about the author

“I don’t ever have an idea,” he noted in an interview in 1978. “The material does it all  … I know I could never plan a plot because the only kind of plot in any sense of the word in either writing or painting that I’ve ever been able to present has come of itself from one word to the next or one thing to the next.”

Adam Thirlwell, J.B. Him: Joe Brainard’s Universal Prose

They would gather in beautiful homes and he would stand before them, a handsome dark-bearded figure with a prominent nose, a shock of thick black hair, wearing a demeanor of dignity and sophistication and fixing upon them the dark eyes of a dreamer …  

They listened to his reading of the address, which lasted about two hours, but would not take his plan seriously. “Today I am an isolated and lonely man,” he had written in June, “tomorrow perhaps the intellectual leader of hundreds of thousands … ”

He decided to present the plan in a book.

Chaim Potok, Wanderings

KahnIVA02adj225BWLa

Fritz Kahn, Das Leben des Menschen; eine volkstümliche Anatomie, Biologie, Physiologie und Entwick-lungs-geschichte des Menschen, Vol. 2. Stuttgart, 1926. Relief halftone. National Library of Medicine

The nervous system here is visually compared to an electronic signaling system; the brain is an office where messages are sorted.