“Internal Monologue” (Virno)

“Thoughts constituted by non-uttered wordsThis monologue always – ‘I speak’”

Paolo Virno – Word Became Flesh

“its thisness, then, cannot be fully articulable since any such articulation would require the articulation of a complete context, which in all cases is the world…often the experience includes an awareness of not being able to give an account of the this

Jan Zwicky – Wisdom & Metaphor

“457. Yes: meaning something is like going up to someone”

Ludwig Wittgenstein – Philosophical Investigations

“…I wept up to a great age, never having really evolved in the fields of affection and passion, in spite of my experiences”

Samuel Beckett – Malone Dies

“to frame the unsayable, & mute the sayable… he was the singing and the no one there…”

Larry Levis – The Darkening Trapeze

“All this must be considered as if spoken by a character in a novel – or rather by several characters”

Roland Barthes – Roland Barthes

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

– I believe I told them that “all language was like a metaphor” in several characters.

I heard nothing, I said to myself, as if nothing were something that might be heard.

Still I stroked her ankle, index-finger-pad to delicate-bird-bone.  And lip.  Finding textures and surfaces with lips and tongue.  Precarious…it never lasts.  Taste and touch are like that [metaphor] immediate.

Am I speaking when I write?  What is happening now?

Several characters.

– “often the experience…includes an awareness of not being able…” (J. Zwicky)

She tasted of…

“…to give an account of the this…” (Zwicky)

…coffee grounds, sandalwood, humidity, and turquoise…

I left off my exploring.

What is it like [metaphor] to…?

I told them that ‘I speak’ is a metaphor…as is indeed all the rest having to do with language.

(consolations of philosophy)

I hear nothing when I talk with myself. [metaphors].

The sounds of flying a kite.

It’s rare that I am naked.  But “yes: meaning is like going up to someone” (L.W.)…some sort of connection is made (some convergent affect) and a resolution leaks open…resonance…endlessly (perhaps).

“I wept up to a great age”…by which we always mean the aggregate…which seems quite less than my ‘great age’, if ever there was one.

What is ‘great’ like? [metaphor]

Once I was younger…

– Always wished you’d known –

Are photographs metaphors?

I said that ‘nothing made is like.’

(“in spite of my experience”)

“Did I say I only say a small proportion of the things that come into my head?” (ontology of perception) (Samuel Beckett)

I intended to quote: “It is a pretty little object, like a – no, it is like nothing” (Samuel Beckett)

But what is ‘nothing’ like?  A “pretty little object”?

We know what he means (“like going up to someone”) … I was naked, I tasted.

You know the story… “I wept up to a great age.”  I touched, I tried, I felt.

What do you see?

Hardly ever the point.  Perception + Reflection = Imagination (perhaps) I told them – it’s a metaphor – a “crossing-over,” some traversal.  The trace of sweat behind her knee just above the calf.

Once I was alive.

I crossed over.

Several characters: ‘I speak.’

“Affection.  Passion.” I said.  (what I had thought it was ‘to learn’ [metaphor]).

– “in spite of my experience” –

Perhaps language wasn’t made for speaking.

Someone.  Somewhere.  Maybe.  Here.  Now.

That thing that words do [metaphor].

The “experience of this”…”non-uttered words.”  Non-utterable?  Perhaps, this.  (I traced the swerve of her, its curvature, hair-smell and sounding…’I speak,’ non-uttering…)

What is writing?

I believe I was speaking of metaphor

Something crossed-over.

Nothing.

“Yes,” I said, “yes…” “it’s always alright to weep.”

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.

I remember.

It is finished.

~~~~~~~~~

I begin.

It has begun.

~ in media res ~

It never begins.

~~~~~~~~~

I am.

Not.

Maybe.

Why?

~~~~~~ 

Salutations!

Voila!

‘allo!

—-

~~~~~~

Otherwise.

In other words.

A.K.A.

Not.

