Friday, September 01, 2006

The Revelation of Erasure

By Brian Dillon @ Tate, etc.

The cheap propelling pencil with which I'm writing this essay has a tiny white eraser tucked beneath its shiny top. I hardly ever use it - the action required is just too fiddly, and the metal cap likely to get misplaced between my second thoughts and the last stroke of rubber on paper. And anyway: what happens if the eraser runs out before the lead? A nagging thought like that could wipe the next sentence from my mind before I've erased the last. Actually, rubbing out what I've written - and writing this, as always, will be largely a matter of erasure - is only the most drastic option.A quick scribble will do to rid the page of a botched clause or an unhappy adverb. Alternatively, I might score the offending formulation through with a single line, so that it can be reinstated later, if things get desperate. In a hurry, I'll simply overwrite the old text, reshaping its letters where I can, obliterating others, as though shouting myself down. The result is a scratted mass of grey text, pretty much unreadable to anybody else.


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