|wood s lot february 1 - 15, 2008|
Feed My Mind
Trail Ridge Road
Is writing the gift of curling up, of curling up with reality? One would so love to curl up, of course, but what happens to me then? What happens to those, who don’t really know reality at all? It’s so very dishevelled. No comb, that could smooth it down. The writers run through it and despairingly gather together their hair into a style, which promptly haunts them at night. Something’s wrong with the way one looks. The beautifully piled up hair can be chased out of its home of dreams again, but can anyway no longer be tamed. Or hangs limp once more, a veil before a face, no sooner than it could finally be subdued. Or stands involuntarily on end in horror at what is constantly happening. It simply won’t be tidied up. It doesn’t want to. No matter how often one runs the comb with the couple of broken off teeth through it - it just doesn’t. Something is even less right than before.An Introduction to the Work of Elfriede Jelinek
Still Life with Letters
Difference and Repetition
Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia
I’ve come to the conjunction of the wheelLyric Poems
Language and bipedalism have long served as the most promising criteria for marking out human distinctness among natural beings. It is noteworthy that in antiquity 'featherless biped', while tongue-in-cheek, was as a definition of 'man' the only available alternative to 'rational animal'. In the 17th century some, such as the philosopher Margaret Cavendish, explicitly identified language as dependent upon upright posture, while the anatomist Edward Tyson had to devote almost as much energy to arguing that chimpanzees can walk on their hind legs as to arguing that they cannot speak. Both doctrines reveal an incipient atheism and materialism, and Tyson was not radical enough to accept them both. (...)
Endurance Expedition Images
Hurley negative collection
Found in TranslationThe one thing worse than being lost in translation is being lost to translation.
Forrest Gander poet and translator Forrest Gander 's presentation at 'The Power and Politics of Translation,' a panel discussion at the recent AWP (2/2/08 in NYC).
As a translator myself, I approach the self-obliterating work with trepidation. All the more so because my own language rides a history of military and economic conquests that have deprived other cultures of their indigenous languages.
Interpreting Aristotle's Book Theta of the Metaphysics, the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben remarks that "in its originary structure, dynamis, potentiality, maintains itself in relation to its own privation, its own steresis, its own non-Being. This relation constitutes the essence of potentiality. To be potential means: to be one's own lack, to be in relation to one's own incapacity. Beings that exist in the mode of potentiality are capable of their own impotentiality; and only in this way do they become potential. They can be because they are in relation to their own non-Being. In potentiality, sensation is in relation to anesthesia, knowledge to ignorance, vision to darkness" (1999a, 182). Truth to untruth, we could add, originality and uniqueness to non-originality and translation. This understanding and articulation of "potentiality" has enabled Agamben to enter a sustained reappraisal of knowledge, selfhood, language, and narrative in books such as Potentialities (1999a), The End of the Poem (1999b), and The Coming Community (1993). Agamben has not written directly or specifically about translation, yet his philosophical discourse and his implicit and explicit dialogue with Aristotle, Benjamin, Blanchot, Deleuze, Heidegger, and Levinas, amongst others, is, as I see it, of particular importance for a review of translation theory at a time when the traditional juxtaposition of original and translation and its attendant comparative theoretical framework appear increasingly limiting and inadequate to explain current phenomena of cross-cultural encounters and exchange.Comparative Literature and Culture
Draft 73: Vertigo
TheAtlantic.com is dropping its subscriber registration requirement and making the site free to all visitors.
Philosophical Investigations/Philosophische Untersuchungen
The division of labour when extreme does violence to natural genius and obliterates natural distinctions in capacity. What is properly called industry is not art or self-justifying activity, but on the contrary a distinctly compulsory and merely instrumental labour, which if justified at all must be justified by some ulterior advantage which it secures. In regard to such instrumental activities the question is always pertinent whether they do not produce more than is useful, or prevent the existence of something that is intrinsically good.
