Ellen Knudson. Self-Dual: (How to Walk a 30,000 Mile Tightrope). No 21 of an edition of 50.
(Starkville. MS: Crooked Letter Press. 2005). Sam Fleming Southern Civilization Collection.
Vanderbilt University Special Collections
Ellen Knudson created Self-Dual: How to Walk a 30,000 Mile Tightrope from notes and memories of her commute from her home and family in Starkville, Mississippi, to her MFA classes at Mississippi State University in Tuscaloosa. For three years, she traveled the 80 miles on U.S. 82, balancing the roles of wife and mother with student life. Along the (high)way, Knudson was inspired by the familiar landmarks of her route, Knudson reflects the dual nature of her three-year experience in a dos-a-dos format, literally two books bound "back to back." Knudson writes, "Dual is a mathematical term that means, if you have a geometric object such as a cube, you can draw another object inside it by joining the midpoints of the faces. The object is self-dual when the new interior object looks like the original, only rotated and smaller. Self dual suited the status of my life. The book is a collection of driving thoughts that occurred during the 30,000 miles I drove between Starkville and Tuscaloosa from 03 to 05." Knudson makes her own paper out of materials that she feels reflects the book theme. Here, the paper is made from old family clothes.