Exscribing: a Process

Image result for hand writing with pen on paper

How stories are written.

They are experienced.  They are felt, intimated, intuited and interpreted.

Sometimes spoken through or about.

They become body.

They are lived – if only imaginatively – they are invented (always).

If inescapable or unavoidable, the only way to “pass” them – find them, become in relation to them (i.e. ‘go on’) – is to expel, express them… put them outside the body, psyche, person: MAKE them, forge them, create with them…

“ex” (out-of) “term” (language) “in” (-scribe or –voke) “ate” (devourable form) them.

Stories are composed, inscribed, evoked, in order to ex-term-in-ate them.  To live on – through and past – to survive what marks/marked the person who must process and be rid of them in order to… go on experiencing (live).

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Search those tales that traverse your body – its space, and over time. 

Watch what arises again and again – a trope, a chorus, a theme, a complaint.

Though memory (creative narrative), perhaps it holds a not-forgotten, an almost-permanence.  That which seems to stay with you, in you, may be of you – there’s story there.  Don’t worry truth.  Truth never worries.  And no stories are about it.  And constructs of “facts” – or, agreement of observations and perceptions – hardly tells as well.  Stories – good, real stories – lie in differences.

Perhaps difference is kind of true.

Practice synesthesia with what you uncover / discover: hear what you see; taste the sounds; feel what you smell; look deeply at all you touch; be something like a being – an organism whose senses are always combined in the perceiving and experiencing.  That you are is a thing unto itself, and can not be exhausted as long as.

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And so to write, to exscribe.  In the beginning was… the true fact that you are, however doubting and unknowable.  This too is experiencing.  To be experiencing is to live.  Prepositions and propositions notwithstanding.

It writes.

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And so it is said, a kind of exscription, a thinking-out-with.  As breath surges sound or even whispers.  To follow – not following – the forms of the objects (obstacles) – lungs and throat and palate, tongue and teeth and lips, not to mention faces and the movements of limbs and digits.  The lineation of terms and letters, vocables and consonants – exscription-with, even air, atmosphere.  And should the context change (and it is changing as you say, think, exscribe) – you write, you sound, you scribble, going-on-with…

Thus it is written.

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And so it becomes.

Stories are an history of mortality.  Where it begins in first awareness that it ends.  And so memories, so comparisons – lessness and mostness and the little by little of forgetting.  How it’s made through its undoing, to the last.  We story only as we die.

What is it that was said?  You say?

Dusk becomes, and a sort of lost.

The first way in, being out.

Ex-scription.

The forth is all.  Experiencing.

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Letting it air out.  This seems important though many might advise that writing is a matter of devotion, dedication, discipline.  Maybe it is?  What have I written in way of stories?  Much time is involved in the shaping of rivers’ courseways… and chance… and the continuous involvement of the with-out.

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Re-membering that the activity and activist (one doing the activity – actor/actress?) are entirely muddled in the ‘between’ that equals: “Here.”  Forging or forcing ex-scription tends to falsify the act and turn it towards an in-scription of something – report or epitaph, confession, statement, fable, style, form.  But storying and writing, like living and all activity, are between formless and formed – taking form, forming.  We are not producing or conveying information, we are in formation through the activity of writing. To assume a stance, a stasis, a point-of-view or position or stake… authorial authority or control – is to leave the messiness of “here” and arbitrate a “there.”  No longer the presence-between sayer-and-saying, thinker-and-language, writing-and-written, imagining-and-inventing, feeler-and-feeling, etc… but reduced to a repetition of forms, ideas, concepts – borrowed, received, believed, or accepted (“in-formed”).  Composed verses composing; produced versus producing; almost a copyist versus a compositor (with com-posing and com-positing referring to making-with, viewing-with, creating-with complex multiplicities).

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Con-, com-, con-.  With, with with- (these are the fields of ‘between’ where we are).  Ever, always, only – between – experiencing through exscribing – this stays on, vibrating in the lettering, arcs and tones of the writing…as activity going-on.  Experiencing.  Energy.  The forthness of creativity is its unknowable, indecipherable, inextricable withness.  Perhaps.

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Authorial authority or control a sort of repetition of law, convention, acceded power, regime(n).  An attempt to step aside from the stream of experiencing and treat the activity of writing (or exscribing) not as an activity of being – alongside thinking, loving, believing, feeling, working, etc., – but something mechanical, technical, somehow outside the confluence of being, the flow of experiencing.  Feigning objectivity, knowledge, pre-cluded rather than preludic (decided-before versus approaching the play or dance or swim of activity in complexity).  Told versus happening.  Production versus process.  Untrue, or less or more than actual.  Mortality – dead letter – versus verbal occurring…as-is.