... like the air we breathe, many of us take for granted that a corporate press is a free press; that we are a basically compassionate society pursuing rational, humane policies; that profit maximisation leading to economic growth is the proper, rational goal of society; that success and happiness are best defined in terms of high status conformist production and high status conformist consumption. Crucially, we also tend to assume that we freely choose these beliefs and goals, that our consent is volunteered, not manufactured. Psychologist Erich Fromm described the reality:"From the fight against the authority of Church, state, and family which characterise the last centuries, we have come back full circle to a new obedience; but this obedience is not one to aristocratic persons, but to the organisation. The 'organisation man' is not aware that he obeys, he believes that he only conforms with what is rational and practical." (Fromm, Beyond The Chains Of Illusion, Abacus, 1989, pp.157-158)Media Lens, Propaganda, Power, And Moral Truisms
Supermarkets This Large
Rachel Blau DuPlessisDraft L: Scholia and Restlessness Rachel Blau DuPlessis One has touched vers, toward what objection hardy knows, Touched glass, meddled the poem, cracked crystal show- shelves in the thrift stores, smashed debris again, gained in intensity, yet blocked comment! Reined in. Stand there, restlessness. Also femaleness, heightened by another hot flash, time, loss, annoyance, frankly can't sit still, flesh floods the place as loose as sloggy water, sandy brookings where one tides a bay, "surfant le web" or "parling anguish." Where beach-rose berries globen orange ripe, Here, is this Happening? alongside what text, in what cued brain extt, or xtte? The lemma-afloat with breathing tube wiggles through rushing fish wash, blue schools they were running light tween, twist unseen from wavers of a placid sea, breath deliberate in the mouth and loud, husky heaves of own survival. El allows for depth just under the surface between subaqueous seam and down-- "that zone" "that parallel world we live in whenever we waken to it."
Electronic Poetry Center
Happy Birthday Mother
The Street Enters The House,
We can't see how the street is immersed in a twitching, pulsing cloud of data. This is over and above the well-established electromagnetic radiation, crackles of static, radio waves conveying radio and television broadcasts in digital and analogue forms, police voice traffic. This is a new kind of data, collective and individual, aggregated and discrete, open and closed, constantly logging impossibly detailed patterns of behaviour. The behaviour of the street.A fine essay.
Thanks to Anne Galloway at Space & Culture
"To play the card of abstraction, and the aporia of the no-way-out, perhaps one must first withdraw to a desert, or even to isolate oneself on an island. And tell a short story that would not be a myth."
The man was ingenious and learned like Jim Joyce and like Sam Beckett gave the reader a sweet dose of hopelessness but unlike either of these worthies did not arrive at what we might call artistic resolution. His novels begin with a swoop and a song but end in an uncomfortable murk and with an air of impatience.
part of his Gray City* project
... the singularizing nature of history is what distinguishes it from all the social sciences that claim to identify laws, constants, and invariables. It is in terms of singularity that history confers meaning and not in terms of any hypothetical system of laws that it might claim to be able to establish. We must therefore arm ourselves against the spectre of false generalization that leads to a terrible euphemizing of violence. If violence were to be considered as a set of typical cases that could be grouped together in reference to laws, constants or statistics, then the violent aspect of violence would be denied. It would simply be seen as a social norm that negates its nature as an intentional act that is suffered or committed. The question of the meaning of violence necessarily refers to an intentional dimension, which cannot be accounted for within a statistical framework or be the subject of some analogy or search for recurrence. Correctly viewed, all violence is unique and singular.
Long Sunday Symposium on Walter Benjamin's "Critique of Violence"
Every insurgency is, of course, unique and different from all others, because the backgrounds are different, as are the cultures of the occupied peoples and the occupiers. The British differ from the Dutch, and both from the French. George Washington was different from Tito, and Ho Chi Minh from Yasser Arafat. Yet in spite of this, there is an amazing similarity between all the liberation struggles.(...)
