The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive


genesis genesis redux revisited

The explanation:

genesis genesis redux is a reduction of the book of Genesis, the originary
book from which the spiral of monotheism extends. Creation exists in the
performativity of speech; "God says," which of course presupposes a
language, sound and an atmosphere to convey it, throat, vocal cords, lips,
teeth, and tongue to configure it.

"God says," and it is done, completed, vocalization into matter. But there
remains, at the beginning, as if in reverse, the remnant, the speaking
itself, the origin and material grounding of that language, Hebrew,
Akkadian, Assyrian, Ugaritic, for example, from which creation ensues.
Wherever the account begins, began, in whatever district, desert, forest,
marshland.

A word is created only once. The creation of the word proceeds from the
existence of language; language is always already there, just as
information is: If we only had the means and patience to read it!

genesis genesis redux borrows and extends the materialization of language;
it also works through the aesthetics of the Thousand Character Essay.
Ellen Zweig and I have been translating this, it seems, forever, stumbling
across difficult classical Chinese, without any background 'for this sort
of thing.' In the Essay, a thousand different characters are used; the
essay itself is a thousand characters long, and there is no repetition.
One begins anew with each character, and here we are.

genesis genesis redux transforms the book of Genesis, and this is a better
transformation than one I had previously completed, this is more accurate.

This transformation is, and must be, the originary text of language, and
therefore must be Important, and a source for scholars of Revelation in
English.

The words in genesis genesis redux are all unique; the programming below
(with eliminate.pl a perl program by Florian Cramer, upon my request)
takes the original text, such as King James would have it, and eliminates
all redundancy. Every word is returned to its primordial uniqueness,
regardless of syntax and placement. As such, the text descends into
increasingly terse languaging, since the more common words are of course
eliminated early on. By the end of it, the protolanguage code of all
enunciation appears; the whole constitutes a supplication to language
itself, my own production of the Word of God, with no emendation, with a
purity that would have been well nigh inconceivable before the digital
age.

Here is an accounting.
cat genesis.txt | tr -cs A-Za-z '\012' | tr A-Z a-z > yy
perl eliminate.pl < yy > redux.txt
where eliminate.pl is below:
#!/usr/local/bin/perl5
while (<STDIN>) {
      @words = split /[\s]+/, $_;
      @spaces = split /[\S]+/, $_;
      for ($x=0; $x <= $#words; $x++) {
          $word_count{$words[$x]}++;
  if ($word_count{$words[$x]} == 1) {print $words[$x],$spaces[$x+1]}
                 }
         }


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