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To return to ending – the beginning of story – our limits, death, and finitude – that which forces us to forge – to attempt memories, notate change as loss or gain, seek patterns, learn, sing, exscribe, act… imagine… dream… craft and create – the knowing, the reality, that experiencing is not endless.  Attend: it ends.

And so we story.

Exscribing…experiencing…what there is, while there is, along many modes of action.  What is perceived as happening and runnels through the body, swirling currents of memory, the staining of refrains… and the activity of exscribing it – of moving it out-with-in-to relation of world as compositing – not copying, stating, reporting – but ever keeping in mind that the activity of writing is also a live, indeterminate, and infinitely complex way of being-with-world… we are hardly machines translating experience, or computers spitting out data… everything we do so long as we’re living, is living – alive and uncertain, conformation-with everything that surrounds and drowns us.  Participation.  Being.

Exscribing as a process of being alive.

 

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Letter to a Lover – March 2018

The month of March, in Kansas, can be almost anything, like most of the other months of the year, almost.  Tonight it is moisty, breezy, there is wetness hovering like a redolent air, nearly a fog.  I am killing myself.  You are feeding me.  I sharpen your knives in the kitchen.  From the top of my throat toward deep in my belly is an acidic ruin caused by far too many liters of hard alcohol in far too much volume, too often, for too many hours of too many days over too many years to not be transforming my internal landscape into a ravaged terrain of destruction.  So though I’m unable to breathe, speak, lie down, or work without unignorable hurt, I am still useful.  I am sharpening your knives in your modest kitchen.  I am reading and writing sentences.  I am trying to keep myself from you.  You are preparing a meal for us, and I find it so difficult to stay away from you – to not breathe at your ear, kiss or nibble your neck, grasp at your bottom, finger your elbows, hover, caress, overwhelm.

Boundaries are reduced in mist and wind.  In motion it can be hard to tell where the lines that mark objects begin or end.  In cloaks of obscurity finding shapes or sounds, edges or entries, can be, well, con-fusing (over-mixed, blended, woven)… as perhaps any “thing” we try to think apart ‘in fact’ always is… “inscrutable,” “indivisible,” “unclear.”

If you extricate the ginger from the garlic from the cabbage from the chicken from the oil, the rice, the salt, the pepper, the lime and ancho, the butter, the liquids and oxygens, thicknesses and scents… where is the meal?  If you separate “me” out from “world,” relations, surround (like a theory, a concept, a logic…) how might I then live, or “be” what you presume me to be?  I will not, cannot, am not (removed from my surround) and so it goes… limbs and flesh and organs… dissect… to cells and fluids, molecules and motions, viscosity and energy… to atoms… to subatomic ‘particles’ and/or ‘waves’ – and at each dismantle you will have lost the entity you proposed or pursued.

Division does not equal.

You’ve quoted out of context – neither copied, reproduced, nor plagiarized.  Simply failed.  Missed.  Lost.

The burning rot, corrosive erosion of my body by the maladies of my preferences, pleasures, and habits…

…erasure of letters, terms, phrases, meanings…

…excision and surgery, atopic autopsying of…

…are things already dead, deceased once de-cised, as ‘identifiable portions or pieces, ‘things'”?

These written marks with definable shapes and spaces… yet if disjoined… no sense can be had…

What might “it,” “I,” be… apart-from?

I lay on a ground I cannot stand up without, cannot jump, move, fly or float away without…

I address you – impossibly – unless we’re inseparable… otherwise address and interaction cannot…

The gesture recognizes the necessary collusion as a dream of a fictive repartee, a figurative gap which – if there really were a break or breach – would have no effect or recognition – no reach, no contact…

Relation is repetition of conjoinment, actions without function if connectedness is not always already…

…as if drawing attention toward redundancy.

And so we kiss, we eat, we call out, we listen, as repercussions of contact… reassurances of inseparability.  You reach for your phone, I fall to sleep, unable to be undone or we would not be able to know

 

The Incompletion of Words

We tried, once.

Attempted an adjoining.

No one cared or cares.

It’s not a point.

THE point.

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I never wanted it to mean anything.

It never has.

(I never wanted it to).

Never really thought it could.

It might.

It doesn’t.

It won’t.

Hasn’t.

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The only point I perceive

Is our dismissal.

Evolution.

Another term we use for mortality.

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Something hopeful.

Never helpful.

Just is.

The way of things.

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I’m not here.

