(He's too kind - so many people are led by the nose these days - they don't know what they think - tweets all over the "landscape" don't help - they're too often less haiku than regurgitations into the mouths of hungry starling beaks - but who needs more starlings? Hummingbirds!)
Judt continues, heartbreakingly,
I am more conscious of these considerations now than at any time in the past. In the grip of a neurological disorder, I am fast losing control of words even as my relationship with the world has been reduced to them. They still form with impeccable discipline and unreduced range in the silence of my thoughts—the view from inside is as rich as ever—but I can no longer convey them with ease. Vowel sounds and sibilant consonants slide out of my mouth, shapeless and inchoate even to my close collaborator. The vocal muscle, for sixty years my reliable alter ego, is failing. Communication, performance, assertion: these are now my weakest assets. Translating being into thought, thought into words, and words into communication will soon be beyond me and I shall be confined to the rhetorical landscape of my interior reflections.Rhetorical landscape of my interior reflections - nice phrase, I turn it over (in the metaphorical landscape of my mind). So I consider the elements of the cover design, and they don't mesh (for me) with "landscape." The images convey artifact and externalized thought, especially of technology, but not rhetorical or metaphorical landscape. Perhaps the blue background with the faintly traced geometric lines (please don't tell me that that grid is representative of human thought processes, I don't believe the mind is as ordered as that - though it's capable of focusing to produce such a grid). I wonder, then, if the background could be employed to imaginatively contribute to the concept of "landscape." I don't know what the image would be - perhaps an image of art - a prehistoric depiction of landscape (if there is such a thing - Lascaux horse paintings?), Darwin's handwriting, your handwriting, a cartographic representation - map & legend - imaginary, legendary - a mental map. An opportunity, possibly, too, to include "art" (not just technology) in the conceptualization. So maybe, in sum, I see the cover as a little too mechanistic, brutalistic even. I know - that's a very strong word (I don't mean to be blunt myself), but - perhaps from my perspective as a woman, or at any rate as a person with a range of artistic/emotional/intuitive responses - the effect of the cover, to me, is quite blunt and, well, artless, in the stark images, isolated from one another and punctuated with all block-cap text. (Is or isn't the archaeological record either gender-neutral, or gender-specific - but not exclusively "male"?) So that is my two cents - from your unsolicited focus group of one. Either that - or change the title.
Other than that - love and kisses, truly, dearest. I've been at a bit of low ebb today as the tide in my mental seascape turned (no joke - it was rough learning that U.S. wasn't you though today I could totally laugh about it). I'm glad Qwest at 184.96 is back. Now a song on KZE - ... there's a lot of jam bands in Colorado.
P.S. Now it's an unsolicited focus group of two - I had D take a look at the cover and read the post. He thinks, lose the main title already, go with the "arch. of thought" wording - elevate it. That's the original, starkly arresting, incredibly exciting phrase - it should be in the main title! (Plus, I wasn't crazy about the depiction or placement of the hewn stone - too redolent ...) Signed, Anna (Mrs.) DeWintour