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“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.
A man stumbles into a bar… (perhaps you’ve heard this one before)… truly more of a sauntering in seeming need of assistance… must be no stranger here, his drinks await him wherever he finds or chooses or results in sitting: a something-with-vodka, large glass of water, and occasionally a cup filled with coffee.
“You’re the one that always has books,” some say, “you some kind of writer or something?”
“I don’t know what I’m doing,” he mumbles. “I’m always tired, I feel ugly and old, I don’t like my body but don’t desire doing anything about it, perhaps I should, I’m sure to lose it someday…” (he isn’t talking to anyone). “Thank you, always, you’re ever so kind,” he says.
He says “My children seem to remember me,” shifting in his chair as if to leave, or relocate tables, “my children they seem to remember, and they hurt me, they have hurt me, my body hurts, mostly in sport, and what they do and don’t remember.” He opens a book, looks as if he’s reading, another round of drinks appears.
He writes and marks in many colors. He is dirty. He wears overalls and moccasins. He never seems cold. It is cold.
“I decided to shower today,” he mutters. “Some ladies still talk to me,” something-and-vodka drips through his beard, “some will even hug or hold me yet, even this way” (patting his belly, grimacing) “I guess I didn’t like my smell or simply thought it might change me, it’s awful hard to be alone with my body.” He moves, his drinks are waiting at another table, both fresh fills and half-drunks, and a sandwich of some kind. The cook passes and pats him on the shoulder, smiles, asks of how he’s doing. They hug. The man praises him and his eyes are moist. The man isn’t anyone in particular. He isn’t anyone.
“What you doing with all those books?” she asks, he thinks. Pretends that someone’s interested. “Not the young ones much anymore,” he says, “they are needing something else, they can tell I’m aged and tired, carrying the trouble of experiences, but a few, a few older ones will let me hug them, touch, perhaps a kiss, perhaps an accidental overnight, that strange collapse.”
“I have them to read,” he replies, “there’s always more to read,” he whimpers, “so much, so many, to read,” he sighs and smiles like a boy receiving toys, “if only people, my children, if, if they felt read this way by me, some women, some wonderful women, if I could delve, could attend, if others felt read this way, these books, I love them, I love and need them, their words, I love and need and want them…if others felt that way, I’d like to feel that way – loved, wanted, needed… sometimes my children…”
“Another?” she says so warmly with her tight and fast-moving body, lithe and breasted, friendly with its clothes. She has a fresh vodka-with-something, he says “no I shouldn’t, but sure, I guess, you’re so kind to me, why not? I will, yes” (wanting, loving, needing.. books scattered over the tabletop, all closed). He drinks.
“My children, my friends – so smart, so beautiful, with verve… so helpful… I did shower today,” he thinks, “maybe I’ll be useful to one or some of them, but probably not, what could they need or want of me,” he drinks. “Not the young ones, though, not anymore,” he thinks, “what could I offer – these worn experiences, these words and doubts, these lacks of memories, confusions, waking dreams, these wonders.”
“You’ll need to go soon,” she chides, “you can’t be staying here.” “But he’s the writer,” a boisterous drinker shouts, “he oughta tell a story, oughta earn his keep!” Drunk old friendly at two in the morning (bar time – it’s actually 1:35).
“Tell us something,” they gather, they prompt. “Say some of those words,” they prod.
So he opens his notebook and begins to write…
“…the contradiction which awaits the writer is great. There is no mission, he cannot undertake it and nobody has sent him on it, that is to say he will have to become nobody to accept it; a contradiction which he cannot survive. That is why no writer can hope to preserve his life’s freedom for the benefit of the work… everything takes place between the artist and himself; no one else can do anything about it; it is a mystery like love that no extraneous authority may judge or understand.”
– Maurice Blanchot-
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 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
I dig this! Find document here
A “Book Review” – complements The Whole Hurly-Burly
By Enrique Vila-Matas
We are able to “keep up appearances” – some habitual collage of identities – for quite a long time.
