“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

 

 

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Untitled – Fiction for Becoming

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image by Summer Lee – http://www.summerleeart.com/

Untitled Fiction : Years of Birth, Becomings

Jesse’s working up something, so is Jon.  I’ve begun working again.  Beckett is still dead.  Or dead, still – either way he has not concluded.

There was plenty of talk – banter, chatter, fulminations, really – to the contrary, to the effect that the ‘working up’ had ceased, had dwindled, long since dissipated or been simply forgotten…not so.  Now I’ve heard from Jon and Jesse, piecemeal though it be, and my own ‘working-on’ (or UNWORKING, as MB always referred to it) is near to its inception.

Something is going to emerge.  Jon repeats and repeats that “Someone is going to come” and Jesse appears to have passed beyond the silence once begun, through all his notes of suicide, toward fire and conflagration and some bewildered youthfulness.  Nohow On become a MUST.  And all of it inconclusive, i.e. not concluded.

I work in, on, up, and ever forward, toward – ‘toward the what?’  Jon keeps asking while Jesse scrawls on napkins – figures like cartoons, clowns and foxes, masters, slaves, and mysteries – our locations go unmarked, our whereabouts unknown.  This is How It Is, according to Beckett and MB.  FK in the burrow.  Plato in a cave.  JD taking apart each domicile, meticulously.

We are looking for a place to work at our unworking, the time and space to be for what is not.  Beckett named it The Unnameable.

I took to the books and letters, while apparently the others wrote, made messages and codes, secreted the symbols into texts and silences, plays and fictions full of pause.  GWFH, another spell of YHWH, foretold this long ago: “the ends are reached and reached beyond, folding under, folding through, reached again, again, and…”

For years now Jon is melancholy and therefore quite abbreviated, unable to go on, full of stutters, repetitions, and always the questions, questioning, questing, the undone.  Jesse through his trials and papered rooms, sometimes near and sometimes foreign, never-know, never-mind, never-where, scraping geography and clouds in search of where No Where and Now Here meet.  I’ve thus far been unable to locate him.  As for Ivan, Ivan and Enrique both stopped working after the library of loss – assembling detectives, interviewing the dumb and victimized, missals here and there, mostly filled of snow and jungle.

I think: crows spread across the overcast, charred ash sprinkling fields, nothing rooted, nothing grown.

The unworking.  Almost a throw of the dice.  Half of each sentence erased.  The subtle coterie of literate mathematicians.  Reports from elsewhere.  WG’s layered travelogue… in search of… The work of unworking goes on.

“Splitting on difference,” he said, the passage from mayhem to insight – WG described as “Vertigo,” the verge, the swerve, the swoon.  You reach an edge or limit, what cannot be undone, begin unworking.  Begin unworking there.

At the grave “I can’t go on.  I must go on.  I’ll go on,”  Beckett decries.  It’s not at understanding – “splitting on difference” – but in the going-on, turning over/under, inexhaustibly or ad infinitum – convergences coming undone.

From JD Jesse gets a Post Carte, leaves it somewhere in the margins, but we know.  We know we have heard, even if we can’t re-member.  All variations of death, Jon thinks, Jon writes, Jon says…assembling the book of questions…the interior distance of this fierce and beautiful world filled with women, fire, and dangerous things…keeping MB in infinite conversation.

Some things don’t make sense yet seem imperative.  As if there were a realm of the unsayable, a set of stanzas wedding language and death – signifying nothing – that is to say, a world of unspeakable silence that works like clamor.

Exhausting voice and nothing more.  The trouble with pleasure, with suffer, with become.  None of us trust ideas and yet we generate and respond.

He was found lying on the ground.  No one had missed him.  No one was looking for him… An old woman found him.” (Beckett).  We somehow set out to search.  “That seems to hang together.”  Jon, Jesse, WG, myself, scouring the globe for more – who, what…- “But finally I asked if I knew exactly what the man – what exactly was required of the man, what it was he could or could not say.  No, was the answer, after some little hesitation, no, I did not know…” and so we keep on.

