Guide to the Dictionary
This Dictionary of Negative Space is focused on the nameless ideas one discovers tangled in the weeds in the aftermath of a tragedy. They have been culled from personal experience, conversations with friends*, memoirs, newspaper articles, documentary films, snippets overheard on public transportation, and literary panels. Please feel free to email me at DictionaryofNegativeSpace at gmail dot com with any similar nameless words that you discover hidden in the dark crannies of your own grief. I promise to take care of them.
Entries – Since these entries are as yet unnamed, they can not be organized alphabetically. Instead, the ideas in this book are grouped much more subjectively: in the order in which I found them or could face them. For this reason, I hope that you, kindly readers, relish randomness. People have asked whether I intend to create names for these entries. While I understand why people want this, I am more interested in highlighting how this lack of language influences mourners. If you have the gumption to work on names, please chat about them in the comments.
Sample sentences – As you can imagine, it is rather challenging to suss out citations for nameless words. Instead, you will discover purely, positively 100% hypothetical sample sentences. All characters and incidents portrayed in these sample sentences are fictitious but may resonate with you on a personal level. That is just the magic of negative space working on you. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred, however, if it makes you want to sue the author or its publishers.
Comments – Please jump in with questions, comments, observations or alternative illustrations but please, please, please be kind and respectful. It is already challenging enough to have conversations about mourning and dying. While this is a Dictionary of Negative Space, it is not a forum for negativity, hate, or harassment (There are more than enough other places on the inter web for that if that is what you are looking for).
Illustrations – Illustrations can be found in a wide variety of media, e.g. photos, blog posts, field recordings, soundscapes, choreographic exercises, interviews, etc. After July 1, 2018, karen will present illustrations by other artists in this online gallery. If you are interested in submitting illustrations, please contact karen – DictionaryofNegativeSpace at gmail dot com.
* Editor’s note: If you have ever had a conversation with karen at any time in the forty plus years that she has been roaming the planet, you may find threads of your stories woven into the following pages. Don’t worry, her citations do not use names so your secrets are semi-safe. She has been mining everyone’s data for negative space long before Silicon Valley dreamed of monetizing it. Honestly, who knew that she had actually been listening to us all these years?