Prefatory Notes to "The 2001 E's Text"

The pseudonym "P-Dre Heresy" is an e's-only transcription of my name, Paul Andre Harris


This text was written for a send-off party for Aldon Nielsen, an esteemed colleague who
accepted another position at Penn State.
Aldon is a rare literary scholar and poet with an interest in constraint-based writings.
I gave him my article on Georges Perec, who wrote a book without the letter E;
He presented me with a book of poems, signed “too many E’s in these”;
The next text, Vext, he signed, “for Paul, Oulipian extraordinaire”—
referring to the group of writers which imposes constraints on themselves in creating texts.


So, I wrote a text entitled “too many e’s in these.”
The constraints: e is the only vowel, except y may be used.
It’s subtitled “The 2001 E’s text” because it was written in 2001,
which has been a spacey odyssey of a year here,
and also because there are exactly 2001 e’s in it.
There are 5 sections, because e is the fifth letter in the alphabet.
Because Aldon. holds a chair in “literature and writing” and writes about jazz, the five sections cover:
1) His decision to go to Penn St.
2) critical writing: a section on texts about letters
3) his poetry: a homage to his style and influences
4) jazz (this section done to the melody of "Well You Needn't" by Thelonious Sphere Monk)
5) his departure


an unstated presumption in the poem is that “Penn” means Penn State University and/or the state of Pennsylvania—this could remain unstated except that A. corrects people who say he is going to “Penn.”