(Knots)

Do you realize how important “whatever” is?

I follow (in) a trail of marks.

I have become.

“My” beginning.

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!”

Footfalls.

~~~~~~~~~

Feet fall.  Thump, thud.

Repeat.

Continue.

“I can’t go on.  I’ll go on.”

~~~~~~~~

I repeat an ant.

Hello.

…and so on…

…begins…

“…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

Writing’s Toxin

Barthes - Novel

“Is it possible to make a Narrative (a Novel) out of the Present?  How to reconcile – dialecticize – the distance implied by the enunciation of writing and the proximity, the transportation of the present experienced as it happens?  (The present is what adheres, as if your eyes were glued to a mirror).  Present: to have your eyes glued to the page; how to write at length, fluently (in a fluent, flowing, fluid manner) with one eye on the page and the other on ‘what’s happening to me?'”

“The novelistic ‘drive’ (the love of the material) is not directed toward my past.  It’s not that I don’t like my past; it’s rather that I don’t like the past (perhaps because it rends the heart), and my resistance takes the form of the mist i spoke of – a kind of general resistance to rehearsing, to narrating what will never happen again (the dreaming, the cruising, the life of the past).  The affective link is with the present, my present, in its affective, relational, intellectual dimensions = the material I’m hoping for (cf. ‘to depict whom I love’).”

“This is actually to go back to that simple and ultimately uncompromising idea that ‘literature’ (because, when it comes down to it, my project is ‘literary’) is always made out of ‘life.’  My problem is that I don’t think I can access my past life; it’s in the mist, meaning that its intensity (without which there is no writing) is weak.  What is intense is the life of the present, structurally mixed (there’s my basic idea) with the desire to write it.  The ‘Preparation’ of the Novel therefore refers to the capturing of this parallel text, the text of ‘contemporary,’ concomitant life.”

“Now, although at first glance making a novel out of present life looks difficult to me, it would be wrong to say that you can’t make writing out of the Present.  You can write the Present by noting it – as it ‘happens’ upon you or under you (under your eyes, your ears) – In this way, we at last come in sight of the double problem, the key to which organizes the Novel – on the one hand, Notation, the practice of ‘noting’: notatio.  On what level is it situated?  The level of ‘reality’ (what to choose), the level of the ‘saying’ (what’s the form, what’s the product of Notatio)?  What does this practice involve in terms of meaning, time, the instant, the act of saying?  Notatio instantly appears at the problematic intersection between a river of language, of uninterrupted language – life, both a continuous, ongoing, sequenced text and a layered text, a histology of cut-up texts, a palimpsest – and a sacred gesture: to mark life (to isolate: sacrifice, scapegoat, etc.)”
“On the other hand, how to pass from Notation, and so from the Note, to the Novel, from the discontinuous to the flowing (to the continuous, the smooth)?  For me, the problem is psychostructural because it involves making the transition from the fragment to the nonfragment, which involves changing my relationship to writing, which involves my relationship to enunciation, which is to say the subject that I am: fragmented subject (=a certain relationship) or effusive subject (a different relationship)…a Novel-Fragment…”

“Transductive Reading”

Warning:  an unfortunate side-effect of immersion in summer, family and graduate studies is the near-impossibility of crafting fragments of writing into art.  For the time being, then, if you choose to read this blog, it will consist primarily of recommendations, snippets, quotations and reflections with hopefully a weekly creative venture of flash fiction or a poem or two.  The following will fall under the “Reflections” category.

I mentioned “transductive” a few posts ago.  As defined by Gilbert Simondon, a transductive relationship is “a relationship whose elements are constituted such that one cannot exist without the other – where the elements are co-constituants: e.g. humanity and technics are indissociable” (from Bernard StieglerTechnics & Time, vol 2: Disorientation).