I don’t have ANYthing to say, to speak of, when I encounter – READ – the work of a great writer / a great written work [or writerS – the book above is in translation, and that by two others]. Alas.
Broken. Spellbound. With nothing to add, say, profess, testify – unable to stop speaking.
: Literature, no?
The frozen sea within me (fraud, image, appearance, presentation, mis-representation) AXED?
It feels that way: like being stumped in a crucial interview by a question one never expected – exposed – somewhere beyond your bones – on into some uncanny…
So I read, with the feeling of partaking of fine food outstripping my station. So tasteful, delicious and exquisite that the experience teeters at throw-up or orgasm…nearly too much pleasure…too much exposure…too much experience.
And the concomitant deflation, flattened, realizing that I am none of something, perhaps too many of somethings,
disordered, disorganized, confused.
Vulnerable and laid bare – with nothing showing.
I am not that
Frightening (terrifying even, at some level) and freeing (or, unknown, unpredictable, possible).
Potential, unlikely, impossible to prove or ascertain – uncertainty – unknowable
to my ‘self’ in my body, as a name, or a father, a partner, a person, a friend.
A cipher. Undeserving of accolades or attributions, unaware of facts or characteristics –
just a long train of habits,
histories, perceptions and behaviors. A long, long trail of showing up…taking space…acting…AS.
With nothing else: not more-than or without, not subterfuge or false, no accomplishments or occurrences in lieu of AS.
The residue of NOTHING.
Bereft then, but not of substance. Empty, but not of force. Simply laid bare, examined, investigated…
…and found wanting.
There are things I can perform, ways I interact, roles fulfilled, tasks achieved, conversations replete with reactions and response,
but that is all.
I have a shape, I’ve garnered knowledge, mastered speech and comprehension, can use my cock, can analyze, interpret and produce. Can keep alive and support others, draft language and record. Able to run, walk, sit, stand. To do, make, say and think. In other words – TO BE – and be HUMAN (passably), but undefined, unqualified, ephemerally labeled, nothing “sticking,” “fitted,” by which I might be “called.”
Just a human lacking content, wriggling survival as a beast. An educated beast. And unwitting, unaware and unforeseen.
AN EMPTY ‘I’. (Replace with senses – it means the same). A processing thing, operative organism – a complex or compound of certain circumstances, situations, affordances, of contexts. But nothing special, just unique. An additional example of a being.
Being false. In sense of veiled, covered over, costumed and behaved. Or misbehaved, rankly naked, shown-up short, struggling by.
It doesn’t matter as a seem or even category, division, or multi-ply. Can’t reach zero, can’t be counted, a kind of circumstance of pi. A virtual reality that’s not quite real, not loved quite right to rub it so.
A becoming, misshapen, and clumsily adorned, fooling-no-one. There is no one. Only you. Me. Us.
“an unleashing of erroneous energy”
Derivative and fake. A mistake, mistake uncalled-for and unnecessary, and untoward. A simple “me.” Empty. Formed.
An empty ‘I’ inside myself (shelf, shell).
In any order, or, perhaps,
this repeated event of searching for blank pages only to find potential fertility in those already filled…
entries uncovered from March 2015
“WHEREOF ONE CANNOT SPEAK, THEREOF ONE MUST BE SILENT”
HO SCIENCES, LOGICS, TECHNO-LOGICS AND MATHEMATICIANS!
PROGRAMMERS, DOCTORS, PHILOSOPHERS & ANALYSTS!
You have your discourses and discoveries, practices and spheres of operability!
You designate your domains through terms and definitions –
What is allowed and disallowed.
Vowed and disavowed.
Whoever’s drawing lines of this and that, of here or there, of yes and no.
Whomever feeds the fuel of contradiction, against the singing speaking styles.
Whoever revels in dichotomy, clarity and divisions –
DIVERGE and then stay silent.
