THE FINIAL PRESS, Champaign, IL
Proprietor: A. Doyle Moore
Guy Davenport, WEWSIW, and the Internet
This website has not sought, nor should it be imagined to enjoy, the
approval or encouragement of anyone other than the small team who
worked on The Finial Press WEWSIW project. Its contents are solely the
responsibility of David Eisenman, who welcomes your comments.
Guy Davenport did not invite this website. He had no enthusiasm for any
aspect of the internet. He owned no computer. (In his last several
decades, he did use an electric typewriter. Many of the letters he wrote
on it were illustrated with images printed on his home copier.) He valued
his privacy and considered "internet snooping" a threat to that privacy.
When we told him we had registered the "guydavenport.com" domain, he wrote
back that he had firmly discouraged someone else who had earlier proposed
a Guy Davenport webpage.
We explained that anyone can register any name; that our having registered
his would at least keep it from being appropriated by anyone else. We
proposed to use this website to announce the WEWSIW project and to show
the process of printing, sewing, and binding a small press book.
Davenport responded that internet snoops might benefit from learning a bit
about how books are made. But he specifically requested that no excerpts
from the book be posted here or anywhere. To this we readily agreed.
We had earlier assured Davenport that WEWSIW would receive no electronic
distribution, on the internet or otherwise.
Davenport wished WEWSIW to be encountered in book form only -- a constraint
we took into consideration as we planned inventive ways to make this fiction
available to anyone who wishes to read it (see AVAILABILITY UPDATE).
Google Print (now known as Google Books) claims the right to scan and
display excerpts from any and all books, including ones like WEWSIW
that are still under the protection of copyright. We have asked them to
"opt out" WEWSIW from their grand scheme.
Guy Davenport particularly disliked the practice of extracting quotable
snippets and broadcasting them in cyberspace. In Google Books's case the
slicing and dicing is literally mindless, since the passages posted are
chosen at random.
Although no doubt someday someone will make WEWSIW available in electronic
form, for the next several decades it will be a *book*, to be held in your
hands and read the old-fashioned way. You may have discovered this book
via the internet, but you won't read it on the internet -- at least not
if we all honor Guy Davenport's clearly expressed preference.