and more “…” more “…” more-than

“the more than us in us that is at that moment irreducible to meaning or satisfaction”

Jacques Lacan

“our repeated baffling by the trauma of a Real”

-Peter Schwenger-

“the ordinary is not ordinary; it is extra-ordinary, uncanny”

Martin Heidegger


by Peter Schwenger

(read online for free!)

Juame Plensa sculpture

“What hope do I have of attaining the thing that I push away?

My hope lies in the materiality of language, in the fact that words are things too…A name ceases to be the ephemeral passing of nonexistence and becomes a concrete ball, a solid mass of existence; language, abandoning the sense, the meaning which was all it wanted to be, tries to become senseless”

Maurice Blanchot

2 Things in absence of composition

My maker-wheels or whatever complex machinery sometimes con-fuses to generate documents of creative writing are apparently on the fritz.  In lieu of some relatively originary textual flow (idiosyncratic dip into the semiotic waters of the resource of language) I forward along a poem that stands out to me from this weeks’ readings, and a plea that interest-piqued readers immerse themselves in a particular book regarding our co-creation and involvement with the rest of the world and one another…

First, the poem – from Bob Hicok‘s “Elegy Owed” – a fine collection:

Hicok - Poem


and second a plug for a compelling study by Ian Hodder – “Entangled: An Archaeology of the relationships between humans and things”

Hodder - Entangled


Troubling Identity in Writing – What Scribbling Does

As an addendum and prequel to writing anything/everything I wanted to share a couple of terrific essays on the strange elimination (or difficulty of perceiving) a “self” or “personality” or “identity” or any of those socially constructed concepts relating to human individuals.  Prompted by the scribbling exercise of last week (see previous post) – the conundrum has long fascinated me and seems to be so well presented in texts like Jorge Luis Borges‘ The Nothingness of Personality (also perhaps available here) and this tremendous first essay – relating to Maurice Blanchot‘s writings – in Anne McConnell’s Approaching Disappearance – (click image to read)

McConnell - Approaching Disappearance

all help me to understand better why it often seems hard for writerlies to formulate or maintain “strong senses of self” – as the practice of entering language in such a way seems to dissolve the separations that might preserve that artificial construction.


“Yet if language gives no words for what happens…it nevertheless gives itself”

-Christopher Fynsk-

“Not to discover – not to be able to discover – the solution, is the general tragedy of all writing”

“To try to express oneself and to want to express the whole of life are one and the same thing”

-Jorge Luis Borges-

“Reality works in overt mystery”

-Macedonio Fernandez-

A Real-ization?

A Real-ization(?)

“…And here begins my despair as a writer”

Jorge Luis Borges, “The Aleph


I should say, “began.”  And not “as a writer,” per se, or even primarily, no, I should more accurately portray the experience “…and so began, and ever continues to begin, my despair as a human.”

For experiences, no matter where or when, in full matter of where and when, are multitude that begin such despair.  They are occurrences of a process we call variously “knowing,” “comprehending,” “understanding” – encounters with unlimited and unnecessary contents we might describe as “revelatory,” “visionary,” or “true.”  We describe their feeling and fumble with content.

For they seem to circumscribe an everything – as contained and opening out – well-metaphored by the scientifically religious Big Bang, an un-caused cause or some like.  Experiences we couch in the babbles of mystery: synchronicity, omniscience, omnivorous, omnipotent and omnipresent.  We feel them like an orb or spiral, a series of looping waves without succession.

A.k.a “convergence,” simultaneity and emergence coming together at now and here.

I write “as a human” because I cannot be anything else.  And a human, as a living being, is characterized by limitations and potentials.  Although kinds of things never exhaust their potentials (as far as we know) – thereby always altering what might constitute affordances and constraints lists – nevertheless, in order to be unique (or anything at all – “what –so-ever”) humans must be limited, those limitations providing the very contexts for exploring potentials and potency.

One such environment or niche is the operation of our living processes in space and through time.  I.e. a simultaneous occurrence of everything cannot be processed, cannot be shared, as such.  It must needs be dissected and dismembered via many spaces and over time in order to be perceived by such an animal as we – re-membered and imaged-in (imagined) according to our nature (our processes and practices in our environments).

This is why moments we might re(in)fer to as “transcendent” or “wholistic” perhaps “encapsulating” or “converging” – compressing and expanding (synonymously) some happening that seems “total” generate despair for our kind or species.

