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Numbering the Days of Eternity

Ruth  McGurk

1994
Artist: Ruth McGurk. Letterpress and colored pencil. Non-adhesive long stitch binding.
Letterpress printing
non-adhesive long stitch binding
5 x 4 in
36 pages
published by Peripatetic Press

NUMBERING THE DAYS OF ETERNITY includes so many aspects of my thinking about time it's hard to know where to begin. The main thrust is contained in the subtitle, "THE PATHOS OF MORTAL ATTEMPTS TO DESCRIBE THE INFINITE." I depict man as a clown trying to define and limit the unknown and thus unintentionally diminish it to his own tiny scale. My references are to literature, Einstein's theory of the dilation of time, and to popular culture. Andrew Marvell hears time's winged chariout at his back, and Stan Kowalski ventures into a time machine. A pop fly takes an eternity to come down. Our ideas about time are skewed by the fact that our experience of it is primarily corporeal. Because our heartbeats don't count for much in the workings of the universe, we retreat to mechanical measurements and cling to clocks as if we could define what they were measuring.

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