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where there was chaos


endpaper spread (Frame 284)
警察電信符号 (Keisatsu Denshin Fugou / Police Telegraphic Code), Ehime Prefectural Police, 1894 (Matsuyama, printed in Kyobashi, Tokyo).
National Diet Library, 53-797

Have been working on police telegraphic codes (descriptions still in progress, and newly gathered here), and today gave this so-called iroha (*) code a first look. Available in NDL’s Digital Collection, 554 pages (286 facing-page “frames”) long. Its codewords and (at least in early sections) words/phrases are arranged alphabetically, and share the same initial sound. For now, this endpaper spread. Something at once soft, and cosmological.

“...spreading commerce where there was chaos in the far parts of the world...
— Louis (who loves his cables)... or Rhoda —
There is a square; there is an oblong. The players take the square, and place it upon the oblong... Very little is left outside... what is inchoate is here stated.”

Virginia Woolf, The Waves (1931)

11 August 2014

chaos; endpaper; idle thoughts; ohne worte; telegraphic codes
Virginia Woolf, The Waves (1931)