The New Intellectual
dedicated to Bernadette Mayer
(first in the series “When Good Things Happen to Bad Books”)
This project grew (literally) out of my poetry workshop at St. John’s University where I gave students books which had been discarded from the University library and asked them to alter them in some way. Kara Thomas did a masterful piece with Ayn Rand’s, book, The New Intellectual of which multiple copies were discarded. Due to the exigencies of exam period, I received Kara’s final project while it was still wet, so she wrapped it in saran wrap, hence the shiny surfaces in some photos. Unfortunately by the time I looked at the project, mold had begun to grow, adding to the multicolored surfaces of the piece—so I was moved to document its beauties before it was thrown away. Thank you Bernadette for permission to alter books, for your experiments, and thank you Kara for rising to the challenge of making something amazing out of one of the many books I rescued from the ravages of biblio-carnage going on in this digital age.