Ghost Writ: The Desert Wells Dialogues of Gilmartin Jacobsen (a fugue)

This book concerns one month in the life of the late Gilmartin Jacobsen, when he donated and delivered his library to our alma mater, Desert Wells College—a very exclusive, very remote, all-male two-year institution he attended in the late 1960s, on the border of California and Nevada near Death Valley. I was in my second year at DWC and was asked to help him catalog and shelve his collection since he was suffering from the illness — "inoperable tumor, irreplaceable organ" — to which he would have eventually succumbed had fate not intervened. During our long hours together, we talked about his life, intellectual interests, and work. 
With no firm plan in mind, but thinking it might prove useful in the future, I digitally recorded our conversations, several of his encounters with some of the faculty and students, and a seminar he conducted. Shortly before leaving, he gave me a box filled with what he called the "detritus" of his intellect and asked me "to make something of it" if I could: a trove of unpublished essays, unfinished poems, fragments of a memoir, letters, emails, reviews, even handwritten notes on the back of ATM receipts. (Joshua Cryst, Ghost WritThema, p.3)

The something Joshua made of it can be accessed at the bottom of this page.

Note:
  1. See “Ghost Writ”—The Project for a description of the process that affected the writing and revising of Ghost Writ and influenced its evolution from PDF-based “virtual book” to Print-on-Demand (POD) edition.
  2. See Ghost Writ—“The Invention” for a discussion of the roots (and routes) of discovery that produced Ghost Writ, through brief responses to inquiries and statements culled from emails, telephone conversations, tweets, and text messages received during the course of the project. 
  3. For information about books discussed in Ghost WritSophistication: Rhetoric and the Rise of Self-Consciousness and Rhetoric: Essays in Invention & Discovery by Richard McKeon.
  4. The Download PDF of the complete book (00_Ghost Writ) includes navigation using links in the Table of Contents to chapters and sections. Click a title in the Table of Contents to go to the page. Click a page number to return to Contents. 
  5. If you View a file while on this page, you can print a copy scaled either to actual size (6 x 9) or to fit an 8.5 x 11 sheet.
  6. A POD edition is available at Lulu.com via this link. The print edition is for private circulation (no ISBN) and priced to cover only the actual cost of four-color printing (5 cents/page, owing to the use of color fonts and graphics, especially in the fifth dialogue, 7_You & I). Check Lulu.com for discount offers. 
  7. As of 3/15/17 ghostwrit.net has logged 3577 downloads of the complete text 00_Ghost Writ since the initial upload 3/15/15(PDF versions reflect minor typographical corrections already incorporated into the print edition).
Mark Backman
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