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Posted: Friday September 10, 2010
Seeing/Reading Sachiko Murakami's The Invisibility Exhibit

An Extended Engagement with Poetry as Necessary Vigil
By Gregory Betts

My Oxford Dictionary says that “to vet” is “to examine carefully and critically for deficiencies or errors.”

Before encountering the ghostly presence of death, of abduction, and of sacrifice; before we look to the margins of Canadian society and witness the missing women that haunt the language inside this book of poetry, I want to start on the outside of Sachiko Murakami’s The Invisibility Exhibit where the language inside has already been marked and encoded with significance. This significance outside and surrounding the text can be connected to some of the most intimate problems of writing about the erasure of people on the margins—on the outside—of Canadian society. Context shapes meaning, including the performance of a text in the world.

In the world, this book has been vetted and approved by a diverse literary community, a literary community that includes Margaret Christakos, who selected the author and the book for us tonight. It also includes the Vancouver publisher Talonbooks, the authors who blurbed the book 1, the authors who selected it for their 2008 Governor-General’s Award shortlist 2, the 30 “pronouns” thanked in her “Acknowledgements” page, the people involved in the previous publications of her poems, the various reviewers, and even the people who led her to literary traditions and conventions that consciously and unconsciously influence and shape the book. Furthermore, as Frank Davey has previously noted of Canadian literature, major awards alter the meaning of a book in this country and in this world. His point about the impact of recognition can be extended to include the recognition of a more broadly conceived literary community here—all of the people that get acknowledged in each and every book, and the many more who go unacknowledged. Even the Canadian and BC governments are involved in supporting and recognizing the value of this project. This potentially unlimited collective, the somewhat quantifiable support network that has accelerated The Invisibility Exhibit’s performance in and around the world, is virtually present in helping to enable this congregation in downtown Toronto tonight.

Before we even begin to encounter the language of this text, then, we encounter these signs of the text’s production and performance in the world—textual codes that the French literary critic Gérard Genette describes as paratexts. Paratexts are the threshold markers in and on the book object that attempt to mediate between the world and the text. Paratexts work with directionality: some paratexts, such as the funding acknowledgements, give cultural credit from the book to the world—and the government is supposed to be enhanced by this credit, which is why they demand ‘grateful acknowledgement’ from all who receive their funds—whereas other paratexts, such as the blurbs on the back cover or the ubiquitous cover stickers announcing awards and nominations, seek to give cultural credit from the world to the book—and with these the hope is that the book is enhanced by the credit of selection and vetting from the literary community. Genette talks about paratexts as being the “threshold of interpretation” such that reading and the meaning of a text are conditioned and shaped by the context that paratexts create. This is part of the means by which a forgotten book like Frank Parker Day’s 1928 novel Rockbound can be instantly reinvented and repackaged as a “Canadian classic” after winning CBC’s inaugural Canada Reads competition—and become a bestseller for the first time 75 years after appearing in print. If literary communities are always somewhat nebulous constructs, the impact of their support for specific texts can yet be tangible and significant.

In Murakami’s book, we can read into all of its paratexts a network of dozens if not hundreds of people in Canada—from the literary community to various levels of government—who have been involved in the process of shaping the meaning of this particular manuscript before it has reached you and me. This text is, in others words, a supported text that has been vetted and endorsed to some degree by an enormous number of people. Picking up this book, and reading through these signs, we can know that on some significant level it has been deemed worthy of transmission and distribution. It does not stand alone: or, to put it another way, it is in accord with Lautréamont’s maxim that good poetry “must be made by all, not by one.” As Murakami herself writes in “Powell Street”: “Now we are the audience to our own claims / of heritage”—more is at stake in this book than the isolated voice of the artist.

The paradox of the value and the community support that this particular book has accrued is that the text chronicles the experience of missing value—of the isolation and the erasure of value that allowed dozens of women to disappear in Vancouver over a series of many years. The text draws attention to the experience of living in a culture where certain people, certain bodies defined by race, economic class, and gender, fall outside of the protection of Canada’s social contract. The paratextual support, including governmental support, for this particular topic raises interesting and important questions about the role and function of art—of poetry—in Canadian culture, particularly in response to a public tragedy with extensive culpability. Perhaps as a reflection of the problem of writing a book of this sort, Murakami repeatedly returns to the problem of writing and to the problem of mediating Vancouver’s missing women. One of the topics that I will return to tonight is the sense of writerly vulnerability that permeates this text. Poetry, etymologically linked with making and creation, becomes a problem when your topic is invisibility and destruction.