I’m not anywhere.

There are birds.

‘One’s’ thoughts on in-here-nt bounds

The “world,” as it were, as it ‘is’ (also, reduced, in addition) “for us.”

How it comes to be as we are – briefly.  Almost incalculably miniscule.  Almost ‘happenstance.’

“Our” world, as it were: all we cannot know, that we are part in, of, with.

One wonders what “world” can possibly mean.

Every meaning apparently nothing outside of this microscopic sliver of kind… EVERYthing and more, “for us.”  Some ‘infinity’ or ‘void;’ ‘abyss’ or ‘chaotic complexity’ – a reference to every-thing (or not) that so far surpasses us, outstrips us, beyonds us.  Some so-called…”world.”

One. Can.

One could turn toward all that, could ‘be-itself,’ bi-pedally, shrimpishly, speck-o-dust uprightedly, with/in ‘it’…and have a dwarfed, almost indiscernible ‘experience.’  Or “one” (were such a thing possible) could de-cide, di-vide, con-sider (?) – place oneself ‘over against’ or ‘in contrast’ (contra-di-stinction) to all that: otherness, ‘world,’ ‘uknown/unknowable,’ ‘beyond,’ ‘out-side,’ infinite… and de-term-in.

Squash it down to ‘one’s own scale, name it / call it / sign it, and ‘fit’ it in.  i.e. cut it small enough to be comprehensible, digestible, sensible (according-to-one’s-own) and pre-tend, fore-tell, image-in, sign-i-fy it ACCORDING TO… ‘one,’ ‘us,’ ‘me’ (such as math, logic, language, communicable signs, etc – in-(ter)ventions on/of our own terms).

Human knowledge, inquiry, disciplines, creations, theories, etc. are EXACTLY (and perhaps ONLY, one surmises) THAT: at the scale of the human. ‘One’ is prone to automatically grant every ‘other’ (plant, material, organism, structure, system, etc) the ‘same’ ‘world’ – as Wittgenstein indicated: indecipherable, untranslatable or communicable between kinds, but most probable, no? – Umwelts – worlds upon worlds within worlds outside worlds… we (‘ones’) can have no share, understanding, con(with)cept, com(with)munication of…

To each its scale of experiencing, and all scales together…

Given the human (so-self-called) scale, this seems pertinently and poignantly most evident…

…why would we chafe against our limits… or (perhaps) every scale always is – no ‘one’ could know this… ones (and many ones) are only ones – more and less than their own possible perspectives… in- and out-looks OF.  Scale.  (Perhaps).

Obviously, com(with)posing in your/our language… whatever I dream is representative of my scale… i.e. is only a capacity of ‘one’(kind) … of many.

Pleasurably so… or why not?

Dreaming beyond scale (or, inventing scale and its beyond – in the de-term-in-ing) demonstrates itself as a capacity… (e.g. mythology, science, religion, fiction/fantasy, psycho-anything, spirituality, philosophy, history, and so forth) … all imagined efforts beyond-scale, that, in occurring demonstrate the possibilities/limitations of human scale…

What ‘beyond’ could ‘one’ see, think, feel, etc., that is not a demonstration of limited and actual capacity of ‘one-scale’-to-experience?

So ‘one’ has a-, con-, etc. scales… all part of one’s scale (abilities, capacities, possibilities, options, kind).  Against, with, creative, reductive, but ALL and ANY activities of one kind (so-self-called ‘human’) show its locked and limited capacity.  One never goes beyond.

Fini.

To ‘work limits,’ and boundaries are clearly elements of our ‘limits’ and ‘boundaries’ of the scope and scale of the ‘human.’

“Gods,” cosmologies, dreams, histories, theorizing, etc., all contained within the ‘bounds’ or capacities of the ‘kind-of-thing-‘One’-is.  Perhaps.

It is the ‘perhaps’ that haunts us.  [but what could ‘haunt’ indicate but another human capacity – perhaps a ‘felt capacity’ of bursting or extending our capacities?]

Witchcraft.  Art.  Technology.  Religion.  Theoretical and experimental anything.  Logos.  Arche.  Tohu.  Bohu.  Beginning.  Universe (must needs always shrink to one’s own scale… in order to uni-anything… ‘multiverse’ simple exponents of capacities for in our microscopic self-experienced sphere… we named ‘infinity’ – is there no exponent we can’t add – within our tiny range of potential?).

One’s own anthropology.

Logically [though I excessively distrust that program of human-ing] – what con-cept, i-dea, imagine-ing, or object-ivity is not necessarily always paramatered by the human ex-periential capacities?

