Monday, February 04, 2008

'Even the absolute is not absolute'


Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Non-fiction: Work from 1970 to the present
Lex Williford and Michael Martone


Can pain be measured on a zero-to-ten scale? This is the question that occupies the mind of Eula Biss. Sitting in a hospital, and trying to measure pain, she does a mini research of zero.

“Zero, on the Celsius scale, is the point at which water freezes. And one hundred is the point at which water boils. But Anders Celsius, who introduced the scale in 1741, originally fixed zero as the point at which water boiled, and one hundred as the point at which water froze. These fixed points were reversed only after his death,” reads a snatch from her essay, included in Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Non-fiction: Work from 1970 to the present edited by Lex Williford and Michael Martone ( http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/ ).

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