In one of the later poems, “No Not Me,” Murakami directly addresses the problem of writing when the topic is the negation of value and of life: “To see a world that destroys becomes a problem […] To see beauty dropped” (68). Aesthetics cannot compensate for the absence of Vancouver’s women. Poetry has a different function in light of the “real consequence, the process you can’t reverse”. The assertion of self through the double negative in the title of this poem, “No Not Me”, draws attention to the negative dialectic that shapes Murakami’s literary response to what she calls the “true dead” in contrast to the images, the representations, of the dead (18). “No Not Me” is a two-part poem, divided between “i” and “i i”, the latter seeming like a stutter, a hesitation, or else reminiscent of the Jamaican I and I, which has been interpreted to signify a pronominal embrace of otherness. The poem asks “Where were you / when the lost woman stapled her photo to a phone pole / who put a pen down and snorted back the second-last bump / where you when what she wrote wasn’t novel / Can’t clap your way through” (69). The duality of I and I—of the author and her subject—surfaces in the symbolic overlap of writing utensils and drug paraphernalia. The poem becomes more intimate and insinuating in its address of the reader when the undesignated open question “where were you” becomes the direct-address accusation of “where you” in the fourth line; an accusation of non-presence, inattention, and indifference. The self of the speaker is here defined negatively: not by contrasting her own actions with the bad actions of the apostrophic “you” or with the unnamed “her” depicted in the poem, but by asking questions about actions or care that did not take place. The line “where you when what she wrote wasn’t novel” uses a pun on “novel” to extend the connection between the writer, seeking a novel, the addict, stuck in a self-destroying routine, and the audience, seeking something novel. This self-reflexive turn in the poem problematizes the poem’s own literariness: the speaker gives sarcastic “thanks for the pronouns and other [artistic] ploys” that coax others away from the person screaming—“what screams”—in the poem, beneath and behind the poem, trying to be found and to be heard. The problem is one of giving value to a character, metonymic of a class of people, that are not valued except for in the way that they can be further used and abused, including by artists and audiences like us, here in Toronto tonight.

“Missing” is the first poem in the book, and though it is written in an implied first-person, the text omits all first-person pronouns: “Waited in the rain with a sputtered candle, / set the percolator on the stove. Didn’t drink.” The lack of a subject in these lines becomes the subject of these lines. The speaker describes actions that are unfulfilled, futile—the waiting that never culminates in meeting, the candle that doesn’t burn for being doused by rain, the percolated water that is not drunk. What is done is set into the negative relief of what is not done but desired; and by extension, with the grammatical solecisms, the identity of the speaker is again, but here for the first time in the book, determined in negative relief by what they don’t do and the self they won’t declare. The poem extends this negative identity to include the failure or the sense of something being missing in more common experiences; from mundane pastimes and activities, to vacations that are not photographed, to speaking exclusively in “small-talk” or language constrained to clichés and non-expressivity. The circle of missing references extends to include the general life “in this midst that passes / so routinely for living” (9). The linguistic implications of the negative identity of the speaker are extended into a critique of general cultural habits, especially of social habits that suggest lack of presence and personal engagement.

Marshall McLuhan describes clichés as “inducing somnambulism” (From Cliche 15), sleepwalking, and defines them as the relics of a once-vital language that are commonly and freely used but that have been emptied of significance and that consequently prevent significant communication. Murakami’s second poem, “Against Time,” draws attention to the social consequences of going through the motions of life in a culture in this kind of induced somnambulant state; of becoming ourselves living clichés. She writes, “We are caught automatic / in this top-notch system” (10). Who is the “we” in this line? The speaker is now a third-person narrator, detached and observing an unnamed “her” who has sold her watch “for a few minutes peace.” It is unclear at this point if the few moments of peace are achieved by the satisfaction of hunger, addiction, shelter, or other needs, but, regardless, the poem highlights the character’s subsequent displacement from cliché living—from the somnambulant cultural habits that empty life of its significance. The poem makes clear that this cultural breach is not a liberation but a danger: without her watch, without time, the character drops out of the “automatic” system: “Losing one’s watch is a gateway habit that leads / to social problems.” Murakami gives a clue to the nature of the character’s escape here paragrammatically by twisting and extending the common cliché about ‘gateway drugs’ into a broader cultural construction of social markers that determine normal behaviour. Gateway habits, like gateway drugs, are dangerous for leading people ‘off the beaten track.’ The character is in danger because she is living against society, and she is therefore up against time: the cliché has been revitalized and now contains a pressing urgency. Her time is running out.