Staircase connecting St. Piat's Chapel to Cathedral
hosted by the University of Pittsburgh's Digital Research Library
Walter Benjamin, Primo Levi, Paul Celan committed suicide; De Man and Heidegger went on to prosper. What did the former know that the latter never absorbed? To acknowledge the Second War means to risk suicide and in the process to politicize philosophy; and if we desire to avoid death and evade politics, repression is inevitable.
In the previous post, I looked at ten of the most common myths that get bandied about whenever Americans drag Canada into their ongoing discussions about healthcare. In this follow-up, I'd like to address a few of the larger assumptions that Americans make about health care that are contradicted by the Canadian example; and in the process offer some more general thinking (and perhaps talking) points that may be useful in the debates ahead.
from Poetry Criticism [PDF] Eileen Tabios --for Paul Auster, and after his Collected Poems What if all along the interior was stone? All along what if stone defined the absence of void?
The most privileged people on earth dwell upon the coveted goods, sensations and experiences from which the slenderness of their means estranges them. Why has the wealth of the rich world set up such an unassuagable obsession with what remains always just out of reach? How does our plenty produce such a feeling of penury, our prosperity of deprivation?(...)
The Rise of Market PopulismHow did populism ever become the native tongue of the wealthy?
America's New Secular Religion
Market populism can seem quite absurd at times. We are, after all, living through one of the least populist economic eras in the past hundred years. The "New Economy" has exalted the rich and forgotten about the rest with a decisiveness that we haven't seen since the twenties. Its greatest achievement-- the booming stock market of recent years--has been based in no small part on companies' enhanced abilities to keep wages low even while CEO compensation soars to record levels. Market populism is, in many ways, the most blatant apologia for economic inequality since social Darwinism. But there can be no doubting the intensity of the true believers' faith.
I missed the National Prayer Breakfast—for the 45th time in a row. But, as I drove to work I listened with rapt attention as President George W. Bush gave his insights on prayer:“When we lift our hearts to God, we’re all equal in his sight. We’re all equally precious...In prayer we grow in mercy and compassion.... When we answer God’s call to love a neighbor as ourselves, we enter into a deeper friendship with our fellow man — and a deeper relationship with our eternal Father.”(...)
Author’s statement:Text Loses Time: A 1st Note
afterword by Nick Piombino to Nico Vassilakis' Text Loses Time (ManyPenny Press)
Just as Louis Zukofky's maxim "lower limit speech, upper limit music" reconceived the boundaries of poetry for an era of poets in search of tools for linguistic abstraction and lyrical condensation, an analogous aphorism like "lower limit textual, upper limit visual" might be offered to account for some of today's poets emboldened, rather than dismayed, by the possibilities for technical reproducibility, some working within a terrain that has, somewhat awkwardly, been dubbed "vispo". As Bob Cobbing and Peter Mayer showed in their 1978 classic Concerning Concrete Poetry the beginning of visual poetry might be dated to the Phaistos disc of the 3rd to Mid 2cd Millennium.Time Undisturbed:
A Quick Interview with Nico Vassilakis
Staring changes content as we think meaning is permanent. Meaning loses value, clarity, importance, its ability to generate income. Staring changes a word irrevocably, but only once and in one way only.(...)Nico Vassilakis: Poetry You've Got To See
Nico Vassilakis - Visual Poetry
[Out of Inventiveness—Looking]
reviewed by Chris Pusateri
Certain Hazards of Living Without the Assumption of Timing
As in late Wallace Stevens, the John Ashbery of "Self- Portrait in a Convex Mirror" and other work of the seventies and beyond, A.R. Ammons, Charles Bernstein and various other "Language" poets, and David Shapiro, Murphy writes poetry that has much to say about itself and about general attempts to represent individual or collective experience or culture in language.