The bounds may be elastic or no – there would be no way for a kind to know – being all-ways the ‘one’ experiencing.

IN-HERE-NT BOUNDS.

Fragment: Brief Conversation

“How come language (or drinking) makes the pain of language (or drinking, or relationships) go away, recede, soothe…and then becomes language (drinking, relation) and its pain…again?” he asks.

I smoke.  I look at him.  He is examining (with obvious pretend furtivity) my pale, smoothe legs, coming out of my singular light dress.  At my arms, my skin, my cheek and throat, my hair.  Lasciviously thoughtful, he.  Almost curious.  Almost authentic in his desire.

He is trying to daydream.

I am trying to be.

We are drinking now.

I am young, he less so.

Or neither.  We do not know.  Anyone can be so near their end.

So the story goes…

“The world smells good,” he says, and the delectability to the nostrils clearly depended on death: burning wood, smoking pig, a nostalgia of forests…

I knew not what I felt.  Mixtures.  Pleasures and sorrow.  Excitement and fear.  Doubt.  I did not respond, just masked placidly.  Pleasantly, I hoped.  Ambiguous.  And what does he sense?

Learning-With, Working In-Between

I found the following paper when cleaning up our dining room table to prepare for dinner:

Ida_Blog

What I learn from the inscriptions of my freshly teenaged/screenaged daughter is this:  POWERFUL WRITING CAN BE ABOUT ANYTHING.  Which inspires me, and supports a potent hunch I’ve been harboring over recent years and studies: that writing that works on or in us, that gnaws at us, strikes or challenges us, perhaps even changes or ‘enlightens’ us, nourishes or crushes us (as the human species we happen to be – capable of participating, communicating, coordinating variously fabricated scales of signification from the organismal, cell-based to communal (‘personal,’ ‘social,’ ‘political’-based) tends to be concocted up out from textures and materials of authentic self-report and confusion or lack [wonder? – our ability to ‘put-into-question’?].

That we make effort, perhaps progress, are sustained or contained, constrained or extended by core curiosity (query, investigation, inquiry, desire) around perceived conundrums, or LACK.

“This in-between feeling”: self-report (authentic within constrained conventions, perception, culture) + confusion, curiosity, a questioning, experimentation, conundrum = an access to the uncertain, the open, the unknown.

“If it is true that there is (in the Chinese language) a written character that means both ‘man’ and ‘two,’ it is easy to recognize in man he who is always himself and the other, the happy duality of dialogue and the possibility of communication. But it is less easy, more important perhaps, to think ‘man,’ that is to say, also ‘two,’ as separation that lacks unity, the leap from 0 to duality, the 1 thus giving itself as the forbidden, the between-the-two [l’entre-deux]”

– Maurice Blanchot, The Step Not Beyond

 

Human scientists, when they’re ‘successful,’ or ‘good’ combine observation / passion / desire / perception (experiment + experience) as authentic self-reports in a conventionalized constraint PLUS putting the conundrum or confusion (joining-with beyond-certainty) into question… open… ‘What Is…?’ ‘What If…?’ WHAT MIGHT MY HUNCHES, TROUBLES, EXPERIENCE, SENSES, DESIRES indicate?  Anything?  No-thing?

The litterateur, artist, therapist, musician – what COM-PELS us (pushes us forward-with-world, with-being) seems to be a kind and variation, repetition and difference of this experience + experiment – attempt at authentic self-report wedded to curiosity/wonder/or the putting-into-question of it.

Some empty set.

So Cantor’s infinity.  Einstein’s relativity.  Godel and undecidability.  Hegel, Husserl, Heidegger’s existentialism or phenomenology, Wittgenstein’s language and forms of life, Beckett, Joyce, Blanchot, Wallace proliferating or desiccating sentences – all seem to be appropriately tied, threaded and submerged in Experience + Lack, Perception + Desire, what we do not, perhaps can not, know.

When William James delivers a cumulative, culminative authentic and conventionalized self-report, a curious address called “Is Life Worth Living?”, or Socrates-Augustine-Leibniz-Nietzsche-Shakespeare-Kierkegaard [substitute names at will – Dante, Darwin, Dostoevsky, Proust, Sartre, Peirce, Melville, Dickens…] inquire “Why is there something rather than nothing?” or “Why is there anything at all?”… Why this!? We’re hovering about a lack – of understanding, apparent meaning, dissatisfaction, perhaps frustration, an emptiness, a hole in things we’re troubling, questioning.

