Mary Walling Blackburn

DISCLAIMER: This is neither a swashbuckling reverie about the Alamo, nor is it a ribald and light recollection of childhood lean-tos, nor a meditative aside about forts that are like huts. In the end, this essay is not the fort that collapses with you inside. It’s the one that collapses in front of you. The dust you choke on is beautiful. It is temporarily suffused with light.


In my first year of teaching, I gave my students Georges Perec’s essay (from Species of Spaces) on beds. One student in particular did not, in response, objectively catalog the collective locations of his beds; this student was more worried about the broached bed than the psycho-geography of furniture and how to secure the bed as if ...

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