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Who was the first blog poet? Wrong answer, whatever it was. The best candidate is bpNichol, a Canadian who died in 1988 (at age forty-three), before the blogosphere arrived. Reading Nichol now is unbelievably poignant. It’s at once a time capsule and an intimation of the end of days. Nichol’s work radiates an innocence on the far side of life, an innocence unrivaled since Adam (yes, that Adam). But it’s augmented by an acute sense of situation—historical, geographic, and psychological (Nichol worked for many years as a lay therapist). The Alphabet Game: A bpNichol Reader is infused with everything that was abandoned not only by poetry but by the culture at large in the fin de si?cle decades: sentiment, accessibility, generosity, and an unembarrassed taste for—for what? the corny? I’m not sure what word applies in the case of an imagination that could come up with such exquisitely simple concrete poems as “groww” and “em ty.”
Philosophy ... and from philosophy, rhetoric. From a book - roughly and more or less a book - to create a flower, and to create it here, to bring it forth, to mount it, rather - to let it mount and find its dawning (and it turns aside as though of itself, revoluted, some grave flower). Following the reckoning of a lapidary, we learn to cultivate patience. ...liberated from JSTOR here
Morse Code 10
Saratoga Springs' Rumi FestivalThe Essential Rumi, translations by Coleman Barks with John MoynePraise to the emptiness that blanks out existence. Existence: This place made from our love for that emptiness! Yet somehow comes emptiness, this existence goes. Praise to that happening, over and over! For years I pulled my own existence out of emptiness. Then one swoop, one swing of the arm, that work is over. Free of who I was, free of presence, free of dangerous fear, hope, free of mountainous wanting. The here-and-now mountain is a tiny piece of a piece of straw blown off into emptiness. These words I'm saying so much begin to lose meaning: Existence, emptiness, mountain, straw: Words and what they try to say swept out the window, down the slant of the roof.
The Astronomer by Candlelight
Rachel Blau Duplessis
Why can the term deictic mean both the shifter and the pointer? Why can it be both situational and static, contextual and absolute? It must be--because only then will the full sociality of the deictic be acknowledged. Without the strange doubleness of deixis, one is left with an inadequate theory of language. Pointing needs to be accompanied by a sense of sociality, of the transaction, while speaking and understanding require abilities to decode and appreciate contexts.
The problem is, what goes on in our heads is also literature, in the sense that consciousness is already distance. Any privileging of inside or outside means a fundamental distortion. It means there is no simple access through writing to what we want to write about. ...The so-called self-reflexive novel is more likely to get closer to the truth than those effacing the conceit. This is why dominant forms of fiction, and the journalistic definition of literature’s relation to the world, needs to be set aside in favour of a mediation between the world and the writer; an infinite mediation. Like Bernhard’s.(...)
M. Josef Shafer
PoemsThe Map Elizabeth Bishop (February 8, 1911 – October 6, 1979) Land lies in water; it is shadowed green. Shadows, or are they shallows, at its edges showing the line of long sea-weeded ledges where weeds hang to the simple blue from green. Or does the land lean down to lift the sea from under, drawing it unperturbed around itself? Along the fine tan sandy shelf is the land tugging at the sea from under? The shadow of Newfoundland lies flat and still. Labrador's yellow, where the moony Eskimo has oiled it. We can stroke these lovely bays, under a glass as if they were expected to blossom, or as if to provide a clean cage for invisible fish. The names of seashore towns run out to sea, the names of cities cross the neighboring mountains -the printer here experiencing the same excitement as when emotion too far exceeds its cause. These peninsulas take the water between thumb and finger like women feeling for the smoothness of yard-goods. Mapped waters are more quiet than the land is, lending the land their waves' own conformation: and Norway's hare runs south in agitation, profiles investigate the sea, where land is. Are they assigned, or can the countries pick their colors? -What suits the character or the native waters best. Topography displays no favorites; North's as near as West. More delicate than the historians' are the map-makers' colors.