A voice comes to one in the dark.  Imagine.” JD post carte.  Beckett’s own death, still.  GWFH, WG, FK and MB’s left messages, notes, recordings.  “Only a small part of what is said can be verified”…if any.  We are left, bereft, full of fragments, thoughts concluded, forgotten, ignored, but still unworking – in journeys, in dramas, in fire.  Hanging at the limits of ropes.  To strangle or drop, and what then?  What next?  Splitting on difference.  It comes apart, what holds together.  No one knows.  Nowhere, now here, very difficult to say.  Meticulous dismantling, decode – recode – Unicode – uncode.

…Jesse’s working up something, as is Jon.  I’ve begun working again.  Beckett is still dead.  Or dead, still – either way he has not concluded.  Piecemeal as it may be, we are all working on (or UNWORKING, as MB liked to refer to it)…and nearing some inception.

Report: Beginning from the Endless End: A Community of Thinking: The Experience of the European Graduate School

Apply Now: Begin your MA/PhD this Summer 2016 in Saas-Fee, Switzerland

Report: Beginning from the Endless End: A Community of Thinking: The Experience of the European Graduate School

“the center of thought is that which does not let itself be thought”

– Maurice Blanchot

Perhaps a community. 

A community “risking a fragile resilience” (Philip Beesley).

“Distinguishing the indistinguishable.”  “Compatible Incompatibilities.”  “The Origin is Empty.”  “The path to truth is truth itself.”  “More than 1, less than 2.”  We are always with without. 

I feel rich, calm, a sense of belonging.  And loss.  In my second year of a PhD program at the European Graduate School, nestled far and away in the Swiss Alps, in the canton of Saas-Fee.  It is June, it is chilly, high, quiet, separate.  Far from the searing plains of Kansas.  Far from my employment, my partner, my children.  Far from domestic duties and sustaining (endless) chores.  Removed, set apart, drawn up to the mountains, the rivers, the snow.  Another language, an other culture, a situation of difference.

Mladen Dolar, following many great others, tells us we must “slow our temporality.”  That we can “only do philosophy if we pretend to have all the time in the world.”  How could this be done within the everyday?

It feels monastic almost.  30-40 humans from all over the world gathered to hear, speak, inquire and reflect.  Many silences.  All impassioned by the above – the difficult work, accidental work, error-filled work of “distinguishing the indistinguishable” finding “compatible incompatibilities,” facing the “empty origins,” and setting onto the path that has no end, in the risk of a “bad infinity” – of selecting or creating or imagining impossible tasks and eternally postponing them, finding no conclusions, resolutions, foundations – everything put into question, everything problematized, intervened – “the truth is mediation, a passage.”  The happening, the process, of thinking.  So we believe.  And so we gather.  With eminent leaders, guides, mentors (for example, this session: Slavoj Zizek, Helene Cixous, Philip Beesley, Christopher Fynsk, Mladen Dolar, Jean-Luc Nancy, Keller Easterling, Chris Kraus, Alenka Zupancic, Benjamin Bratton, Werner Hamacher, Anne Carson…and more…).  We hear from them, we question, we think with them, think FOR other thought drawn toward us (Hegel, Aristotle, Plato, Heidegger, Foucault, Lacan, Freud, Deleuze, Blanchot, Spinoza, Holderlin, Goya, Beckett, and on…).  What lives, what continues in our seemingly endless end.  What might in-form and unsettle us, what might disturb and enliven us, how we might change-in-relation, again and again and again…

To “take all the time in the world” for 30 days.  To read closely.  To be overwhelmed.  To exhaust.  To end again and again, to fail in hopes to fail better.  To “start in a bad way, in order to arrive in the good.”  The process and problems.  Our “selves” in becoming, the one and the two and the many – always with lack.  Negativity, absence.  “Nothing is identical to itself.”  The “greatest order and disorder exist as one.”  “Constancy is slipperiness and change.”  How do we dwell there and evince.  How do we act to find out?  There is always the other, another, a lack that we seek.  That is nothing, just lack.  Drives and desires and neuroses.  The community of thinkers.

