Mac Low writing through Stein
Stein's "A Long Gay Book" rewritten by Mac Low's diastic Stein series: notes on "Very Pleasant Soiling (Stein 7)"
Jackson Mac Low made available several sections of his Stein series on his EPC page. I sometimes introduce my students to this series by reading and discussing with them number 7, titled “Very Pleasant Soiling.” Mac Low’s notes, as usual, describe the process by which this (and other) pieces in the series were composed:
Derived from a page (and preceding line) of Gertrude Stein’s “A Long Gay Book” (A Stein Reader, edited by Ulla E. Dydo, last line of 240 thru 241 — determined by a logarithm table) via Charles O. Hartman’s program DIASTEX5, his latest automation of one of my diastic procedures developed in 1963, using the 7th paragraph of the source as seed, and subsequent editing: exisions of words; changes of word order, tense, and suffixes within lines; and additions of capitals, periods, spaces, and a few structure words.
Click here for pages from "A Long Gay Book" directly relevant to Mac Low's diastic rewriting in "Very Pleasant Soiling." You will see two pages of Ulla Dydo's introduction to the work, following by the two pages Mac Low fed into DIASTEX5 - from Dydo’s brilliantly edited and presented A Stein Reader (pp. 240-241). And here again is a link to the text of the poem at EPC.
For more on Mac Low's sense of Stein: 1) Mac Low reads and comments on "A Carafe, That Is a Blind Glass," the opening section of Tender Buttons, (2) Mac Low's reading from and commentary on other parts of Tender Buttons.