McLuhan was interested in the way North American advertising and mass media use clichés and dead language to sculpt society and how these features of the mass-media shape life and ideology inside commercialized culture. He believed that advertising as a structure within our culture dampened life options, limited personal choice, and stifled any vitality or revolt that could lead to self-consciousness or self-realization. Building from his interest in Ezra Pound’s quest for an art that might access and become the “point of maximum energy” (151), McLuhan began his career interested in maximizing self-consciousness about the impact that culture and media had in shaping our sense of self in an electric environment. His first books explicitly try to wake people up to the social implications of mediated communication. These introductory poems work from a similar point in the opposite direction. Instead of trying to rouse the culture from its sleepwalking, as did McLuhan and Pound, these texts draw attention to the social cost of somnambulant life in this culture. They focus on the lived consequences, including the costs exacted by late capitalist mechanisms of repression. In “Against Time,” and in numerous other poems throughout the book, Murakami individualizes the experience of ostracization by focusing her poem’s attention on a person who has fallen out of Canada’s cultural habits. These characters do not live the habituated clichés, or within the consensual parameters of acceptable behaviour, and these differences become both a sign and a reinforcement of alienation; of the characters’s valuelessness in a culture bounded by the dictum of value.

The fourth stanza of the poem reveals that this moment, this depiction of an unnamed woman, is in fact a mediated moment: the speaker is looking at a photograph in a gallery, a photograph reminiscent of Lincoln Clarke’s acclaimed but controversial photo series called “Heroines.” It is, readers can now realize, an ekphrastic lyric poem that draws attention to the mediation and aestheticization of Vancouver’s downtown eastside. The woman in the photograph, who “wouldn’t hang in the gallery otherwise” because she does not belong to the creative class, is already “old news” as interest in the art exhibition inevitably wanes with the constant barrage of new works, new exhibitions, and new artists. The woman in the picture, though inside the cultural habit for a moment, inevitably becomes a trope, becomes boring, becomes a cliché, and is once again pushed out of attention. She disappears from concern and significance when the crowd moves on. Her life and predicament have not been changed by the art world’s attention.

The final three stanzas leave the art world and shift focus to the speaker now outside of the gallery—“Deadlines here too” (10). In these stanzas, she passes time playing children’s games—duck-duck-goose—perhaps metaphorically and experiences an epiphanic flash of the cruelty and the strategy behind such a seemingly innocent game. The book plays with the age of the speaker and the symbolic versus realistic nature of the description and activities. In this poem, for instance, is the speaker a child herself? Is she a teacher? A teacher’s assistant? Who are the peers she plays with? Regardless, the poem highlights the speaker’s dual realization of the ostracization in children’s games and the deadly marginalization of the woman in the photograph. The point, of course, is not to trivialize life on the streets by making street life a game but to highlight the speaker’s empathy for the woman in the photograph through the meaningful experience of exclusion. This experience of exclusion shapes Canadian cultural life in important ways, and the poem includes two insights into the nature and tragic naturalness of isolation here. The first is the feeling of displacement from the art crowd that uses public tragedy for aesthetic gain; the speaker wakes up to the political and ethical dilemma of representing and even profiting from the marginalized. The second experience of isolation comes from realizing that children’s games teach exclusion and celebrate the humiliation of those at the perimeter of social power. Both of these experiences are foreboding of the dire and deadly consequences of a culture habituated to ostracization and marginalization.

