw. I add to the equation the graphite line–what number pencil do you use? Accuracy is still a matter of chance, and so I eyeball it between the metal channel. Risk, and yet it often falls within an rch of exact. More so, likely, than the name picked at random in the phonebook.