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CLOSURE (2010-3) by why the lucky stiff

CLOSURE (2010) by _why.

This is a wilfully glitchy, difficult, intense bundle of handwritten sketches about unspecifiable loss, faltering ambition, unchecked and uncaught exceptions. About why he doesn't program any more. It is autobiographical but most of it is probably not literally true.

The 95 stories, each brutally truncated:
ACCIDENT.pdf, ACCOUNTS.pdf, AMANDA.pdf, ATTEMPT.pdf, AWAKEN.pdf, BIBLICAL.pdf, BLANK.pdf, BOOMS.pdf, BRICKS.pdf, BURN.pdf, BUSTS.pdf, CAPRICE.pdf, CLOWNS.pdf, CONFLICTING.pdf, CORRUPTION.pdf, DELIRIUM.pdf, DESOLEE.pdf, DISCLAIMER.pdf, ELEVENTH.pdf, EXPERTS.pdf, EYES.pdf, FALLEN.pdf, FAREWELL.pdf, FIGHTS.pdf, FIRELESS.pdf, FLIPPED.pdf, FOOLS.pdf, FORGIVABLE.pdf, FRIGHTS.pdf, GAIMAN.pdf, GINGERBREAD.pdf, HELLOYES.pdf, HERBERT.pdf, HO.pdf, HOLES.pdf, HOMEWORK.pdf, IDEAS.pdf, IDOLATRY.pdf, IMPERSON.pdf, INVESTMENT.pdf, ITISUS.pdf, JERKS.pdf, JUXT.pdf, KIDS.pdf, LEAPS.pdf, LEVELS.pdf, LOGICAL.pdf, LOOKUP.pdf, MEANING.pdf, MIMICS.pdf, MISSING.pdf, MOLDED.pdf, NO.pdf, NOTES.pdf, NOTHIN.pdf, NOTYET.pdf, OBVIOUS.pdf, OUTRAGE.pdf, PASSAGES.pdf, PEANUTS.pdf, PIRATEO.pdf, PITHY.pdf, POULET.pdf, PRESENTLY.pdf, PROFESSORS.pdf, READING.pdf, REALITY.pdf, REASON.pdf, RECEIPT.pdf, RELATED.pdf, RESPONSIBLE.pdf, REVERSE.pdf, RIP.pdf, SACRED.pdf, SEAWATER.pdf, SENSORED.pdf, SOLICIT.pdf, SPAWN.pdf, SPENT.pdf, STACKS.pdf, STINKS.pdf, TABLETS.pdf, TEST.pdf, THEFT.pdf, TIGHT.pdf, TORN.pdf, TRESMAL.pdf, TRIALS.pdf, TRUMPETS.pdf, UNBOUND.pdf, URGENTLY.pdf, WELLWELL.pdf, WHATSUPDOC.pdf, YOU.pdf, YOUGETIT.pdf
Along with Gwern and Perlis, _why is one of our developer-artists. Art about code. So this is conceptualism that I don't immediately despise.

(A closure is a neat piece of code that can remember what has happened, knows what's going on outside, beyond what the code explicitly mentions.)

We get dead-format nostalgia, memery, a handwritten stretch of Ruby, and reflections on feeling inferior to Franz Kafka, of all people.

_why has a unique voice. That is a banal thing to say, but it is true here as I suspect it is not elsewhere. There are only two technical passages, one litany of relief from enterprise development, and one entire module in handwriting. There is torment here. Keep up the names: he is the Simon Weil, the Tristram Shandy of web development, the DFW of running out of ritalin. Unquiet introversion.
Can anyone that has had a blog be called private? (Where are all the introverts these days? Technology has upgraded introverts into - soft extroverts I guess.)
Here are his self-hating notes in the margin of his beautiful, kind comment on Shymalan's The Happening:
Perhaps the greatest pain of talking about art is how shallow it is compared to the actual experience of watching movie/song/etc... previously I had criticized the kinds of small talk discussions, particularly discussions about music, because they revolved around "Did you like this? Have you heard that?" and never went anywhere beyond that... Those pointless discussions that had always left me feeling empty, never able to talk about the beauty of music itself adequately, just the names and the styles... But why would anyone want to have a meaningful discussion all the time?

In a way I feel that's the point of being candid. To expose how shameful I am.
Wilfully awkward, marginal, analogue. He calls himself the Professor, as an insult. The PDF is of images, not text: you cannot copy anything without putting in the effort. Old misaligned book scans, dumb Gorey cartoon jokes, an itemized grocery bill, astute literary notes on Kafka, Ishiguro, Gaiman. He lives now with extreme thrift and extreme technophobia, slamming down his friend's phone when she browses it during conversation. He makes seawater bread instead of web apps. The harsh jump-cut absurdism between the sketches is not genuine - they are all linked. Not sure what by, but I say so.

I must strictly require you that, if you are to continue reading and go with me on this sally, that you resist from looking up anything to do with the book SACRED CLOWNS. This is paramount. I know the urge must be incredible to go out with your smartphones and to find out if the book is real, but I must INSIST that you just let it be. I don't know if it's possible for you to exercise that kind of self-restraint in this modern age, but you must. Of all the things I could ask of you, this seems so small and simple. Can you do this for me?
(I did resist, but it was actually hard to.)

I usually don't rate formal experiment, intentional awkwardness. But the warmth of his great first book and the constant self-deprecation and plaintive concrete detail make it easy.
"What's your name?"
"I won't say"
"It's just a name, mate! Doesn't mean anything to hide it!
"It doesn't mean anything to say it!" I yelled
Someone is squatting his old site. I wonder if it's _why; if the banal entrepreneurial positivity on it is him continuing CLOSURE. Since the book refuses to end; this is the last page:



4/5 but only if you care already.


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