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Object Timeline

1940

  • Work on this object began.

1993

  • We acquired this object.

2011

2015

2021

  • You found it!

Book, The Ghost in the Underblows by Alfred Young Fisher

This is a Book. It was designed by Alvin Lustig. It is dated 1940 and we acquired it in 1993. Its medium is lithography in orange and black ink on off-white wove paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

This object was donated by Tamar Cohen. It is credited Gift of Tamar Cohen and Dave Slatoff.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 23.9 x 31.5 cm (9 7/16 x 12 3/8 in.)

It is inscribed

Printed in black ink, left: XV/Stifle to death your dreams with a white pillow/Laundered in poison/Or a coverlet soaked in the waters/Where lepers where once held; stifle your vision/With anything you like to fit the mode; with dusty sorrow/And it will come like dynamited stones down over your head/And kill you where you stand./It will come up under the sidewalks of sleep/Like roots pushing gradually and sure/From the underground, for it feeds on air./It will come like automobiles from the sides/At intersections; even in death dreams cease gradually./Stifle these things under the brain if so you can,/And see them in the mirror of logic/When things are postulated for subject and predicate/And the conclusion, of no matter how abstract,/Leaves something that cannot be forced down./Or stifle by compression; put under your pneumatic hammers/The junk of the world for new metal;/Yet over its pounding being will still hover/Like vision, the memory of something which dies hardlier than/substance./Compress as one would an egg your vision/And it will rest ovoid and white, unbroken./Or smash it, plant it all around a rosebush/to keep off ants and fertilise beauty./Murder your dream; steal on it with garroting hands/Crushing its white swan throat/Until its eyes start out like bulges in an inner tube;/Or slit its wrists to watch a rosary of blood/Turn from one color to another with a dying prayer./(But in a tube of blood, no matter what age or species/Is evident; and murder cries on murder,/Blood will have blood. And never Adonis died/But he left flowers under his wounds)./262.

Cite this object as

Book, The Ghost in the Underblows by Alfred Young Fisher; Designed by Alvin Lustig (American, 1915–1955); lithography in orange and black ink on off-white wove paper; H x W: 23.9 x 31.5 cm (9 7/16 x 12 3/8 in.); Gift of Tamar Cohen and Dave Slatoff; 1993-31-191-9

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18645161/ |title=Book, The Ghost in the Underblows by Alfred Young Fisher |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=27 November 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>