Ben Marcus Smiling

Quotes - or - Any aspect of Thompson which Thompson cannot control

from The Death of Water
When heated, it burns with a brilliant flame to form a river that exhibits fishes and stones and is used in shuttling the seven primary, liquid emotions to THE BEHAVIOR FARM. The steam is used as a core for the carbon arteries of OHIO.

WIND BOWL: Pocket of curved, unsteady space formed between speaking persons. They may discuss the house, its grass, some foods, the father inside. The wind bowl will tilt and push across their faces, that they might appear leaning back, arching away from each other, grasping at the ground behind them as if sleeping.

from The Golden Monica
...this knife is curved, fluent in the obstacles of bone and cloth.


What is this book?

I feel compelled to try to define this book, which is weird because it is a book of definitions. This is also a sneaky way to get you guys to use our research databases. Finally, this is a chance for me to use proper MLA citation which is so much fun.

In short this is a book that blocks interpretation by a constant series of definitions that are then constantly redefined.
  • Vernon, Peter. "Ben Marcus, The Age of Wire and String." Yearbook of English Studies (2001): 118. Literature Resource Center. Web. 16 Nov. 2012.

The Age of Wire and String was, and remains, an appallingly original book. It seems to present an entirely alienated, yet entirely credible, vision of the nuclear family. The book proceeds not by plot but through a series of definitions. To read it is to encounter a cultural primer that seems midway through a nervous breakdown.

  • Litt, Toby. "In the name of the father." New Statesman (1996) 4 June 2012: 48. Literature Resource Center. Web. 16 Nov. 2012.

Literature Resource Center is a wonderful database that all Massachusetts residents can use FOR FREE (You're welcome).


The Age of Wire and String: A Primer

"This book is a catalog of the life project as prosecuted in the Age of Wire and String..."

"There is no larger task than that of cataloging a culture..."

Marcus' book sets out to literally define. It explains phrases and provides definitions of terms. It is a technical manual / field guide to life in the Age of Wire and String.

RAINHard, shiny silver object, divided into knives and used for cutting procedures. Most rain dissolves within the member and applies a slow cutting program over a period of years. This is why when one dies, the rain is seen slicing upward from its body. When death is converted into language, it reads: "to empty the body of knives."