Cloud on Title

10May12

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What an appealing  pattern a word cloud is to visually represent the relative importance of certain terms in a given context.

But there seems to be some uncertainty as to its progenitors.  Wikipedia proposes  as “early printed example of a weighted list of English keywords (…) the subconscious files in Douglas Coupland‘s Microserfs” which appeared in 1995. It also mentions that a “German appearance occurred in 1992”.  This relates to Deleuze / Guattari’s german edition of Mille Plateaux (Tausend Plateaus. Kapitalismus und Schizophrenie) which has a weighted list on its cover.

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I found another antedecent – ERUTARETTIL – which appeared as early as 1923 in the proto-surrealist magazine Littérature. It weighs the importance of certain writers for the nascent surrealists.

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You can find information about its origination in a post by Marie-Claire Dumas on the Doucet Littérature blog.

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Original manuscript by André Breton and Robert Desnos.

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