The consequences that are referred to in this book are clear and terrifying. There are 57 poems on 80 pages in The Invisibility Exhibit, just a few more poems than the number of women Robert Pickton confessed in 2007 to murdering; but less than the number of women reported missing from Vancouver’s downtown eastside. None of the poems directly address the historical event of Vancouver’s missing women or make explicit reference to Robert Pickton’s farm and his subsequent trial. Instead, the text evokes the experience of being a woman living in Vancouver when these events saturated the symbolic and discursive environment. The danger of social marginalization, embodied in the Pickton case, surfaces through allusions to Coquitlam, to DNA, to mundane objects as evidence. It surfaces in poems that present themselves as evidence, to poems that document the insidious nature of violence against women, the meat industry, and of course the missing women whose absence appears throughout the book. In the poem “Fencing Lesson,” the rather innocuous and aristocratic sport of fencing becomes ominous and saturated with foreboding when sword-carrying young men grin at the speaker, leaning on blades, and invite her to a party: “We’re going to have a party this weekend / at my farm, in Coquitlam. Want to come?” (16). Pickton’s trial revealed that he routinely hosted parties of prostitutes on his Port Coquitlam farm where the bodies of his victims were found. The grisly allusion by the young men is, the speaker tells us, “a joke that they all get.” The line occurs in the midst of a poem that appears completely unrelated to the events of the Pickton case but highlights the insidious penetration of the mass murder into the imagination of people in Vancouver at the time. It also highlights the violent context of otherwise innocent moments. The first-person speaker in “You Think it Safe to Talk about the Weather” draws more critical attention to this phenomenon by noting that “Women go missing while we two / discuss the weather” (46). It is not safe to talk about the weather when the locus is saturated with death. This is a deficiency, an error, masked by everyday speech. In fact, everything becomes potentially dangerous. In the poem “Lock-In” the rather neutral image of a man knocking on a door becomes threatening and ominous: “Where’s he going?” (60).

The Pickton case and BC’s missing women becomes an indirect leitmotif throughout the book, recurring, haunting, distorting, shaping the experience of reality. But calling Pickton’s mass-murder a leitmotif is awkward, dangerous even, for translating an enormous historical and unfolding tragedy into a literary convention. As the “Portrait of Sonnet as Missing Woman” makes clear, literary conventions—in this case the sonnet—fail in a situation outside of love, where the question posed by the octet cannot be answered by the sestet—where questions can only be extended. The book struggles with and against this burden of vetting the visible living and acknowledging the presence of the absence of the invisible missing. In insisting on reminding her female readers who are also female authors “how easily we could choke” (67), Murakami’s book asks a lot of its readers, just as it asks a lot of itself. The book draws attention to the problem of the aestheticization of real-world victimization while yet being responsive to the condition of violence that such victimization engenders. Writing about victimization is a problem because it potentially enacts a subsequent exploitation of the missing women while failing to encounter the grim impact of the presence of their absence. The singularity of their loss, in other words, cannot be handled in tidy, conventionalized, cliché habits of language. But Murakami doesn’t write about them directly, doesn’t sentimentalize the loss or the horror: as she writes in “You Think it Safe,” “I can’t say I love you / in a poem. They’ll dismiss it. I have to show / I’ve dug deeper, to the distant heart / we do not call a heart” (46). Putting aside the issue of compulsion here, and who this “they” is that requires a particular aesthetic response to mass murder, these lines explain the poem’s evasion of the missing women as parallel to the way language evades the “distant heart” that “we do not call a heart.” This poem in confronting the emotional reaction, the extreme empathy, for the victimized women becomes abstract, riddled with indirection and imagination, and as the very last poem in the book makes explicit, ends up revealing very little of the historical lives and historical deaths of Vancouver’s missing women: “she’s gone, ruins already” (80).

