Doctor Mister Miracles' s Vocabulary Guide for the Perplexed Miraclist
By Josh Hockensmith
Pittsboro, North Carolina: Blue Bluer Books, 2014. Edition of 100.
4 x 6"; 48 pages. Inkjet printed on Red River 37 lb. Premium Matte paper with an Epson Stylus Photo 2200. Handbound with a hidden side sewing. Slipped into brown paper envelope with title and press information. Signed and numbered by the artist.
Josh Hockensmith: "Doctor Mister Miracles' s Vocabulary Guide for the Perplexed Miraclist is a book-long riff on this line from the Tao Te Ching that has stuck with me for years:
"Names can name no lasting name" (as translated by Addiss & Lombardo)
"As a sometime Taoist and an all-the-time verbalist, I can't stop thinking about that line.
"The book is introduced as 'A Glossary of Seventeen Terms Compiled to Vivify Your Miracle Practice.' The first entries are straightforward. Sacred terms from real-world religious traditions (caritas, paramita) mingle with new words for ideals that could benefit the world ('humilitocracy'). But as the book goes on, the system breaks down - terms grow more opaque or slippery, words are burned away on the page, and disturbing images start to invade.
"Nothing about the book is what it seems. What looks like a stack of smudged index cards rubber-banded together is a carefully printed, hand-bound book, its higher aspirations muddied by the inability of names to name a lasting name."