‘Scientists,’ ‘psychologists,’ ‘poets,’ ‘lovers,’ ‘activists,’ ‘parents,’ and ‘priests’ are all pushed forward in these questions… core-conundrums, felt-vacuums, hitches, indications of LACK.

Resulting in remarkable attempts at authentic self-report coupled to curiosity / questioning / doubt.

Inquiry is effort.

In-between: knowing/experiencing and unknowing/confusion – experience and experiment.

“The center…[does] not hold”

Lacks.

We are not-yet-one (self-sufficient) and less-than-two (self and other).  Not an observer or experiencer without something observed/experienced.  Not a language or emotion without a group or felt-with or in-relation-to.  Not a happening without a happening-in, a happening-here, a happening-to.  Not a sound without a hearing.  A cell without surround, a border and environment.  No self without an other and all incomplete, undecidable, in flux and underdetermined.

ALWAYS IN-BETWEEN AND UNCERTAIN

An adolescent is able to capture and confess this…that alone tells me nothing together might do.

No “what if?” without something to work with.  No awareness without awareness-of.

And so “I,” her progenitor-father, study NOTHING.  The “what if nots?”  Incomprehensible, inexistent, perhaps inconceivable questions… indeterminable, indecipherable, perhaps unexperiencable and irrational.

At breakfast we speak of it.  Curiously, we authentically self-report our wonder, confusion and conundrums – our LACK – of understanding, of method, of language, of expression, experience… our limitations we might call ‘impossibility…’

That nothing is only possible when nothing is NOT.  That if we are able in relation to nothing… ‘we’ can not be there, or ‘be’ at all.  Nothing not even itself, not even an absence… to speak or think of it is to rush it away…

These are things I learn from my children – that our questions go unanswered, are (perhaps) unanswerable, that attempting authentic reportage (communicating) experience coupled to wonder, and putting-it-to-question, with humility, then, in doubt… perhaps drives our systems, our logics, our literatures, arts, sciences, and love… LACK that we do not know, can not (perhaps) know, are participants-at-scale – finite and fragile – and have our limits, open and undecided…

Without which…nothing?

Thank you dear children.

I am comforted almost to imagine you might be driven on…

…by your lack, your honest confusion, unsettledness, and authenticity.

Funny enough, the following short piece arrived in my email the same day…

Buechner_blog

“This is the dream’s navel, the spot where it reaches down into the unknown…”                  – Jan Zwicky, Alkibiades’ Love

“the dream-thoughts to which we are led by interpretation cannot, from the nature of things, have any definite endings; they are bound to branch out in every direction into the intricate network of our world of thought… So, too, philosophy.  So, too, the gestures through which we bind, and let go of, our lives.” – Jan Zwicky, Alkibiades’ Love

“…readiness is all…” – William Shakespeare

neuron gif

On our way down above the below, recognition dwindling through each swerve, turn, and curve.  Uncertain of finding, finding uncertainty.

What began in fantastic.  Unanticipated.  Such sights, indescribable, feels.  Sirening sounds, whooshing and whining; colors and tones past belief, perhaps, unless of course you’ve been there…I had thought that you were?  We followed by following, relentless, directionless openings, vague paths.

Kaleidoscope world of liminal pinwheels, whirring musics of future and past, tinged with voices we wish that we knew, and we did.  It seemed you were there…?

Where have we been?  Where are we going?

Navigations that spiral – we wind and knot, unwind, become.  And over again – yet nothing is ever not new.  Or so nearly, almost.

I, if indeed it was I looking out (or in) kept distracting desires (and extracting) ~ wanting this way and that, akin to imagine, hungrily, wily, and wild.  As effects of strong wishes might be – subterranean, subsumed, leveraged like magnets and threats.

I stumbled, turned ‘bout, perhaps even flew, there were times that I ran – indistinguishable voices undoubtedly precious, familiar, like realizing wants tended constant as fuse…dangerously sparked to go off…

…now this and this and this…fierce purpling red, liquid breasts and svelte buttocks, elbows and shins, calves and thighs (ah! sweet the ankles and knees, wrists and shoulders, the lips, the hair, and the eyes… I love bodies! I crave!) the serpents, the birds, the language and leaves flung like banners… where were you?  I had thought you were there… and you… and you… and many others of Is beside…

Darkening greens.  What gathers and whispers in pleasure, awareness acute, we We again in these margins and loops.  We reach and we blend, wrestle and harm, struggle and rush, and we mend.  We are bound and unbounded, boundlessly shaped in our flight.

Constrained in the thickets, the azures, the blood.  I choke and cry out (do you strangle?)… we are veining, okay, seeming ever en route, all approachings and wanders from here.

