The Map of the System of Human Knowledge is a short encyclopedia, full of entries that waver between fiction and memoir, poetry and prose, realism and irrealism.
Construction workers build Indiana’s first official mountain. The entrails of vacuum cleaners are examined for hints of a dark future. Gift shops are burned down, rebuilt, burned down once again.
New forms of fathers appear. A man builds his wife a womb to protect her from the cold while she bakes their daughter.
Entries end, almost inevitably, not on what we know, but on what we cannot know.
The Map of the System of Human Knowledge is about everything, is about the need to put what we know in order, is about how orders break down. Is about how any encyclopedia must be incomplete.
The map of the system of human knowledge is, by necessity, incomplete.
James Tadd Adcox’s work has appeared in TriQuarterly, The Literary Review, PANK, Barrelhouse, Mid-American Review, and Another Chicago Magazine, among other places. He lives in Chicago.
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