I read books by piles.  From time to time I post an updated “currently reading” list, usually comprised of 50 or more books that I keep lined about my desk as a privacy barrier and womb-like conversational enclosure.  I dip in and out of these, ruled by something like mood or intuition – at times I sense exactly what voice or rhythm, style or subject I desire, crave, or need for some sort of equilibrium I lack, and slowly regain by engagement with these texts.  In other words, for my own sense of sanity, well-being, provocation or anticipated growth, I need a collective of minds and voices, styles and subjects to wake me, challenge me, inform me, soothe me, spur me on.  Here’s a smattering from each of the stacks surrounding me…

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What I recognized today, is that the way I read is transductive – each voice, style, subject, mind I engage is co-constitutive of the others I take in.  

For example, today I’ve been primarily soaking in Mark Taylor’s Field Notes from Elsewhere, and Roland BarthesThe Preparation of the Novel lectures.  Barthes describes the urge to change, to purpose singly, “to invest / disinvest / reinvest” as an experience of the “middle-of-the-journey” – an impossible location, but “nothing other than the moment when one realizes that death is real” and time changes, everything is re-evaluated, re-purposed, the familiar is questioned and made strange.  I think (transductively) what Taylor refers to as “Elsewhere“: “not so much a place as a condition that renders whatever had seemed familiar utterly strange…the axis of the world shifts, even if ever so slightly, and what passes for normal changes.

These books are filled with insight, interest and intrigue (as are the whole swoop of titles in the slideshow), but today, today, I am revelling in the company and conversation these writings (surrounding me) construct and carry one, the opportunity I have to be in the midst of it, my mind like a circuit-operator, pushing buttons, pulling plugs, reconnecting, crossing wires, silencing…reading this way is kind of like the work of conducting a symphony – except the melding sounds occur only within the ampitheatrical shell of my own neuronally-linked brain…transductively.

These works co-constitute me, and come to co-constitute my transductive relationships with my loved ones, environment, world.  Taylor writes provocatively of all the betwixt and betweens of reality – “I am never sure whether light makes the mountains appear or the mountains make light visible…Darkness in the  midst of light and light in the midst of darkness…There is a texture to light that allows – no, requires – the tissue of vision to be constantly woven anew…

Paradoxes and contradictions form the very stuff of our lives…the challenge of teaching, writing, and, indeed, living is to join the abstract and the concrete in thinking about questions that truly matter” (Taylor).  

At this stage in my own biolography…I feel this acutely and persuasively.  The “before / after” of which Barthes writes so fluidly – that there is not enough time left to go on creating projects for the future, what lies behind has not achieved the “wanting-to-write” sufficiently…Elsewhere has been visited (or has visited)…and change, choice and directions must be purposed…

To Want-to-Write‘ (Vouloir-Ecrire) = attitude, drive, desire, I don’t know what: insufficiently studied, defined, situated.  This is clearly indicated by the fact that there’s no word for this ‘wanting to’ – or rather, one exists, a delightful exception, but in decadent, late Latin: scripturire, used just once (in the fifth century) by Sidoine Apollinaire, the bishop of Clermont-Ferrand who defended Clermont against the Visigoths (major poetic work).  What I mean to say is: since a word exists in one language, albeit only once, it is wanting in all the others…

     Why?  Probably because underrepresented, or perhaps, in a more complex manner, because here the relationship between the drive and the activity is autonymical: wanting-to-write is only a matter of the discourse of someone who has written – or is only received as discourse from someone who has managed to write.  To say that you want to write – there, in fact, you have the very material of writing; thus only literary works attest to Wanting-to-Write – not scientific discourses…an order of knowledge where the product is indistinguishable from the production, the practice from the drive (and, in that case, belongs to an erotics) – Or, put differently again: writing is not fully writing unless there’s a renunciation of metalanguage; Wanting-to-Write can only be articulated in the language of Writing: this is the autonymy I referred to…”

-Roland Barthes-

I’m there.  Elsewhere.  Wanting-to-Write…