I (if it’s ‘I’) I am there, by which I must mean, “it is here,” diving downward or in to the out and the others, another, anew.  We’ve become and we’re far more than we – both generic and common – and burning, aflame, each of ever a kind, made of ice and so crystalline, clear, so…

…unknown and still further… along, further on, further out and away, further in, indecipherable and never forewarned…

“There is IT!”

“There is IS!”

And our readings surround as do laughter or tears, streamings of verbiage, mellifluous notes, and you and I and countless of we, and no matter, we happen, or are, happening, or become, as we come, as we enter, reveal, as we’re reaching…

I had thought you were here –

Where are we?

Michel Foucault: “Speech Begins After Death”

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..does the pleasure of writing exist?  I don’t know.  One thing I feel certain of is that there’s a tremendous obligation to write.  This obligation to write, I don’t really know where it comes from.  As long as we haven’t started writing, it seems to be the most gratuitous, the most improbable thing, almost the most impossible, and one to which, in any case, we’ll never feel bound.  Then, at some point – is it the first page, the thousandth, the middle of the first book, or later?  I have no idea – we realize that we’re absolutely obligated to write.  This obligation is revealed to you, indicated in various ways.  For example, by the fact that we experience so much anxiety, so much tension if we haven’t finished that little page of writing, as we do each day.  By writing that page, you give yourself, you give to your existence, a form of absolution.  That absolution is essential for the day’s happiness.  It’s not the writing that’s happy, it’s the joy of existing that’s attached to writing, which is slightly different.  This is very paradoxical, very enigmatic, because how is it that the gesture – so vain, so fictive, so narcissistic, so self-involved – of sitting down at a table in the morning and covering a certain number of blank pages can have this effect of benediction for the remainder of the day?  How is the reality of things – our concerns, hunger, desire, love, sexuality, work – transfigured because we did that in the morning, or because we were able to do it during the day?  That’s very enigmatic.  For me, in any case, it’s one of the ways the obligation to write is manifested.

This obligation is also indicated by something else.  Ultimately, we always write not only to write the last book we will write, but, in some truly frenzied way – and this frenzy is present even in the most minimal gesture of writing – to write the last book in the world.  In truth, what we write at the moment of writing, the final sentence of the work we’re completing, is also the final sentence of the world, in that, afterward, there’s nothing more to say.  There’s a paroxysmal intent to exhaust language in the most insignificant sentence.  No doubt this is associated with the disequilibrium that exists between speech and language.  Language is what we use to construct an absolutely infinite number of sentences and utterances.  Speech, on the contrary, no matter how long or how diffuse, how supple, how atmospheric, how protoplasmic, how tethered to its future, is always finite, always limited.  We can never reach the end of language through speech, no matter how long we imagine it to be.  This inexhaustibility of language, which always holds speech in suspense in terms of a future that will never be completed, is another way of experiencing the obligation to write.  We write to reach the end of language, to reach the end of any possible language, to finally encompass the empty infinity of language through the plenitude of speech.

Another reason why writing is different from speaking is that we write to hide our face, to bury ourselves in our own writing.  We write so that the life around us, alongside us, outside, far from the sheet of paper, this life that’s not very funny but tiresome and filled with worry, exposed to others, is absorbed in that small rectangle of paper before our eyes and which we control.  Writing is a way of trying to evacuate, through the mysterious channels of pen and ink, the substance, not just of existence, but of the body, in those minuscule marks we make on paper.  To be nothing more, in terms of life, than this dead and jabbering scribbling that we’ve put on the white sheet of paper is what we dream about when we write.  But we never succeed in absorbing all that teeming life in the motionless swarm of letters.  Life always goes on outside the sheet of paper, continues to proliferate, keeps going, and is never pinned down to that small rectangle; the heavy volume of the body never succeeds in spreading itself across the surface of paper, we can never pass into that two-dimensional universe, that pure line of speech; we never succeed in becoming thin enough or adroit enough to be nothing more than the linearity of a text, and yet that’s what we hope to achieve.  So we keep trying, we continue to restrain ourselves, to take control of ourselves, to slip into the funnel of pen and ink, an infinite task, but the task to which we’ve dedicated ourselves.  We would feel justified if we no longer existed except in that minuscule shudder, that infinitesimal scratching that grows still and becomes, between the tip of the pen and the white surface of the paper, the point, the fragile site, the immediately vanished moment when a stationary mark appears once and for all, definitively established, legible only for others and which has lost any possibility of being aware of itself.  This type of suppression, of self-mortification in the transition to signs is, I believe, what also gives writing its character of obligation.  It’s an obligation without pleasure, you see, but, after all, when escaping an obligation leads to anxiety, when breaking the law leaves you so apprehensive and in such great disarray, isn’t obeying the law the greatest form of pleasure?  To obey an obligation whose origin is unknown, and the source of whose authority over us is equally unknown, to obey that – certainly narcissistic – law that weighs down on you, that hangs over you wherever you are, that, I think, is the pleasure of writing…