... as Duncan writes elsewhere in “The Truth and Life of Myth,” “Focusing in on the process itself as the field of the poem, the jarring discord must enter the composition,” and this “discord,” this “disturbance,” effects not only the process of the poem’s making but also the very nature of language, as its deformations evoke the falsenesses, fragmentations, and desolations of history:Octopus Magazine #09Discord enters every aspect of life, which carries the seed of its own end within itself, as death is part of the natural order. But the final movement of the poem, “Oh yes! Bless the footfall where / step by step . . . ,” returns to the inception of the poem, reaffirmed by the ecstatic language and inspiring a new way of seeing: “the catalyst force that renders clear / the days of a life from the surrounding medium!”. . . only a part of the word in- jerrd. The Thundermakers descend, damerging a nuv. A nerb. The present dented of the U nighted stayd. States. The heavy clod? Cloud. Invades the brain. What if lilacs last in this dooryard bloomd?
Writing is born from and deals with the acknowledged doubt of an explicit division, in sum, of the impossibility of one's own place. It articulates an act that is constantly a beginning: the subject is never authorized by a place, it could never install itself in an inalterable cogito, it remains a stranger to itself and forever deprived of an ontological ground, and therefore it always comes up short or is in excess, always the debtor of a death, indebted with respect to the disappearance of a genealogical and territorial "substance," linked to a name that cannot be owned.In December 1934, the Jüdische Rundschau published an important text on Kafka by Walter Benjamin, in which we can read these decisive words: "There are two ways to miss the point of Kafka's works. One is to interpret them naturally, the other is the supernatural interpretation. Both the psychoanalytic and the theological interpretations equally miss the essential points."1 In 1974, when Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari devoted a book to Kafka's work, they took their point of departure from the same principle: one misses the mark in Kafka either by putting him in the nursery—by oedipalizing and relating him to motherfather narratives—or by trying to limit him to theological-metaphysical speculation to the detriment of all the political, ethical, and ideological dimensions that run through his work and give it a special status in the history of literature.
Is it possible to construct a network of interpretation that is nonreductive? What would it be called?
Picture this: a prisoner is being suspended, arms tied behind his back, from a ceiling beam. He is being asked very difficult questions, some of which he seems not to understand. There is blood dripping from his nose. He is sweating profusely, and he is muttering what appears to be total nonsense. He has not eaten, or slept, for several days. He has been subject to random beatings. His situation seems hopeless.
View of Bologna John Ruskin
Avenue de l’Observatoire
As the quest for understanding is revealed as a constructed improvement in the wrong direction, urged on by the currents of social and cultural automata -- the undercurrent reveals a fantasmatic inversion of consciousness itself, as hallucination: the ultimate simulacrum of experience.Ted Hiebert
artist portfolio & website
...today I’m rereading Eve Sedgwick’s “Paranoid Reading” and “White Glasses” essays, the former of which I find full of contradiction, confusion, and bad self-tracking and yet which I treasure for what it wills to hold out when it replaces “depressive position” with “reparative reading” on behalf of what it only half believes in, partialized readings to create luminous part-objects or potentialities for gathering up qualia, intimate and associative knowledge. It is trying to convince itself that her anger and paranoia will not be the whole story, that they can be interrupted by theory, an orientation toward an affective tendency to appreciate disorienting juxtapositions, mistakes, tenderness, and sweetness. Ideally there would be no compensations, one could just appreciate what’s now. But that’s not the plot of the thing, that’s not the energy of repair.(...)Supervalent Thought
On attachment, detaching, and ordinary life.
Contributors to Pores 4 were invited to respond to the following questions:
How and why do the ways of reading poetry in the UK that are most publicly visible still exclude work that is aesthetically and linguistically radical? What is the history of these models of reading poetry, and what is their relationship to marketing? What are the key sites of influence and how do they work (as cultural practices and as forms of power)? Why have recent moves, for example in Poetry Review, to give some recognition to the range of British poetries aroused such hostile responses? What is at stake? What are the possibilities for real change? What types of writing and publishing are offering alternative economies of reading to those that postmodern capitalism benefits from?
