Liquid Paper

Ujana Wolf, “Whiting Out, Writing In, Or a Technique for Recording the Migratory Orientation of Captive Texts,” Asymptote October 2013


Erasure, the reworking of found or selected texts by erasing most of the words, be it with the aid of correction fluid, ink, painting over or leaving out, oscillates between sabotage and homage, vandalism and reanimation. In Jen Bervin’s Nets, for example, all the words of the original text — Shakespeare’s sonnets — are still legible, yet most of them are printed in grey, almost faded away. They form a net, a shadow text, which can support the remaining words or at any moment lay itself protectively over them, as if they wanted to emerge briefly or themselves join in the disappearance. This curious tension is common to all erasures, the appearance of disappearance; they foreground — like concrete, experimental, lyrical, or language poetry — the materiality of language, of every single letter. They know that the space on the page is party to a text’s writing, a valve to let off steam, a white that structures silence, physically tangible,
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Redactive Poetry Project

Dennis Johnson, “Redactive Poetry Probably Legal, Say Experts,” MobyLives 19 March 2010:

Inspired by a poetic method called “erasure” — “where the poet erases portions of newsprint or blots out text from a novel, using the remaining words to create a different narrative than the original journalist or author’s intention” — a group of students in an intellectual property law class at New York University have launched the Redactive Poetry Project.

Parker Higgins, Amanda Levendowski, and Nick Panama say the aim of the project is to imitate the physical aspect of erasure poetry by having a website that “functions digitally by enabling users to redact portions of text from any webpage on the internet using our RePoMan bookmarklet to create a new poetic work.” That is, the site offers a nifty button that you can add to your bookmarks bar, then simply clicking on it at other websites allows you to “redact” or black-out parts of the text on that website. Redactive poets are then encouraged to take a screen shot of the result and send it to the website, where Higgins, Levendowski and Panama have been posting submissions since earlier this month. …