…I’m not an author.  First of all, I have no imagination.  I’m completely uninventive.  I’ve never even been able to conceive of something like the subject of a novel…I place myself resolutely on the side of the writers [in distinction – Roland Barthes – from authors] those for whom writing is transitive.  By that I mean those for whom writing is intended to designate, to show, to manifest outside itself something that, without it, would have remained if not hidden at least invisible.  For me, that’s where, in spite of everything, the enchantment of writing lies…I’m simply trying to make apparent what is very immediately present and at the same time invisible…I’d like to reveal something that’s too close for us to see, something right here, alongside us, but which we look through to something else…to define the proximity around us that orients the general field of our gaze and our knowledge…

So, for me, the role of writing is essentially one of distancing and of measuring distance.  To write is to position oneself in that distance that separates us from death and from what is dead…I’m in the distance between the speech of others and my own…In exercising my language, I’m measuring the difference with what we are not, and that’s why I said to you earlier that writing means losing one’s own face, one’s own existence.  I don’t write to give my existence the solidity of a monument.  I’m trying to absorb my own existence into the distance that separates it from death and, probably, by that same gesture, guides it toward death…

I’dd add that, in one sense, my head is empty when I begin to write, even though my mind is always directed toward a specific object.  Obviously, that means that, for me, writing is an exhausting activity, very difficult, filled with anxiety.  I’m always afraid of messing up; naturally, I mess up, I fail all the time.  This means that what encourages me to write isn’t so much the discovery or certainty of a certain relationship, of a certain truth, but rather the feeling I have of a certain kind of writing, a certain mode of operation of my writing, a certain style that will bring that distance into focus…

Foucault saisi par la révolution - Vacarme | Michel Foucault | Scoop.it

notes

Why not call it magic, this unsettling alloy of grief and anger we experience when shunted by anxiety, disappointment, depression, or loss?

We cannot deny that we crave!  That we are struck through – bolted with fervent desire (all that which we experience as, well, unsettlingly – disturbingly – vital, ALIVE, active, possessive, in us) – when we are crushed, smushed, squelched, or helpless, hopeless, dismayed – how else could we be?

Without the vital, fierce passions – the damage is to no effect/affect.  Depression must press against something.  Must be pressing something down.

“Am I at the right house?” the internet-technology-installer asked from my gate.

“How can I know?” I responded, “it would depend on the future.”

He checked the numbers and moved away.

Now how will we ever know?

Isn’t this what every human encounter re/presents?

So de-pression presses something down in us.  Anxiety stirs.  Sorrow re-cognizes meanings.  No negative without its positive charge.  To be noticeable.  And what is it that is noticeable?  (able-to-be-noticed)?  ONLY DIFFERENCE.  Only time and space and whatever it is those veil, uncover, hide, or displace.

O-ppressed, DE-pressed, what are these SU-ppressing?  Accentuating?  Calling to attention, to activity, awareness, task?

Grief, loss, de-tachment and longing: what do these expose in order to occur? 

Is anything ever lost?

She passes by with a friendly, perhaps even loving and happy wave.  What reality is evoked in the pain of the passed-by, passed-over, un-preferred?  What does it render actually present?

Is it possible that in the “missing” nothing is lost?  Some present is heightened?  Something even added to the present?

In losing a struggle don’t we gain what the effort was for?  Clearly?

Does surrender underscore the sub-ject, the value, the relational ob-ject-ive given over?  Adding acknowledging import?

Difference demonstrates value.  Matter(s).  Sign-if-i-can-ce.  Without difference nothing would know.  Indistinguishable = pure repetition.  (Doesn’t matter).

Passed-over, passed-by, passed-on.  De-pressed, su-ppressed, o-ppressed.  Lost, lossed, re-moved, de-tached, re-apportioned.  ALL LOSS ACCENTUATES HAVE.  ALL DIS-POSSESSION EXPOSES POSSESS.

Difference de-scribes=in-scribes OURSELVES.  What we are constructed from, contain, proffer, offer, obsess, possess, ARE.  What we ARE (have and do).

