Hermenautic Tarot (Intro)
October 6, 2015
When the cards appeared along our beach, we dashed into the surf, 54 of us coming ashore clutching a bright, gnomic image. We left the beach and scattered to our secret places — into caves and up trees — to be alone with our castaways, coaxing them out of amnesia, trying to put a name to their face, listening for clues in their murmurs.
You see, we have been on this island a long time, and we have lost perspective on our predicament. The stars tell us nothing new. The weather is unpredictable. Sometimes we are fighting catastrophes and starving. Sometimes food falls off the trees, and we are listless for weeks. Families form and dissolve. The kids grow up, or the ocean takes them. We cook and clean and thatch our huts. Sometimes we think we see smoke on the horizon.
We have so many questions about all of this, but they have become too familiar, too frictionless, impossible to answer differently than we have answered them for each other and to ourselves already.
So we asked the tide-borne ink blot castaways for help. We brought them out of our caves and down from our trees and returned to the beach. We introduced the cards to each other and built them a village far down the shore, where they murmur together, untainted by our own habituated relation to this place, to each other, and to our lives here.
Now we send our questions to them, and they select small delegations to visit us with answers that are as gnomic as their 54 faces that first day on the beach. But they are answers we have not heard before.
HERMENAUTIC TAROT SERIES: INTRODUCTION by John Hilgart | Annie Nocenti on THE KUBRICK | Deborah Wassertzug on AS YOU LIKE IT | Douglas Rushkoff on PIXELATED | Kim Cooper on THE GREAT INTEGRATION | Tom Nealon on THE MYOPIC CAPTAIN | Stephen Burt on ENTANGLEMENT | Mark Kingwell on THE WARY WATCHERS | Allegra Huston on PARANOIA | Flourish Klink on THE MULTIFACETED MAN | Jason Grote on THE UNEXPECTED | Jessamyn West on THE SHIFT | John Hilgart on THE B-MOVIE MONSTER | Josh Glenn on THE SELL-OUT | Judith Zissman on THE EXPLODING SUPERNOVAS | Mandy Keifetz on THE INVISIBLE MAN | Gary Panter on THE PASSAGE | Jordan Ellenberg on THE FALSE FACE | Jonathan Lethem on THE GRAVE ROBBERS | Douglas Wolk on DEXTERITY | John Holbo on THE HEAVIEST HEADS | Colin Dickey on KAIROS | Molly Sauter on THE GRAND EXIT | Matthew Battles on ADUMBRATION | Anindita Basu Sempere on THE DETECTIVE | Gordon Dahlquist on THE STREAMER | Jen Collins on OFF COURSE | Karinne Keithley Syers on THE HIGH BEAMS | Sara Ryan on RORSCHACH (NOT THAT ONE) | Deb Chachra on FLYING | Mimi Lipson on EUPHORIA | Cintra Wilson on FEELING CORNERED? | Alice Boone on THE FLAWS | Shelley Jackson on HESITATING HORSE | Jacob Covey on THE PANE | Claire Lehmann on THE APPARITION | Kio Stark on THE FLIGHT RISK | Joanne McNeil on THE RELUCTANT COMMUTER | Lynn Peril on THE WAITING MAN | Jenny Offill on THE VALLEY OF UNREST | Luc Sante on THE OLD DARK HOUSE | Erik Davis on FORBIDDEN FRUIT | Devin McKinney on THE ATOMS | Dan Fox on THE OBFUSCATOR | Patrick Cates on THE MASKED ASSESSOR | Chris Spurgeon on OVERWHELMING TEMPTATION | Jenny Davidson on THE ALL-SEEING EYE | Lauren Oliver on THE HERO COMPLEX | Brian Berger on THE WHITE VISITATION | Tim Spencer on DISILLUSIONMENT | Chelsey Johnson on THE BEARD OF SHADOWS | Alix Lambert on THE EYE FLOATER | Ed Park on THE TWINS | James Parker on THE NO-NO-NOBOT | Amy Thielen on VELOCITY | Lisa Jane Persky on EXPECTATIONS | Veda Hille on THE DUSTY REVEAL | Wayne Chambliss on THE RIDE-ALONG | Kenya (Robinson) on BALANCE BEAM | Ken Layne on THE DOPPELGÄNGER | David Levine on THE GROOVY | Joe Alterio on THE DROP-OFF | Jennifer Krasinski on PREDATORY VIGILANCE | Libi Rose on ELECTROMAGNETISM | Carl Wilson on THE TRACKER | Mimi Zeiger on THE RED MOON | Vanessa Berry on DARK MATTER | Peter Doyle on THE CHAIN OF FOOLS | Joy Press on THE WAYLAYER | Alexandra Molotkow on TBD | Stephanie De Gooyer on THE INVASION | Melissa Gira Grant on TBD | Sarah Weinman on IN THE CORNER | James Hannaham on THE URBAN HAWK | Jace Clayton on TBD | Annalee Newitz on THE PUBLIC CHARIOT | L.A. Kauffman on TBD | Chenjerai Kumanyika on TBD | Mike Watt on TBD.
MORE HILOBROW/4CP SERIES: BLOW UP YOUR COMICS — John Hilgart glosses 30 favorite 4CP images | The HERMENAUTIC TAROT: 54 Writers, on 54 4CP Tarot Cards | The Art of 4CP | SUBSUPERMEN — Golden Age heroes who didn’t make the grade | MASKED MAN | LIMERICKANIA | MEET THE L.I.S. — Implicit superheroes, concealed within comic-book mastheads | 4CP FRIDAY — themed comic-book detail galleries, curated by 4CP fans