... now that I have committed the indecency of turning eighty-five, I confirm without melancholy that my memory is full of verses and full of books, and I can’t see past the year 1955—I lost my reader’s vision—but if I think about my past life, I think of course about friends, loves also, but I think most of all about books. My memory is full of quotes in many languages, and I think that, returning to philosophy, that we are not enriched by its solutions, as these solutions are doubtful, they are arbitrary, and philosophy does enrich us by demonstrating that the world is more mysterious than we thought. That is, what philosophy offers us isn’t a system. It’s not like someone stated a concrete and transparent piece of knowledge, it’s a series of doubts, and the study of these doubts is a pleasure. The study of philosophy can be very pleasant…(...)Habitus
international journal of Diaspora literature and culture.
The Artist Moved
Statement for Pores"When I knead the lump
Rachel Blau DuPlessis
Pores: Issue two - Writing : Art : Forms of Politics
.... what I want to say here is: We have not mourned the failure of modernity enough. The failure to-date.
...discusses Jacques Ranci?re's theory of literature as centred on an agonistic concept of literature, where literature is seen as a ‘positive contradiction’. This positive contradiction arises from what Ranci?re sees as literature's origins in the ‘errant letter’, which is conceived as an intrinsically democratic principle that, for Ranci?re, also results in the tendency of literature to incarnate the word and to propose an extra-textual truth which would signal the end of literature as democratic errancy. Asking whether it is possible to identify Ranci?re as ‘taking sides’ in what he sets up as a struggle, the article analyses three examples of Ranci?re's engagement with literary texts (Balzac, Mallarmé, and Proust) in which he demonstrates the necessity for literature to maintain its constitutive contradiction, resulting in a conception of literature as an agonistic field and as a self-critical mode of writing.
Melancholia follows as a consequence of what Seshadri-Crooks sees as the danger of postcolonial studies, being institutionalized academically, gaining power as the authoritative, critical position, or, the position of the U¨ ber-Ich—one that definitively eliminates the illusion of identifying an ‘authentic’ margin, however much it flagellates itself critically, that is, somewhat schizophrenically ‘revenges’ itself on its deceitful, distrustful object, the objectless object, which keeps resurrecting itself as otherness, or, as the literary. The literary thus, as I have argued, can be seen as representing an important problematic in postcolonial studies, registering the dialectic of institutional power and excessive self-critique as a process of legitimizing the loss of a margin. It represents a risk, transgressing the discursive boundaries, but also a potential to move beyond the cul-de-sac of cultural incommensurability.
...explores the affinity between translation and the lipogram with reference to Georges Perec's La Disparition, where the prohibition of the letter e initiates a peculiarly inventive kind of writing. Peculiarly inventive, because the effects generated by writing without a given letter of the alphabet, or by writing a given text again in another, altogether different, language, are essentially unprogrammable: we do not know what is going to happen.
modern critical theory.
...somewhere in between, the nation's overall health and well-being are sacrificed like dazed lambs to an ignorant god, with our government offering up only the most meager, desultory efforts to keep it functional so as to not induce all-out fire-and-pitchfork revolt.
Exiled Writing, Translated Knowledge: Andrei Codrescu’s InroadsIf Descartes were alive today he would probably say, ‘I think I can hear a message, as I see it coming, hence I am'.
This essay addresses the way in which knowledge about a culture as expressed in fiction and poetry is translated from one discourse (literary and academic) into another (media appearances) and investigates under what conditions the demand of writing becomes the demand of explaining.The Atlantic Community
Transatlantic Perspectives on America
What makes a good portrait? Could you provide us an example of a portrait that you really like - either from your or someone else's work - and say why the portrait works so well for you?" to publish what we would get back on our blogs, as a collaborative effort to get a little bit closer to understanding the topic. Below is what we got back from those who managed to find the time to write something. Our thanks to everybody who contributed!Brian Ulrich's contribution
In many respects the photographer is the lead in a crazed power dynamic; the sitter must lend themselves, their time, patience and likeness to the photographer in a relationship that has to have some degree of trust in how the photographer might represent them. The photographer, in some cases knowing more or less about the subject, has a opportunity to describe them in a number of ways. All this often leads to the eternal portrait question: From the sitter, "What do you want me to do?".
initiated by Marjorie Perloff, Charles Bernstein, and Nie Zhenzhao, was established in January 2008 with its headquarters at Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing (CPCW), University of Pennsylvania, USA.(...)