I am unable to deny what comes to experience, but with labels and descriptions (interpretation) must take care.  One often turns to symbols or metaphors: icons that serve to absorb a variegated but comprehensible share of human experiences.  Accrued via descriptions and depictions over time, these symbols resonate and traverse times and boundaries in order to gather experiences of a kind.  Take for example the term “hunger,” or a drawing of an eye.  Mirrors, or a resolving I-IV-V progression.  These activities of reference and participation, renewal and recognition, present and re-present for us experiences that seem to extend or equal (again, synonymously) us.

Despair comes in the desired specificity each individual of the species wishes to convey (form of convergence – communicate meaning for our kind can be spotted by our use of the prefix co-).  That experience (in itself necessarily co-), in order to have meaning(humanly speaking) must be shared – we find that telling/singing/dancing/painting/acting/writing/ filming/making/working/sculpting/creating/crafting or any combination of them all and the human-specific processes this entails are unable to re-present such “totalizing” experiences, except at certain angles, perspectives, fragments, over time.

Yet, were it otherwise, we would have no need of any of our abilities – for we would know.  The relations, practices, potentials and processes depend on this inability (limitation) to be.  For us to be, as humans, what and whom, where and when, we are.

Unity would undo this.  In fact, we have no evidence that ANY living entity “shares alike” – reciprocates perfect understanding or replication (or reproduction, ex-ist-ing) exactly…down beyond our cells…there is difference, mis-matching, variation.  In fact, all the co-operations that provide con-vergence and co-mmunity, me-and-ing (meaning) depend on the disjunctions we strive to come over or through in order to express, be understood, known, “as one.”

So, though never “of the same mind,” perspective, or feeling, even when we experience me-and-ing together (gathered) – – this is also how we are.

Perhaps then, less despair than real-ization?


Potent Selections from Vacation Reading

“I wondered what indeed it meant about me that I was so set against the notion of convention that I should attack it.  So, I replaced the dream with the novel, stripping the stories of my dreams of any real meaning, but causing the form of them to mean everything.”

“…the gap between the subject of enunciation and the subject of enunciating not only failed to appear to me as a place of entry, but also failed to register as something I might elide.  For me, there was no gap, as there is no gap for anyone.”

P Everett 1

“…generally, people are only inclined to speak of the past with those they believe will somehow not only share some commonality, but who will also be disposed to exhibiting sympathy.”

“Is a photograph always present tense?  I described them so…better, let the question be, is what is in the photograph always in the present, without a before, without an after?  Of course, it is.  And isn’t that actually you in the picture?”


“On Ludwig Boltzman’s tombstone is carved: S=k. LogW.  S is the entropy of a system, k represents Boltzman’s Constant, and W is a measure of the chaos of a system, essentially the extent to which energy is dispersed in the world.  This equation meant little to me as I read of it the first time, but as I considered it I grew excited.  The space between S and W is the space between the living thing in front of me and stuff hidden inside beyond my observation and comprehension.  It raises the question:  How many ways can the parts of a thing be rearranged before I can see a difference?  How many ways can the atoms and molecules of my hand move and recombine before I realize that something is wrong?  Thinking about it scared me.  Certainly, I understood that natural events symbolize collapse into chaos and that events are motivated by dissolution, but the idea of such subversive and invisible change moved me.  I likened it to observing the minds of others.”

P Everett 2


“Ezra Pound said, ‘Every word must be charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree.’  Let it be the case then.  But words need no help from anyone.  Bet thew ords kneeknow hellip freeum heinywon.  Context, story, time, place – don’t these work like Bekins men, packing the words like so many trunks?  But finally, words are not cases to be packed at all, but solid bricks (and, of course, like a brick, even a word’s atoms are not motionless).”

“We do not give the creature reality enough credit, choosing to see it sitting out there as either a construct of ours or an infinitely regressing cause for the trickery of our senses.  But I claim here that the most important thing I have learned is that reality has a soul, reality is conscious of itself and of us, and further is not impressed by us or our attempts to see it.  In fact, we see it all the time and don’t know it, perhaps can’t.  It is like love in that way.”