Our com-position, con-stitution, con-struction are most clearly expressed in difference, ex-posure, de-struction, de-pression, o-ppression, loss.

In de-composition, we know and learn what composes us.

The question beggars: what have we to lose?  What can we lose that in losing its learning is not gained?  What have we to lose?  And how do we know without losing?

 

“All I know is the text” – Samuel Beckett

“A voice comes to one in the dark.  Imagine.

…Deviser of the voice and of its hearer and of himself.  Deviser of himself for company.  Leave it at that.  He speaks of himself as of another.  He says speaking of himself, He speaks of himself as of another.  Himself he devises too for company.  Leave it at that.  Confusion too is company up to a point.  Better hope deferred than none.  Up to a point.  Till the heart starts to sicken.  Company too up to a point.  Better a sick heart than none.  Till it starts to break.  So speaking of himself he concludes for the time being, For the time being leave it at that” – Samuel Beckett, Company

“The words spoke by themselves.  The silence entered them, an excellent refuge, since I was the only one who noticed it.” – Maurice Blanchot, The Madness of the Day

So, speaking of himself, I only noticed it.

The small furry animal, almost humming in its purr, he had chance, so he thought, to please, to comfort, with a pet, a scratch, an acknowledgment, tender, while it butted and marked itself against him.  The illusion.  A kind of company in itself (or to).

The ungrammaticality of occurrences.  Of happening.  What happens to be.  Or is not.  When speaking to himself.  Without voice.  I was the only one, as far as I am able to tell – if in fact this is telling – who noticed it.  It seems words speak of themselves.  From elsewise and through whom.  He says, speaking of himself (or to).  Without voice.

Devising.  Illusion.  I devise, he says, speaking to himself, of himself, without voice.  Seeking – is he? – Am I? – Seeking…company?

A small child (another illusion, devised) passes by, walking a young dog and waving a nod of sorts – I don’t remember which, he says, but I returned a gesture and obtained a moment of calm in the chilly Autumn breeze.  There was a sun full of color due to the leaves in their change, and fall, and flutter (due to the nothing-shaped wind).  But what seemed a moment of warmth, of calm, devised by a child with a dog and a friendly (fearful) gesture, he thought (speaking of himself without voice), I was the only one who noticed it.

I take to reading then – others speaking of themselves without voice (or beyond it) – in order to devise… company? he wonders of himself, to himself.  For when reading, it surely seems the words are speaking only of themselves, no matter who pens them.  Such the character of the texts he chooses (I thought of myself, to myself, or an other I devised as myself, like puppets).  And in part read and read for the experience or feeling that I alone notice it.  That I might in fact provide the company I devise, yet hardly able to tell since I have not penned the words but merely notice – borrow, listen? (there are no voices) – the words seem to speak of themselves.  Without voice.  (He said of himself, devising).  Something like company.  Perhaps.

Even in the color-filled sunlight of Autumn days, I at times experience myself as being quite deeply in dark, he says speaking of himself, myself, devising voices, soundless, out of words that seem to be speaking only of themselves and their variegated histories and usages, and billions of potential speakers and hearers and interpreters – creators and devisers – filled with ambiguity and application.  Here with me on shavings of dead trees, providing stark living contrast to Winter’s day-night.  I get confused, he says speaking of himself.  Confusion too is company devised, up to a point, I suppose.  Obviously “fusion-with” implies an other, perhaps enough, I said, speaking to myself, without voice, here on dead leaves in black scars.  In mutilation.  Transgression.  Inscription.  Perhaps the words will speak of themselves and some other “I” will claim to be the only one that notices.

A strange delusion of company indeed.  He says speaking of himself, devising a voice, its hearer, and an himself as participant and therefore a company to keep.

Reading: “only a detour is adequate” (Agamben), and “in pursuing meaning we are pursuing our limits” (Allen), and was perhaps meaning a synonym or metaphor, simile or metonymy for company he thought, speaking to himself, without voice.  But with an illness, diagnosed by doctors – those scientific political powers responsible for providing facts or devising happenings, pronouncing occurrences – so in any case he is not alone, being-with his illness, I thought, speaking to myself in an absence of sound.  The words spoke by themselves.

Other things as well: the furry animal, its humming purr, its actions; the trees, the leaves, the wind, the light.  The child, the dog, the gestures.  The books, the authors, the words themselves.  Divisors of voices, of hearers, of selves.  Sick hearts, confusion, and company.  Am I the only one who notices? he says speaking of himself, speaking of himself as another.

So speaking of himself he concludes for the time being, For the time being leave it at that.” – Samuel Beckett