This introductory chapter provides an overview of dark writing. Dark writing is complexity's hieroglyph, pointing to what the medievals called the thisness of things. The assembly of shadows, the organization of optical phenomena that resist the light, the look of things that suggests a face, the depth of bodies that cannot be unconcealed—all of these fall under dark writing's jurisdiction. Always gesturing toward other presences, the marks dark writing makes outline other places inside the one people agree to inhabit; written within the enclosures people set aside for public life, they signify forms of communication that resist the self-same logic of linear reason. Dark writing, then, is the discourse of the sublime.
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