Charlotte Hussey reviews Eternal Conversations: Remembering Louis Dudek: A Tribute Anthologyquoted in...In Old Age Louis Dudek February 6th, 1918 - March 22nd, 2001 Writing poetry for an unlettered people, I have suffered scorn and neglect, the usual insult, without comment or complaint for many years- but now in my old age when I see the young, in thin puffy feathers, mouths open, and suffering the same death and starvation, dying for mere lack of nurture, for common comfort, I rage I rage I open my terrible wings, among these black branches and I rage.
Most literary writing is either more or less than it appears to be. This book, edited by Omar Pound and Robert Spoo, with its hefty Introduction and many detailed annotations is entitled Letters in Captivity, 1945-1946, but the scope and meaning of the book reach far beyond the two years given and throw much light on the nature of genius, its psychology, sociology, and tragic destiny.
i wish all fields were paper
2008 is shaping up to be the election year that we finally get to have the Great American Healthcare Debate again. Harry and Louise are back with a vengeance. Conservatives are rumbling around the talk show circuit bellowing about the socialist threat to the (literal) American body politic. And, as usual, Canada is once again getting dragged into the fracas, shoved around by both sides as either an exemplar or a warning -- and, along the way, getting coated with the obfuscating dust of so many willful misconceptions that the actual facts about How Canada Does It are completely lost in the melee.
You’d think that the knuckle-draggers and mouth-breathers who presently run the Government of Canada would be able to run the war in Afghanistan. After all, war is what these jokers are all about and Afghanistan is the “good war” in the War on Terror. Well, it warms the cockles of the heart to see that, in fact, sometimes even a PR budget bigger than the budget for reconstruction isn’t enough to cover up corruption and brutality.
The long-running "progressive" stance on America's 21st century imperial adventures can be reduced to this simple dichotomy: Afghan war good, Iraq war bad. And for all progressives who want to be regarded as "serious," the Iraq war is bad because it has distracted us from the real war, the good war, in Afghanistan. This theme has been sounded over and over by the "progressive" candidates throughout the presidential campaign. It is the opinion of a sizable majority of the U.S. population, which has clearly repudiated the Iraq war but still supports the Afghan war.
The Electronic Revolution [PDF]The priest Gods in the temple. They move very slowly, faces ravaged with age and disease. Parasitic worms infest their flesh. They are making calculations for the sacred books.
William S. Burroughs
FEEDBACK FROM WATERGATE TO THE GARDEN OF EDEN In the beginning was the word and the word was god and has remained one of the mysteries ever since. The word was God and the word was flesh we are told. In the beginning of what exactly was this beginning word? In the beginning of WRIT- TEN history. It is generally assumed that spoken word came before the written word. I suggest that the spoken word as we know it came after the written word. In the beginning was the word and the word was God and the word was flesh ... human flesh ... In the beginning of WRITING. Animals talk and convey informa- tion but they do not write. They cannot make information available to future gener- ations or to animals outside the range of their communication system. This is the crucial distinction between men and other animals. WRITING. Korzybski, who developed the concept of General Semantics, the meaning of meaning, has pointed out this human distinction and described man as ‘the time binding animal’. He can make information to other men over a length of time through writing. Animals talk. They don’t write. Now a wise old rat may know a lot about traps and poison but he cannot write a text book on DEATH TRAPS IN YOUR WAREHOUSE for the Reader’s Digest with tactics for ganging up on digs and ferrets and taking care of wise guys who stuff steel wool up our holes. It is doubtful if the spoke word would have ever evolved beyond the animal stage without the written word. The written word ist inferential in HUMAN speech. It would not occur to our wise old rat to assemble the young rats and pass his knowledge along in an aural tradition BECAUSE THE WHOLE CONCEPT OF TIME BINDING COULD NOT OCCUR WITHOUT THE WRITTEN WORD. The written word is of course a symbol for something and in the case of hieroglyphic language writing like Egyptian it may be a symbol for itself that is a picture of what it represents. This is not true of an alphabet language like English. The word leg has no pictorial resemblance to a leg. It refers to the SPOKEN word leg. so we may forget that a written word IS AN IMAGE and that written words are images in sequence that is to say MOVING PICTURES.
