Materials from the Book of the Living

Materials (for Dubravka Djuric) by Lyn Hejinian

from The Language of Inquiry by Lyn Hejinian

[worth every second]

Fumbling toward FICTION

Okay, here goes.  I’ve been diddling my way into another attempt at a longer go of writing, and today have decided, (largely by the courage of company – Tocksin has also begun posting portions of a novelistic go) to post a few rudimentary fragments.  Up until yesterday  the working title was simply FICTION.  I’ve written 3-5 chapters over the past month or two and in seeking an orientation for the work certain symbols and recurrences have led to an inquiry.  “Write about what you want to know” Lance Olsen says, and I can see I’m searching after something in these words.  The epigraphs that shoot me on are the following…

“Reality is the motif”

-Wallace Stevens-

“The universe was the glue that held him together”

-Jonathan Lethem-

“I only care about fiction that raises the question of what fiction is…”

-R. M. Berry-

“The line is only a shadow cast by one (memory or fiction) over the other (fiction or memory).  Once I place memory into language, memory becomes a rumor that makes room for uncertainty.  Memory slips into fiction but then fiction becomes memory once again in an/other way…It is difficult to separate fiction from memory, which is different from separating truth from lying.”

-Doug Rice-

and so it begins…

Family 1

Family 12Family 13

Of Inquiry (Inquiring)

Of Inquiry (Inquiring)

“Inquiry, then, is more like running around a circle and back and forth between different points on it than walking in a straight line”

-Stephen Littlejohn / Karen Foss-

Theories of Human Communication

            And yet whoever thought of it otherwise?

Still sometimes we use logic, as diversion, among the so-called “points,” letting it go.  Circular, perhaps, in that way.  Much as we’d like to, never quite constructing a web.  For capture.  Or a moment to observe, re-flect.  Rather, more de-flect.

If you get their picture.

Would be something like this:


“Intention provides the field for inquiry and improvisation the means for inquiring”

-Lyn Hejinian-

The Language of Inquiry

That is, I assume, if for “improvisation” we substitute some creatively imagining wandering – the wonderings of intention or querying of some inceptive experiencing?  After a fashion.

I’m prone to argue the “point.”  I.e., “What/where/when/how – a ‘point’?”  Inconceivable for me.  As my understanding of ‘point’ is like my comprehension of ‘god’ or ‘time,’ ‘truth’ or ‘being’ – concepts as moving targets without definite characteristics – indefinable insubstantials.  E.g., the falsity of my diagram.

It wouldn’t surprise me if I thought of inquiry as motricity.  When we intend to inquire we’re moving (point-less) and inquiry moves us (point-less) among (therefore, obviously) moving things (thereby point-less), if only in relation to us.  The denial of a dead present.  Pointedly.

No stasis for the living.  Life (logic leads), as, literally, pointless.


So how do we refer?  Index?  Sign?  “Point” to – in all this motion?  Commotion?

Language levies us these lies.  These helpful and distorting machinations and maps of partial, hazy truths.  Like mathematical “laws” providing invisible scaffolding in which to graphically refer.  To question and inquire into falsely stable invisible objects.  Creative and imaginative markers.  Hypothetical space-time convergences – true experientially – but unlocatable save for the traces in ongoing movement – unstoppable, uncharitable, unrecordable – each stoppage (representation), chart or reading of ‘reality’ being an-Other, a deflection, an improvisation and wandering (i.e. a new experiencing)…

…dropping the term “experience” as blatantly false.

…retaining till death “experiencING.”

Not, then, “to question,” but questionING, one and same with observING, evaluatING, inquirING, seekING, readING, creatING, fabricatING the impossibility of a truthful past tense.

…running round and round and back and forth,

not between points,

simply, actually, between.


N Filbert 2012