Codex Mundi:
Escritura Fractal II
(con cuadratura numérica del hexagrama)
by Ramon Dachs
Garbarino Hnos, Buenos Aires Argentina-
Nimes France, 2004
Not paginated. illus. Paper, $n/a
ISBN: 2-9517224-6- X.
Reviewed by Martha Patricia Niño
M.
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
Colombia
ninom@javeriana.edu.co
Codex Mundi is a collection of
six geometric texts written by the poet
and librarian Ramon Dachs. The majority
of the fractal figures are composed of
one circle, the perimeter of which is
formed by the text "the words assimilated
to the dots. Their spatial simultaneous
disposition (geometry) substitutes the
linear temporality in which they usually
occur (syntax) as a form of structure
writing." He does not claim to be
doing traditional poetry or even visual
poetry, but, instead, he uses geometry
to replace traditional phrase syntaxes
in order to create more hypertextual structures.
Inside each circle, you can find one,
two, four or twelve word(s) associated
with a dot and a brief written commentary
about each of the topics with the figure’s
reading key. The full list of works is
composed by Twilight (unfolding from
the shore) -Key : Symmetry; Story
(unfolding of Biography) - Key: Segment;
Generation (unfolding of contingency)
-Key: 12 equilateral triangles in a six-pointed
star; Reproduction (unfolding of body)
-Key: Regular tetrahedron; Life (unfolding
of abstraction) -Key: Centre of gravity,
and Maturity (unfolding of temporality)
-Key: Orbital intersection. These writings
were made at intervals between 1978 and
1993.
The terms, geometry and fractal, are switched
during the text at some points. Dachs
describes his geometric writing and fractal
writing as analogous; in the prologue
he says that geometric writing entails
fractal writing. This is questionable;
fractals cannot be defined by traditional
Euclidean geometry. I would say the title
of the book should be geometric writing
since simple Euclidean forms such as circles,
dots, and triangles compose most of the
work. The cover of the book and has a
figure with some structural resemblances
to Mandelbrot's fractals in its perimeter.
That is the most fractal aspect I could
see at a formal level. Instead, his structures
have strong formal association with the
enigmatic figure of Ramon Lull and his
medieval figures of the theory of knowledge.
In particular, his Taula General
and cabala diagrams, the hexagram, and
some other references to the dark, grouped
in the Geometric Writing No3 related
with wound, skin, crack, rag, scar, rip,
sew, and wall, being the most prominent
part. The diffent sizes of the pages are
coherent with the unveiling concept, but
the binding of the book is rather fragile.
At a metaphoric level I guess it is successful,
and the way to read the generative words
and structures are definitely hypertextual
as happens with the geometric writing
No 3 (contingence). Thought provocative
words mix geometry with hypertextuality.
He claims to be doing the difficult task
of proposing a genuine avant garde after
their final eclipse. It also makes you
obliquely consider how former separated
realms such science and magic ended up
being so currently amalgamated thanks
to the almost incomprehensible laws of
quantum physics.