The historical fact and experience of these women exists outside of language, outside of the sayable, in the realm that Genette describes as the extra-textual: the real world that is evoked or alluded to in a text, but that can never be accessed because of the gap between language and life. The poems, as a result of this linguistic problem, confront “that troubled subject” through evocative riddles, puns, anecdotes, narratives, and juxtapositions. These elements of the book are displacements that yet carry the trace of the trauma they seek to avoid. The series of poems that depict a young speaker’s relationship with her disaccommodated mother who struggles with poverty and control over her own life, the series of portraits of various characters on the verge of disaster, and the series of portraits of the people who are presented as being culpable for the tragedy are all made more terrifying and pressing by the severe reality of the violence that surrounds them—that haunts them from outside the book. Freud notes that trauma is a psychic wound, and that repressed traumas manifest themselves in the victim’s conscious mind and behaviour surreptitiously, including through language that has been marked by the unconscious. The unconscious that needs to acknowledge the wound wrestles with a conscious mind that is unwilling or unable to handle the burden. Similarly, on a culture-wide level, including for the speaker in these poems, the experience of living amidst such violent victimization is displaced, sublimated into the arts, and has even penetrated all aspects of the discourse in the book. It is, of course, not just her: as the jokes by the young men mentioned above reveal, the extreme violence has slipped into normal discourse. The jokes fit Freud’s categorizations of both “hostile jokes” that seek to use humour and laughter to displace aggression and even violence (Jokes 115), and “obscene jokes” that use humour to expose their sexual desire for the audience of the joke. Perverse as it may seem, such jokes about sexual violence done to prostitutes are part of an attempted if abhorrent seduction. Taken in this way, the text highlights the degree to which the mass-murders have been internalized and integrated into common discourse, in this case courtship. The fencing poem is followed by a poem called “Allusion” that extends the violent associations and normalization of violence and victimization of women by blending the story of Cinderella with the Pickton murders: the revealing shoe that provides “evidence” of the girl’s identity in this version loses all romance and innocence by the rumours of “the mess of limbs and blood” that accompany its discovery (17). The poem concludes with a direct address to the reader asking them if they/we “remember that part?” With such a closing Murakami insists on recognizing the widespread cultural culpability for violence against women. She also uses negative identification, the implied presence of their absence, as a means to engage with this deeply emotional aesthetic quagmire; of making an art responsive to but not at the expense of BC’s missing women.
The poem’s speaker, though she remains unnamed throughout the book, does not herself become one of Vancouver’s missing women. Instead, she becomes an oscillating figure of juxtaposition and association with the women; linked empathetically but separated by the binary fact of their absence and her presence. The binary appears in the collection’s sixth poem, ‘Two Women” that depicts one imagining the other’s skin “as fragile eggshell,” broken and marked by “trauma.” The poem’s speaker proceeds to walk on and crack eggshells on the sidewalks, thus complicating the binary and signalling her fundamental difference (15). She is present and alive, but she is also implicated in the absence of the missing woman. This oscillation spreads through the book: in “Hamartia” she imagines “a field / [with] bodies pressed into mud. This is my story” (57). But this empathetic relation does not overcome their difference: in “Restrictions” the speaker acknowledges “seventy women with no concept of what a line break could / do […] this is art not survival we are well-heeled” (67). The limitations of art in this case are obvious: poetry will not help the seventy missing women; art will not help them survive nor will it help to find them; it is, indeed, a well-heeled and entirely abstract concern to wonder about the political implications of the line break. Here we are led to the aesthetic crisis of the entire project.

If art cannot help these women directly, why write at all? To be sure, Murakami’s concern about the limited or perhaps nonexistent political effect 3 of art partakes in a long tradition of similar questions. As George Bataille wrote in 1957, “Though poetry may trample verbally on the established order, it is no substitute for it. When disgust with a powerless liberty thoroughly commits the poet to political action, he abandons poetry” (Literature 38). More recently, but on a related note, Terry Eagleton decried the widespread leftist abandonment of political agency in favour of conceptual subversion and abstraction, such “that the West is indeed now stuffed with brilliant young male zombies who know all about Foucault and not much about feeling [… this] must surely be a cause for rejoicing in the White House” (The Illusion 23). In both opinions, leftist art and art theory is said to embody a morally decadent, wasteful use of energy that could be more fruitfully channelled into direct political action. It is also worth pointing out that grammatically in both of these passages female writers are rendered invisible.

Rather than ignoring it or refusing to write, Murakami incorporates this kind of jaded and cynical critique of art into her own aesthetic response—adding an important nuance to her lyrical study of life in Vancouver. The result is a kind of self-reflexive vulnerability that opens up her emotional response to life in Vancouver during a particular historical moment to broader questions about the role of art in response to public tragedy. And, in opening itself up, the book confronts the constant reinforcement of the conditions that enable violence against women—including the author and the audience who, as she writes in “Stroll,” “give” men “things he does not deserve / or ask for / or require / and we walk him to the right end” (28). The poem’s insist on the visibility of women, vetting and even parodying the way women are seen and put on display. In “Girl to Gorilla,” grotesque spectators get “aroused” while a woman defaces herself on stage (35). The show uses surrealist violence to literally deface the titillating woman on stage as part of a gruesome spectacle of self-mutilating femaleness. This poem’s satire of blood-lustful audiences provides a stark contrast to the eponymous poem of the book, which in a way also addresses the public’s engagement with female experience. Like “Girl to Gorilla,” “The Invisibility Exhibit” abandons lyrical realism—this time for a symbolic circus built around the experience of going missing. The experience has been commercialized and inevitably sanitized: psychologists patrol the grounds “alert to the first signs of panic” and ready to intervene to protect the exhibition and, supposedly, the users. The experience is fun, “full of laughter,” and few people make the connection between the “old superhero’s trick” of invisibility and the more ominous experience of living “without love” (77). The two exhibits, invisibility and lovelessness side-by-side, evoke and make visible the necessary conditions for the disappearance of women in Canadian society.

