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Distortion of the Perceiving Eye/I
“the turned-to-water book…
with all that has room in it,
– Paul Celan –
Decide to write the book-that-turns-to-water, as speech-that-turns-to-air. All that rippling silence, even without language.
Someone asking: what is gesture? movement? expression-in-its-being?
Signification the silent razor.
Someone mentions music, which it claims “represents nothing at all,” (Michel Seuphor) and I doubt that: is there not expression? confession? some sonorous and vibratory friction or exhalation? A “constant inscription of birth in innumerable ways…language is metaphor and metonymy, one cannot avoid it.” (Helene Cixous)
[“where trace becomes existence” (Seuphor)]
I am tracing letters without a model, refusing to hub any wheel…
Out of its mouth: communication sounds. The body moved likewise. Undulant, suggesting. only sounds, no discernible words.
Signification, perception, emotion, feeling, sensation… and then translations: prefrontal cortex: “meaning”?
A blockage. Refusal.
Andre Malraux: “You are human when you can say no.” Remembers Bartleby.
What is called ‘agency’? Only negation?
This is how the story goes?
Prefers not to.
“Pleasures,” “pains.” Pain wakes. Pleasure lull(abie)s?
And when is the “system of nonknowledge” (and unknowing) not “unfinished” (Bataille) posthumous. Post-humorous. Generations.
What was it? Ah, yes, the Book-that-turns-to-water. Speech-to-air bubbles, balloons. Hot air, as they say. They? We.
(someone wrote, silently saying).
“all that has room in it”
Of truth and genesis – constant inscriptions of birth. Unthinking the point and the line.
“Not to worry about the rest of us. Love you.” (someone said).
This is the shaping of chaos, this hell of stories.
Unbearable lightness of being, this breath or stream of life.
Mismaking is an art (or so we hope, we think, desire, demand).
Men and apparitions.
[everything I letter down is plagiarism]
These – the margins of philosophy, a way of life.
Saying I no more. Interior distance.
This is the writing of disaster: the book-that-turns-to-water.
Speaking turned to air.
Philosophy, the posthumous. Dust.
Text (from textare: to weave).
My notes in the fog.
The trouble with pleasure.
Myopia. My opium.
Don’t start reading. The writing always stops when there’s something to read.
There’s always something to read.
Somethings you really, really want to read.
You want, gutturally – in the stomach of your heart – she’s ill, she’s suffering, the phone, to text, just text, “still love you”, like that, she must need care, she must (perhaps not, perhaps she’s been more than cared for, is ecstatically happy, relieved, content, unbothered – it was she who chose to leave, who left, after all).
Text someone else, another, one who maybe wants you to love her, who misses. Avoid frustration.
No. Write it. Write about the urges, the diversion, the avoidance. Read a little first, get a taste, a feel for what letters, what language, might do…
Take a drink (an attempt to frustrate frustration, avoiding satisfactions, short-circuiting risks with another), no texting, follow your fears, note your diversions, attend your avoidance, but act elsewhere. Write.
Could start anywhere, and none a satisfaction, only inscriptions or actions of frustration – to read, to write, to love the one who doesn’t want it, who’s trying to get away (has gotten away, but also wants to leave it behind), to contact one who might or who does want to hear from you (but you don’t, don’t know, just want love, some response) – want to write…
…for ANYone, any SOMEone, perhaps yourself, perhaps all the opportunities lying about you wanting to be read – no, you want to read them…
Avoid frustration, settle for imagined response, even address, to be called – the words in the books rarely fail in calling you, addressing you, which for you feels like response, like being wanted, almost needed, like a text from ANYone, any SOMEone, who invites your love.
Take a drink, frustrate frustration, move into fear, toward satisfaction (or one of its bastard offspring).
Don’t check that phone. Don’t even touch it. Leave it in another room. Turn it off, power it down.
See the words come easy when you simply write them out instead of fracturing them, spreading them thin through a network, splaying them across pages and phones and emails and…
A Short Sort of Story
“can the illegible be legible?” – Helene Cixous
“one cannot write without repeating something” – Jeremy Fernando
I repeat. I am an ant.
I have forgotten.
It is finished.
It has begun.
~ in media res ~
It never begins.
In other words.
Do you realize how important “whatever” is?
I follow (in) a trail of marks.
I have become.
Insofar. (In so far). [in media res]
-NO MATTER. TRY AGAIN. FAIL AGAIN. FAIL BETTER.- Beckett
I repeat – “I am an ant”
“Hello little ant in a line!”
“Look at that cute creature!”
Feet fall. Thump, thud.
“I can’t go on. I’ll go on.”
I repeat an ant.
…and so on…
“…or is it that language already says more already?…” – Roland Barthes
…and so it begends.
“the other cannot be determined or decided” – Leslie Hill, on Blanchot
This. Interesting. Day.
Interesting: it will come, whispering in your imagination that the English interest comes from the Latin inter esse, literally “in-between-being.” – Gunnar Olsson, Abysmal
“something must have changed” – Samuel Beckett, Malone Dies
I guess I just decided to let something else happen…
I suppose I decided
insofar as we do
to let something else
“This is what I’ve decided. I see no other solution. It is the best I can do…
…that little space of time, filled with drama, between the message received and the piteous response…
…Of myself I could never tell, any more than live or tell of others…”
Samuel Beckett, Malone Dies
distrusting human plans
“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
Luciano Floridi – on the Art of Reading
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