This sampling of excerpts from introductions to books on my shelves seems fairly apropos.
by way of introduction
Penguins (as a lot of people don’t realize) do fly—not through the sea of the sky but through the sky of the sea—and my present ambition is merely to show how their flying affects every non-penguin. (1)
He did not venture beyond his immediate surroundings. (2) In this way his trip back in time was made possible.(3)
He sought to invoke a wonderland.(4) Like Alice, he had fallen down the rabbit hole; the garage door was open. (5) The underworlds were myriad.(6)
A collection of monsters.(7) Manifestations of powers or forces from the “other side”.(8) An ongoing enquiry into the shifting topology of the self.(9)
He could be a professor but also, at times, a prankster.(10) When faced with an audience of upright citizens, he might bark like a dog.(11) (Even Freud, for instance, once saw his doppelganger, fleetingly, in a mirror.(12))
Of course, there can be no singular author.(13) His absence from this venture is deeply felt.(14) In some of her poems she quotes such sources exactly, with or without quotation marks.(15) If this lack of consistency offends, then so be it. There are glaring gaps.(16) Sometimes, of course, the deception is deliberate.(17) And why should pathways like these not intersect?(18)
Will he lose his grip and crash to earth? Activating our sense of an ending, intimating that the restless present is about to be resolved, these auspicious correspondences heighten the terrible urgency of the “now” of life?(19)
Oh, what a world of unseen visions and heard silences, this insubstantial country of the mind! What ineffable essences, these touchless rememberings and unshowable reveries! And the privacy of it all!(20)
1. cummings, e. e. “Introduction.” Krazy Kat, by George Herriman. Madison Square Press, 1969, p. 10.
2. Moffett, Charles S., and James N. Wood. “Introduction.” Monet’s Years at Giverny: Beyond Impressionism, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1978, p. 13.
3. Buchberg, Karl, Nicholas Cullinan, Jodi Hauptman, and Nicholas Serota. “Introduction.” Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs, edited by Karl Buchberg, Nicholas Cullinan, Jodi Hauptman, and Nicholas Serota, Museum of Modern Art, 2014, p. 14.
4. Anker, Suzanne, and Sabine Flach. “Introduction.” The Glass Veil: Seven Adventures in Wonderland, Peter Lang, 2015, p. 13.
5. Grossman, Bonnie. “Introduction.” A. G. Rizzoli: Architect of Magnificent Visions, by Jo Farb Hernandez, Jon Beardsley, and Roger Cardinal. Harry N. Abrams, 1997, p. 9.
6. Standish, David. “Introduction.” Hollow Earth, Da Capo Press, 2006, p. 12.
7. Rousseau, Valérie. “Introduction.” Vestiges and Verse: Notes from the Newfangled Epic, American Folk Art Museum, 2018, p. 9.
8, 9.. Lingwood, James. “Introduction.” Susan Hiller: Recall—Selected Works 1969-2004, Baltic/Gateshead, 2004, p. 10, 11.
10. Eliel, Carol S., Karole P. B. Vail, and Matthew S. Witkovsky.“Introduction.” Moholy-Nagy: Future Present, edited by Matthew S. Witkovsky, Carol S. Eliel, and Karole P. B. Vail, Art Institute of Chicago, 2016, p. 18.
11. Luke, Megan R. “Introduction.” Kurt Schwitters: Space, Image, Exile, University of Chicago Press, 2014, p. 6.
12. Van Over, Raymond. “Introduction.” The Seth Material, by Jane Roberts, Prentice-Hall, 1970, p. x.
13. Eliel, Carol S., Karole P. B. Vail, and Matthew S. Witkovsky.“Introduction.” Moholy-Nagy: Future Present, edited by Matthew S. Witkovsky, Carol S. Eliel, and Karole P. B. Vail, Art Institute of Chicago, 2016, p. 18.
14. D’Harnoncourt, Anne, and Kynaston McShine. “Introduction.” Marcel Duchamp, edited by Anne D’Harnoncourt and Kynaston McShine, Museum of Modern Art and Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1973, p. 6.
15. Miller, Cristanne. “Introduction.” Emily Dickinson’s Poems As She Preserved Them, edited by Cristanne Miller, Belknap Press 2016, p. 7.
16, 17. Fuller Errol. “Introduction.” Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record, Princeton University Press, 2013, p. 13, 14.
18. Power, Roxanne. “Introduction.” Viz. Inter-Arts Interventions: A Trans-Genre Anthology, Viz. Inter-Arts, University of California, 2016, p. viii.
19. Koerner, Joseph Leo. “Introduction.” Bosch and Bruegel: From Enemy Painting to Everyday Life, Princeton University Press, 2016, p. 10.
20. Jaynes, Julian. “Introduction.” The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, Houghton Mifflin, 1976, p. 1.