In complexity you must not speak,
on recursion and convergences be still,
traversing intersects and margins,
knotting nexuses and networks,
these zones your symbols will not call,
fringes disciplined discourses unable to name, locate, determine (undermine?)
REVEAL in complex approach – our work of ambiguity – perplexing and puzzling, unfathomable and obscure – in-determinate we sing, in language hard to cipher, discourse discomposing and dispossessed, polyphonious and multi-vocal, holding harmonies in dissonance
Whereof can I speak?
I speak of pie. Fruit pies. My mother’s. Yet I cannot speak, for I have never figured out how they can be the way they are.
I sing to love. Great love. Experiences and events so totalizing in kind that one fears one will not survive them. And then does. Yet I cannot speak to it because I am unable to account for it, explain it, or…
WRITING MEANS CLIMBING THE STEPS OF OUR LACK
as if the aim of writing were to use what is already written as launching pad for reading the writing to come
How oddly and uniquely our dear bodies exhibit the effects of stress. For some days now, exhausted and craving rest, I wake ever-so-early in a kind of sleepless sleepiness. Wanting only to burrow in, immerse in comfort and calm, be tenderly near the one I love, instead I toss, turn, disturb and achieve none of my wishes.
Is this another emerging effect of aging?
My parents soon will celebrate 50 years of marriage – an example of what Andre Gorz describes: “If you join with someone for life in marriage, you share your lives together and you refrain from doing what might divide or damage your marriage. Building your life together as a couple is your common project and you never finish reinforcing it, adapting it, reshaping it to fit changing situations. We will be what we do together.” (Letter to D)
which means that I also approach 50.
So there’s also that – a kind of nostalgia, melancholy, joy, awareness…
I’m one to search and seek and inquire without end.
One to wonder and ponder and interrogate my experience with hopes of understanding it – but increasingly I find that apparently my being simply wants to be SO ALIVE. Sometimes I feel that is what is happening with my waking body – that it doesn’t want to miss. Anything. The presence of my beloved next to me in sleep (Gorz describes what I am experiencing in that regard very well also: “how love is the mutual fascination of two individuals based precisely on what is least definable about them, least socialisable, most resistant to the roles and images of themselves that society imposes on them”), the particular quality and type of that morning time, house-sounds, obfuscated consciousness…I, one of those who have “just worn different identities on top of each other, though none of them were mine”…sometimes it feels…and that this particular kind of love slowly strips and erodes those away to the irreducible, undefinable reality of each ONE of us…
FITS & STARTS
I shoulda wrote a letter. There are the griefs, the emotions mistrusted, the longings delta’d out, and a million wishes. “The past is still the past : a bridge to nowhere.” And then there is SO MUCH NOW. The children and their emerging, engrossing creating lives; my wonder/love – a thriving, amazing individual who loves me and has so much of her own; there are the animals, the leaves, the waters and the breezes. The breaths, the touches, the thoughts. The feel of it all.
The word/concept/term “Mashup.”
Perhaps that is what is going on in my sleepless sleepiness. My habit of reading has always been to read 30 or more books from various fields, genres, authors, subjects, literatures in order that my mind would have to do it’s weird mysterious complexity/chaos/emergence/dynamic/creative adaptive process of making some new idiosyncratic sense of a kind of global dissonance – our inherent ability to be a Convergence Creator. To not be caught obeying, devoting, under the sway of some authority or perception or ideology not a Mashup. Perhaps the thickness of being alive to what is life, attempting to attend, note and notice, enthralls the entirety in a similar manner – experience is a Mashup – so many sources, so many responses, so many interactions, so many affects and effects, roles, obligations, identities, loves, fears, perceptions, interpretations…and perhaps I’m currently simply immersed in a particularly cogent nexus of complexity and chaos – the operation toward adaptive emergence and some temporary convergence being administered in clumsy and cluttery fits & starts…
Perhaps each now is realization & threshold. And, as a friend recently pointed out…“hope is such a restless state”.