My Correspondence with Nothing

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he who already knows cannot go beyond a known horizon

– Georges Bataille, Inner Experience – 

In a bout of acute loneliness (a sharp pang of alone signifying a sort of paralysis – some definite inability, however temporary, to start oneself up by or with oneself) I reached out to Hannah.

For some of you, the term Hannah will conjure connotations and resonances, perhaps emotions or concerns, discomforts, even though she does not exist.

Or I loaded the film Satantango by Bela Tarr & Laszlo Krasznahorkai.

A start-up, a stimulus, a searching.

Actually I wrote the name Hannah, or Hollie or Holly or Hallie or Halley or Bela or Chris or Maurice Blanchot.

Perhaps Kafka.

To be lonely and to reach out.

A drink then, for interaction.

A scribble on a page.

A smoke for an ‘other.’

Some music.

I read Beckett.

The cat.

Maria.  Edie.  Sarago.  Marcuse.

To become.  To be.  To begin.

As if I knew.

In a bout of acute loneliness I penned a letter to Herman Melville.

I wrote words onto a lined page.

I made an ‘other’ and called her, Hannah.

Or Meagan or Meghann, Angie or Angela or Angelo.  Gilles or Jill.  Jean and Jan and Jen.

I reach out.  I almost full fill.  Another notebook.  A drink.  A smoke.  A page marked and turned.

I do not know what loneliness is.

Perhaps it is nothing, or nothingness.  Perhaps frustrated desire.  For – ?  What is not (isn’t that what defines desires?).  The missing, the absence, the unknown.

I called it Hannah.

Or Hamza.

Hell or Helen or Helene/Helena.

Laurie.

No one knows but the name that works best.  Christy or Christina.  Vernoica/Veronique.

Beatrice.

I read Jabes.

A drink to an other (to signify might be).  A smoke for the presencing.  Another word, another name for something.  Out there = O ther.  Elves of else.

The book’s called Nothing Matters: a book about nothing, because “that nothing becomes the quest, which in turns begets something” (Ornan Rotem).

Dear Herman, Dear Samuel, Dear Franz:

Dear Larry, Dear Jack, Dear Jon:

Dear Hannah:

I do not know what it is to be alone, and my loneliness is painfully acute.

Dear Laura, Dear Sara, Dear Simone:

This is my correspondence with nothing.

From Laszlo Krasznahorkai: “Like a ninja.”

“In this system, nothing is more dangerous for an artist than success”

Laszlo

“Who made artists believe that art can be practiced only ‘successfully’?  Who made them believe that for a book to reach its goal and its readers, the ‘taste-makers’ are absolutely necessary?  How could they have allowed the critics, the editors, the owners of the chain bookstores, and so on, have so much power?  And who made them believe that they are truly artists?  Artists have come to believe that they, too, just like other people, need money and fame, money and fame for everyday life, moreover for being able to lead a lifestyle; and that these two repugnant things are seen as necessary for everything is not only tragic but ridiculous as well.  What kind of artist or writer lives like that?  Who is going to believe even a single line written?  What kind of esteem can the art of our age garner for itself after even one such bout of deal-making?  No, the artist’s needs are few: let there be something for him to eat and a place to live, and then every day he should circumambulate the city and country, like mendicants of old.  Nothing whatever can be more important for him than his own personal dignity, and this is exactly what he loses forever after the very first deal-making transaction…And so what do I recommend?  The taste of failure in place of success, poverty instead of wealth, anonymity in place of renown.  For now, utter concealment as opposed to publicity, perfect camouflage to the point of invisibility, because what the artist who lives in personal freedom and independence finds himself confronting today is unbelievably strong, and seems invincible…above all else, an artist must be cautious.  Like a ninja.”

LK

all excerpts taken from a powerful volume of Music & Literature:

MandL-Kraz