-all quotes by Percival Everett

from his novel, Glyph

Glyph - Everett

As relates to…



I have wanted to share (for years) the significance and import of Mikhail Bakhtin‘s manner of thinking, writing in the formation of my own worldview and understanding of the confounding irritations of working in language and the interactional miracles of the medium.  C.S. Peirce and Bakhtin strike me as two composers with whom I do not encounter a brilliantly organized thought or true-ringing arrangement of letters that they are not echoed in.  I discover re-presentations and simulacra of their models, but rarely extensions, corrections, or improvements.

With that in mind, I have been poring through a multi-authored volume entitled Bakhtinian perspectives on language and culture: meaning in language, art, and new media edited by Bostad, Brandist, Evensen and Faber.  Note-taking, underlining, cross-referencing, formulating, and it has occurred to me that these texts are SO mesh-marked with mnemonic traces for me, that I should simply provide interested readers access to all I can link.  Setting out to locate a Pdf of the introduction and chapter 2: “Rhetoric, the Dialogical Principle and the Fantastic in Bakhtin’s Thought” I came across the entire collection available online – and so I offer it here.  If you begin, and the perspective captivates you – read on – to the chapters that carry concepts you are passionate about.  If not, never ye mind!  I am happy that texts like this can be available – not easily “stumbled upon” in contemporary bookstores and libraries (unfortunately).

To life:

Bakhtinian Perspectives


par example:  “Language is to be experienced as an interaction of signs neither neutral nor innocent: the word bears the burden of the contexts through which it has passed.  And every speaker or listener bears the consequences of signs put into circulation, of signs he perceives and answers, of signs he picks up and makes use of for his own ends.  One cannot stifle the traces stored in them.  One has to face the cultural experience a whole language underwent in its history.  Speaking this language and listening to it one unwittingly responds to this experience – the ‘word that lies on the border between one’s own and the other,’ the ‘word that is actually half someone else’s.’  The one meaning cannot maintain itself in the face of the many meanings.  B’s concept irritatingly links the atomizing intrusion of the many meanings into the one (an act that atomises this meaning) with the idea that meaning ‘explodes’ in the contact of two different meanings.  In other words: splitting up and differentiation, accumulation and trace must be thought of as occuring in the word simultaneously…Because meaning is always a recourse to another meaning and a project for creating new meaning, it doesn not achieve a decisive, definite presence.”

And so forth….!!!!

A probable linguistics

“In our day-to-day use of the English language we possess a perfect record of the language’s evolution; when we hear ourselves speak we listen to the voices of all those many millions who have come before us, who have, in their own use of the language, constructed ours, as we continue to construct it.

Whether or not we’re able to decipher this record is another matter altogether.”

-Evan Lavender-Smith-


Take it from here…

“If one wishes to describe the enunciative level, one must consider that existence itself; question language not in the direction to which it refers, but in the dimension that gives it; ignore its power to designate, to name, to show, to reveal, to be the place of meaning or truth, and, instead, turn one’s attention to the moment…that determines its unique and limited existence.  In the examination of language, one must suspend not only the point of view of the ‘signified’ (we are used to this now), but also that of the signifier, and so reveal the fact that, here and there, in relation to possible domains of objects and subjects, in relation to other possible formulations and re-uses, there is language

-Michel Foucault-

Fynsk - Claim of Language

“The opening of speech – every time – presupposes the material site provided by that structure of exposure that defines the essence of human being ( at least insofar as we are dealing with human speech), and the problem of thinking that exposure requires a new understanding of what calls for thought and the possibility of thought’s answer…An offering occurs in language, but this gift and its historical unfolding – thought from the way language is given – cannot be thought apart from a usage of the human that it presupposes…The notion of an experience with language, in other words, pointed to a thought of the way the human being, in its essence, is itself given to the speaking of language – every speech event entails at its limits an exposure of the human – language communicates im-mediately – the human essence is relation

-Christopher Fynsk-

It’s Language – Must be a story of something

for Friday Fictioneers during cacophony – July 5, 2013

Copyright - David Stewart

Scales, rituals, angles and lines.  Struggling to make sense, instead of staying on the ground.  Design, construct, infer, deduce.  Climb that ladder.  Circle that ring.  Aching for a view.  We’re earthed here.  But we keep on grasping.  Incessantly.  Invent equations, theorems, rules and laws.  Apply to sensation and perceive.  Revise.  Repeat.  Try numbers, letters, words.  Try gesture.  Communicate.  Calibrate.  Be social.  Get everyone to make the hike.  We make sense by making abstractions.  Distractions.  Bastardizing metaphor.  Some things go deeper, some things go out.

N Filbert 2013