You Cannot Stop Me. Help Me.


If I want to use a book as a paperweight, the author cannot stop me. If I want to use a book to level a chair, to flatten a flower, to use as a weapon, the author cannot stop me.

If I want to draw all over the pages, to carve my name into the words, to change the meanings with a scalpel or a Sharpie, the author cannot stop me. I can give my copy of your text to my dog, just to see what happens. You cannot stop me.

I want to take your text and give it to my algorithm. I want the words to react and to change. I want to create a million skewed copies, each with its own imperfections and improvements, for different readers, for different interactions, for new creations. I want to create fertile ground for a thousand flowers to bloom from a single seed.

The writer / philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti is quoted as having said that our souls all come from the same paper, but what makes us unique is the creases formed in the paper from all the folding and unfolding of our life experience. Give me your work in a thousand identical pages, and I will let the crowd start to fold.

One thought on “You Cannot Stop Me. Help Me.

  1. Yes!

    I once took a copy of a novel I had written — The Falling Woman (Tor Books, 1986) — and I deconstructed it. With a large black marker, I deleted and deleted and deleted, leaving only a few words here and there, reducing the text to its essence. I read the novel aloud at an auction and sold the deconstructed work at a charity auction.

    I’d love to read that deconstructed text again. I wonder, if I took a marker to the same book today, how the results would compare. Similar or radically different?

    I am my own algorithm. But I am a different algorithm day to day, year to year.

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