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

 Imagining the life of a mind . . .

"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 catalogue 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with what he called the 'detritus' of his intellect and asked me 'to make something of it' if I could: a trove of unpublished essays, unfinished poems, fragments of a memoir, letters, emails, reviews, even handwritten notes on the back of ATM receipts."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, Thema, p. 3)

The "something" Joshua made of it can be accessed at the bottom of this page.
  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. A POD edition is available at Lulu.com 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). Check Lulu's homepage for discounts. 
  4. For information about books discussed in Ghost Writ Sophistication: Rhetoric and the Rise of Self-Consciousness and Rhetoric: Essays in Invention & Discovery by Richard McKeon.
  5. The tabs "Ghost Writ"—The Project and Ghost Writ—"The Invention" lead to brief explanations of how this book came to be, and why.
(NB: Versioning refers to changes in the brief descriptions on this page. Complete book and its parts were uploaded 9.1.16)
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I aspired to authenticity, but I never got beyond verisimilitude.  17610k v. 2 Apr 20, 2017, 8:16 AM Joshua Cryst
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  405k v. 1 Sep 1, 2016, 10:24 AM Joshua Cryst
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Not just the life of my story my muse/You are the story of my life.    183k v. 1 Jul 12, 2017, 7:21 AM Joshua Cryst
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Something is given, some things are asked, everything is answered, and nothing ignored.   1107k v. 2 Apr 20, 2017, 8:50 AM Joshua Cryst
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We think we know that we know what we think. Or not.   6440k v. 1 Apr 20, 2017, 8:50 AM Joshua Cryst
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We see but cannot hear and hear but do not see, as we seek the future in the past.   2249k v. 2 Apr 20, 2017, 8:50 AM Joshua Cryst
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Thinking and doing require imagination, and nothing worth anything is easy.   2050k v. 1 Apr 20, 2017, 8:50 AM Joshua Cryst
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We wander from present to past and back again, beginning where we end and ending where we begin.   4325k v. 1 Apr 20, 2017, 8:51 AM Joshua Cryst
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In the end, everyone gets what they want but not necessarily what they expect.   146k v. 1 Apr 20, 2017, 8:32 AM Joshua Cryst
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  5097k v. 1 Sep 1, 2016, 10:25 AM Joshua Cryst
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p.369(PDF377), line 17ff    89k v. 1 May 5, 2017, 9:57 AM Joshua Cryst