What is the function of art in this context? Freud, in Civilization and its Discontents, argues that the proper functioning of a society inevitably depends on the repression of violent and selfish urges, and that one of the functions of art is to help accommodate people to the freedoms they have given up. Art provides an imaginative catharsis that releases the psychological burden of social life, and, consequently, helps to keep the social order in place and functioning. No doubt, at a certain level, this function of art connects to the motivation of Canadian governments to support and fund the arts here. Murakami’s text draws attention to a deeper problem, however, namely that the habitual violence against women is proof that our automatic system is not functioning properly; and that we cannot simply, innocently return to normal habits after Pickton has been arrested. There are still women missing, going missing. There is still a lack of love and lack of value for the lives of vulnerable women—who, as the last poem in the book suggests, are less protected than the DNA evidence that their dead bodies offer up (80). The poems are marked by the frustration of the limits of the personal power of an artist to affect change, just as they are marked with frustration at the complacency of a society that includes horrendous violence against women. If art, for Freud, helps to stabilize a society, Murakami’s The Invisibility Exhibit calls attention to the kind of society we are sustaining by our complacency and our somnambulance—precisely why the extensive community support that I mapped out at the beginning of this talk is so significant for a project of this nature. This book is “risky,” as Stephanie Bolster writes on the back cover, because no one is let off the hook for the violence. Instead of treating the historical events realistically and directly, The Invisibility Exhibit looks to the conditions and the social structures—including its own social support networks—that facilitate the conditions for violence. This is the necessary concern, the necessary vigil, in which a necessary alternative way of regarding, depicting, and seeing these women might surface. By doing so, Murakami raises the possibility of waking herself up—waking her readers up—from a widespread slumber that tolerates and has become habituated to the disappearance of women.

Jacques Derrida in his book The Gift of Death returns to Socrates to define philosophy itself as “the experience of a vigil over the possibility of death” (12). This vigil over the loss of self open up the mystery and possibility of “an assembling of self”: for the self “only returns to itself, in both senses of assembling itself and waking itself, becoming conscious, in the sense of consciousness of self in general, through this concern for death” (14-5). The Invisibility Exhibit attempts to care for and about the death or rather the absence of people outside of care and significance, what Kristeva has called the abject, and in doing so provokes a broad consciousness of what it is our culture suppresses, erases, in order to sustain itself. In this way, the book works toward a critical and self-aware philosophy as much as toward an aesthetic that includes recognition of the presence of absence in life and in art.


This paper was delivered by Gregory Betts to Influency: A Toronto Poetry Salon in Spring 2010, with Sachiko Murakami present.—Eds.

1 Elizabeth Bachinsky, Jon Paul Fiorentino, and Stephanie Bolster.
2 Di Brandt, Pier Giorgio DiCicco, and Connie Fife.
3 Poetry, however, has political affect as defined by John Protevi in which “our bodies, minds, and social settings are intricately and intimately linked.”

Works Cited:
Bataille, Georges. Literature and Evil. 1957. Trans. Alastair Hamilton. London: Marion Boyers, 1985.
Derrida, Jacques. The Gift of Death. 1992. Trans. David Wills. Chicago: U Chicago P, 1995.
Eagleton, Terry. The Illusions of Postmodernism. Oxford: Blackwell, 1996.
Freud, Sigmund. Civilization and Its Discontents. 1930. Trans. Joan Riviere. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1989.
—-. Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious. Trans. James Strachey. 1960. New York: W.W. Norton, 1989.
Gennete, Gérard. Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation. 1987. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1997.
McLuhan, Marshall and Wilfred Watson. From Cliché to Archetype. New York: Viking Press, 1970.
Murakami, Sachiko. The Invisibility Exhibit. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2008.
Pound, Ezra. “Vortex.” 1914. Ezra Pound and the Visual Arts. New York: New Directions, 1980. 151.