Some of us question “what is wrong with us?”  Why a surplus enjoyment of troubling existence?  Why identities founded on nothing?  “Philosophy always arrives too late” (Hegel).  We can only begin at the ends.  Against nothing.  Yet toward.  And it is here I feel valued.  Here recognized.  Here is a home.  I belong.  In a timelessness of knowing in time.  An everywhere of nobodies anywhere.  Senses replete with mountains and rain.  Clear air and short breaths.  An absence of tasks.  Singular tasks.  Monumental tasks (for me).  That need all of the time in the world.  Are all of the time of the “world”.  Senseless letters.  Turbulent being.  In media res – in the middle of things – when outside already inside, inside where something’s always left out.

My collegiate journals from decades ago are riddled in their margins with: “to be the writer of loss,” “to be the philosopher of grey,” “to compose absence.”  A longing for empty origins since thinking began.  Repetition.

I walk for the body to process.  I dream of sharp thorns in my feet, of lost items, of absence and language and two shades of grey.  Rain comes through the clouds in the fog.  “The end is in the beginning, and yet you go on,” “My mistakes are my life,” – Samuel Beckett.  And so, and yet, I go on.  Intensively, demandingly, having “nothing to write, having no means to write it, and being forced by an extreme necessity to keep writing.” – Maurice Blanchot.

I miss those I hold nearest.  And I love them – how indecipherable the term – further description annuls it.  To say the unsaid or unsayable.  I am confused and elated.  Inspired and exhausted.  Drawn forward through despair.  And I love this experiencing.  It belongs.

“If nothing were substituted for everything, it would still be too much and too little.”
― Maurice BlanchotThe Writing of the Disaster

 

Impossible objects – Possible beginnings

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“We enter into thought, and especially our own, only by questioning”

-Maurice Blanchot-

This then, an impossible object with possible beginnings.  What says, what writes, what IS – all filled up with what is NOT.

Capture, mediation, confluence.  The impossible attempts, the radical effort: I attempt to SAY, to INSCRIBE, that which is incapable of being said, inscribed, touched or revealed: experience, THIS-NOW-HERE, YouMe.

This is what, then, I will create / not-be-able-to-create.

click here for more…

Self-metaphor

“a writer has no proper existence”

-Maurice Blanchot-

“I can’t say I want to kill myself, but I can say I don’t want to appear”

-Catherine Malabou-

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Malabou – Retreat Metaphor

(click link to read the lecture)

simply, naively, if I decide to retreat from others, to look from some seclusion, or solitude, or shelter, and if retreat has retreated from the distinction between its proper and its metaphorical meaning, what can I reach where and when I retreat?  Nothing proper, no authenticity, I can’t obtain any truth, any essential way of being, because the difference between the proper and the figurative, between authenticity and inauthenticity, between truth and falsity, between what is essential and what is not have withdrawn.

-Catherine Malabou-

The Neutre Becoming : Untitled Writing

“the writer must expose himself to his exteriority”

-William Brogan-

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In the process of inscription, I am neutral.  Ambiguously being.  Neutered.

Existing via language that has not yet been written opens a sort of potential – possible becomings, as yet unknown, unidentified – possible positings of the impossible – WRITING enaction.  I am unspecified before the letters which commence demonstrating what / who / how as It (this human) encounters them – imagines, recalls, learns, selects, experiments and undoes, chooses and deletes.  Engaging with the sea.  With hearsay and learning, words read or perceived, borrowing, borrowing, sifting and hybridizing.

From wherever, therefore, whomever, toward knows-not-what…IN THE MIDST…WRITING: activity, action, attempt…Everything trying.

A human.  A person.  Acting.  Toward what ends?  Perhaps to say.  To express.  To communicate.  To discover.  Invent.  Investigate.  Imagine.  To play.  To die.  Not to die.  Becoming / evincing / composing / traversing ‘knows-not-what.’  Anything.  Nothing.  Living…to Death.

This is why.  This is why my own ‘need-to-write.’  To become.  To try.  To live on.  To keep going.  Living toward, forward, into… perhaps.

Not-knowing I do not know.  At the edge, or a limit.  Searching a way.  To say.  To discover.  To hear.  To emerge.  Wanting to express, to find out, to dialogue – capable of expressing “Very little…almost nothing,”  I “try again.  Fail again,” and hopefully (but “no matter”) “fail better.”

