pressing affairs

In The Vampire Lectures (U of Minnesota Press, 1999) the puntastic Laurence A. Rickels reads Dracula. Incredibly thoroughly and entertainingly, while watching vampire films and pondering Freud.

He mentions, with reference to an epithet that Dracula (Bram Stoker’s, 1897 Dracula) uses of Mina, that “the wine press has also already doubled as primal model for the first printing press, which in fact incorporated working parts of the earlier press, and soon became associated in its first reception, as though the melancholic pickling of spirits was now in our typeface, with seeing double, ghostly doubles.” (p.57)

Rickels is pointing out the historical trickle-down between a wine press, for crushing the grapes so that the juice runs out to be collected and altered, and a printing press, for forcing the paper against the sticky liquid on the letters.

for a making-of article, see here

Here, above, is a still from Star Wars (1977), when the characters are trying to prevent being crushed in one of the waste disposal areas of the Death Star. They don’t want to be juiced. I note that the characters who aren’t in the compactor are the ones whose names are just strings of letters and numbers: C-3PO and R2-D2. They in the nick of time deactivate the machinery, then the rescue concludes by Han directing where to release them from; he shouts out a phone number.

Here is Sesame Street’s Count von Count, also known as Comte von Compte, Graf Zahl, Conde Contar:

with Ernie