Sunday, February 13, 2011

Aimless Reading: The M's, Part 27.4 (Steve McCaffery)

Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
McCaffery, Steve

Purchased at Talking Leaves...Books for a course with Charles Bernstein.

I remember when I first saw the title to this book thinking that it had something to do with the Ebola Virus. My initial guess at the title's pronunciation was, "ee-vo-ba."

I was apparently confused about the Ebola virus. Somewhere I had it in my mind that it was a flesh-eating virus, but in fact it is a virus that keeps blood from coagulating. The symptoms, according to Wikipedia, are the following:

Although the incubation period is generally 5–18 days, it ranges from 2 to 21 days. Illness is characterized by the rapid onset of fever, malaise, muscle pain, headache, and the inflammation of the pharynx. Six days following vomiting and bloody diarrhea, individuals may develop maculopapular rash with bleeding at needle sites and bodily orifices. Reston ebolavirus is non-pathogenic to humans and individuals often do not show any symptoms, although it is fatal in monkeys. There is only one known case of Ivory Coast ebolavirus, and one outbreak of Bundibugyo ebolavirus. Zaire ebolavirus and Sudan ebolavirus (SEBOV) are the most common and whose symptoms include: abdominal pain (60–80%), fever (90–100%), headache (40–90%), bloody vomit (10–40%), Maculopapular rash (5–20%), malaise (75–85%), joint and muscle pain (40–80%), inflammation of the pharynx (20–40%), coagulopathy (71–78%), chest pain (SEBOV only 83%), CNS involvement (rare), dry and sore throat (63%), hemorrhagic diathesis (71–78%), hiccups (15%), non-bloody diarrhea (81%), vomiting (59%). Purpura, petechia, sclerotic arterioles, and low blood-pressure are characteristic as the disease progresses.

Later, Steve came to the class and told us that the title is pronounced, "Vubba," and that it is actually "Above" spelled backwards. I have to say that that knowledge took some of the pleasure of remaining in the mystery out of my understanding of the title. I enjoyed my odd tri-syllabic pronunciation and the elusive connection my mind made between this book and a deadly, (and so I thought) flesh-eating virus named after the Ebola River Valley in the Republic of Congo.

Alas. The mind wanders.

from Evoba

If the aim of philosophy is, as
Wittgenstein claims, to show the fly the
way out of the bottle, then the aim of
poetry is to convince the bottle that
there is no fly.


Anonymous said...

cover is a popular postcard - photo of blitzed bookstore, it think, no bottle, no fly eh wtf? is this zen or something

on the bird theme, didn't they stand on wittgenstein's head or something?

"i am the mirror, i am the fly" blah,blah, blah

jeff goldblum in a bottle

Michael Kelleher, Buffalo, NY said...

Who do you mean by "they"?