The internal urgency to write rather than speak, or to speak writing or even write speaking arising when I don’t know the words with which to.

‘The need to write is linked to the point at which nothing can be done with words.”

-Maurice Blanchot-

Selecting the pen, scribbling into the paper when there are no words (that I know) for that which (before words) I experience an urgency toward.

Therefore…working and playing – experiment and effort – name-changing and changeling – It commences.  Exploring.  Expeditions into letters and language.  Into sounds, mouths and breaths.  Into indeterminate dreams and dubious memories.  Desires and wishes and hopes.  To connect or converge.  To speak or hear back.  To know by finding out.  WRITING: to learn by failing.

“becom[ing] the empty place where the impersonal affirmation emerges”

-Maurice Blanchot-

Melancholy (Lispector, Pessoa, Beckett, Jabes, Kafka, Blanchot?) and ecstatic (Rilke, Mallarme?, Holderlin, Nietzsche, Cixous?) human activity/task/capacity.  “Need.”

“That there is language.”

Begin.  Again.

at the point at which nothing can be done with words

***************************

I attempt to express the extent of my experience of love…

Endeavor to language particular beauty…

Strive to tell you how I… try to say…

Make effort to describe my children, the cheek/lip/ankle/voice/presence of my beloved, the eye contact and thought-contact of a friend, paw of a kitten, core of a concept, element of a scent, a breeze, a trace, a view…

Venture some new construction, a world, characters, possibilities…directions and directives…

Ache to communicate…

Will to connect…

Crave to continue…

WRITING: TO LEARN (something?) BY FAILING

perhaps

“the attempt to open a space for the unsayable”

-maurice blanchot-

to fail…

A Literary Manifesto after the end of Literature and Manifestos – by Lars Iyer

Iyer post

NUDE IN YOUR HOT TUB, FACING THE ABYSS (A LITERARY MANIFESTO AFTER THE END OF LITERATURE AND MANIFESTOS)

by Lars Iyer

worth reading!

The Absence of Center

“poetic language directs us not towards what gathers together but rather towards what disperses, not towards what connects but rather towards what disjoins, not towards work but rather towards the absence of work […], so that the central point towards which we seem to be pulled as we write is nothing but the absence of center, the lack of origin…”

-Francoise Collin on Blanchot

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http://research.uvu.edu/albrecht-crane/486R/Peter%20Pal%20Perbart.pdf

http://research.uvu.edu/albrecht-crane/486R/Peter%20Pal%20Perbart.pdf

http://research.uvu.edu/albrecht-crane/486R/Peter%20Pal%20Perbart.pdf

http://research.uvu.edu/albrecht-crane/486R/Peter%20Pal%20Perbart.pdf

Pursuing what Eludes…Borrowing : Blanchot / Bataille

“Perhaps dread is always the more powerful; 

perhaps the joy granted to the only animal that knows it is not eternal is poisoned from the very beginning.”

Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe – Ending & Unending Agony: On Maurice Blanchot

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“Indeed, man is always in pursuit of an authentic sovereignty…We shall see that in a number of ways he continued to pursue what forever eluded him.  The essential thing is that one cannot attain it consciously and seek it, because seeking distances it.  And yet I can believe that nothing is given us that is not given in that equivocal manner…”

“Thus, at all costs, man must live at the moment that he really dies, or he must live with the impression of really dying.”

“INDEED, NOTHING IS LESS ANIMAL THAN FICTION…”

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“It is not Hegel alone, it is all of humanity which everywhere always sought, obliquely, to seize what death both gave and took away from humanity”
“In order for a person to reveal himself ultimately to himself, he would have to die, but he would have to do it while living – watching himself ceasing to be…”

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“Man does not live by bread alone, but also by the comedies with which he willingly deceives himself.

In Man it is the animal, it is the natural being, which eats.  But Man takes part in rites and performances.

OR ELSE HE CAN READ:

to the extent that it is sovereign – authentic – LITERATURE prolongs in him the haunting magic of performances, tragic or comic.”

Georges Bataille – Hegel, Death & Sacrifice