July 9, 2009
Language and the New Liberal Arts
So I’m sitting here, working on making a plain-vanilla hypertext version of New Liberal Arts so folks can read it on their phones, Kindles, whatever, and cleaning up all the extra cruft to make it work — you can just cut-and-paste from the PDF, it’ll be easy, Robin says, forgetting that it’s set in opposing faces that sometimes get out of order, that the all-cap fonts turn into gibberish, and that there’s a freaking secret message in the thing —
And, maybe just naturally, or maybe as a function of what I’m doing, I am totally blown away - again - by Diana Kimball’s “Coding and Decoding” and Rachel Leow’s “Translation.”
Seriously. Just check them out. They’re so elegant and complimentary - Rachel’s is about a kind of patient mastery and deep connection to other human beings past and present, Diana’s about ambient awareness of linguistic symbols that we discover but whose deciphering is always going to be incomplete. Originally, I was going to write a separate NLA entry for “Languages” - when I first read these two, months ago, I realized that I had nothing I wanted to add.