Hypertext and Carpentry

Tuesday, March 7th, 2006

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.

He enterprizes:

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.

One response to “Hypertext and Carpentry”

  1. susan says:

    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.