A follow-up to his Guide to Miracle-Making, Doctor Mister Miracles’s Vocabulary Guide for the Perplexed Miraclist is a book-long riff on a line from the Tao Te Ching: “Names can name no lasting name.” 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.” At first it seems straightforward. Real-world sacred terms (“caritas,” “paramita”) mingle with new words to describe ideas that could benefit the world (“humilitocracy”). But as the book goes on, the system breaks down — terms grow more opaque, words are burned away on the page, and disturbing images start to invade.
As with its contents, nothing about the book is what it seems. What looks like a stack of smudged index cards rubber-banded together is actually a painstakingly printed, hand-bound book, its sacred aspirations muddied by the inability of words to name a lasting name.
4” x 6”
hidden side sewing
ed. of 100
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