Within the Probabilities of Spelling

Texts by Rosmarie Waldrop
Images & Design by Karen Pava Randall

81 excerpts from the writings of Rosmarie Waldrop
accompanied by an abstract alphabet of shapes. the images do
not in any sense illustrate the text, rather they are a form of spelling or
recombinatorics, generating a unique sequence of images for each fragment.
the background patterns of the shapes were extruded from the 11th
edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s essay on probability.

Fragments were excerpted from the following of texts:
The Reproduction of Profiles, NY: New Directions, 1987.
Lawn of Excluded Middle, Providence: Tender Buttons, 1993
A Key into the Language of America, NY: New Directions, 1994
Split Infinites, Philadelphia, PA : Singing Horse Press, 1998
Reluctant Gravities, NY : New Directions, 1999
Love, like Pronouns, Richmond, Calif.: Omnidawn, 2003.
Blindsight, NY: New Directions Books, 2003.


“The images began as the essay on probability in the 11th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. I scanned segments of the essay into photoshop and distorted them in various directions to create a series of textured background tiles. I then created a sequence of 21 different shapes which I filled in with these textured backgrounds. Each individual shape represents a consonant (the images above, for example, represent the letters t and h). The sequence of images on the page thus spell a word on its respective (or irrespective page). The idea was not to challenge readers to decipher the images as text. Rather by allowing for a somewhat more random means of generating the images, I hoped to multiply the probabilities of spellings within.” Karen Randall

Printed by Karen Randall at Wild Carrot Letterpress in Hadley, MA. Extruded encyclopedic probability images rendered into polymer by Boxcar Press in Syracuse, NY. Text paper is Zerkall Copperplate. Ehrhardt type cast by Julia Ferrari & Dan Carr at Golgonooza in Ashuelot, NH. The box by Mark Tomlinson of Easthampton, MA

printed letterpress in an edition of 18. eight copies remaining. $1000