The Bookfish

Vox piscis: or, The book-fish contayning three treatises which were found in the belly of a cod-fish in Cambridge Market, on Midsummer Eue last, anno Domini 1626.My blog has gone through a few names and iterations. My favorite name for it is The Bookfish, which I take from a 17c book, Vox Piscis (1627). I included the image in the Folger show in 2010 and discussed it in an MLA paper in early 2011.

The image is my underwater emblem for oceanic writing:

The book’s preface names it “a living dumbe Speaking Library in the sea” (Vox Piscis, 17), calling out to England “like another Jonas…out of the belly of the Fish” (34).  This ocean-text captures the alluring fantasy of a truly maritime literary culture.  Perhaps we don’t want to write from fish’s bellies, or even pretend to do so.  But real wisdom emerges from human encounters with the slimy deeps, if we are willing to go down there after it.

The blog is also sometimes called “Blue Humanities Blog.” You can find it either by going to or to