William S. Burroughs
If civilized countries want to return to Druid Hanging Rites in the Sacred Grove or to drink blood with the Aztecs and feed their Gods with blood of human sacrifice, let them see what is on the end of that long newspaper spoon.
TT On the basis of this difference, Ii wonder whether the inconsistent multiple would not be split between two senses of the inconsistent, in your sense and in the sense of the contradictory. Tthe reason why think this is important is because relative to the position of the void in the two systems that you have developed in Being and Event and Logiques des Mondes, there is a sort of stabilization point which employs a strong sense of negation. Iin pure ontology there is a stabilization point in the void and with the question of existence, it is negation that establishes a minimum in relation to the “inexistent”, so in a way, in the most specific local point, there is also a global effect.parrhesia
a journal of critical philosophy
Restating Sovereignty: On America’s Regaining the Old Sense of the Political [PDF]
Portrait of Space
Big projects either fly in my house, or skulk away defeat’d, and the fourfold Lewis may prove a piece of pie to big for the piehole, to put it quickly before the metaphor entirely goes over to the “other side.” On verra. The Ezra Pound lines Kenner prefaces ’s little book with—“Wyndham Lewis, the man who was wrong about everything except the superiority of live mind to dead mind; for which basic verity God bless his holy name.” Which, in a similar “era”—of minds deaden’d by careerist affect and marketing ploy, or shat over by the info-splurge—may be reason enough to read him, “wrong.”
thanks to Dispatches from Zembla
After all, when you come right down to it, how many people speak the same language even when they speak the same language?
The main problem is that long-standing practices reveal a conceptual na?veté, a limited understanding of translation, of the cultural issues that any translation project must confront and somehow resolve if it is to be successful both critically and commercially. Hence I want to suggest that, where translation is concerned, these practices need to be rethought, if not simply abandoned, and replaced by a more savvy approach that is truly concerned with cultural as well as commercial factors. Otherwise Anglophone publishers—and no doubt publishers in other languages as well—will remain complicit in our present predicament: the absence of what I shall call a translation culture, that is to say, a culture that can sustain the study and practice of translation, that can foster a sophisticated and appreciative discourse about translation in its many aspects, and that can create an informed readership to support and encourage the publication of translated texts.
If, unlike the “Neo-Spinozists” and several “Neo-Lacanians,” we want to remain within representation with its (double) failure and its self-referentiality as its sole nonrepresentable effects, and, if we also want to maintain the structural homology between economic and semantic exchange, how can we formulate a theory of ethics as also the ground for political action?Full text download available here
War(memorial) and Peace(tower)
The End Of The Poem [PDF]Studies in Poetics
Infancy and History: On the Destruction of Experience
Photography: A Middle-Brow Art
Remnants of Auschwitz
State of Exception
all courtesy of Fark Yaralari
More and more I find that life is a series of disappearances followed usually but not always by reappearances; you disappear from your morning self and reappear as your afternoon self; you disappear from feeling good and reappear feeling bad. And people, even face to face and clasped in each other's arms, disappear from each other.
A psychotic is someone who just found out what's going on.
Winter Twilight Georg Trakl To Max von Esterle Black skies of metal. In the evening hunger-mad crows Blow crosswise in red storms Over parks sorrowful and sallow. In the clouds a beam freezes to death; And before Satan's curses Those spin within the circle and go Down sevenfold in number. In putrefaction sweet and stale Their beaks mow noiselessly. Houses threaten from mute nearnesses; Brightness in the theater hall. Churches, bridges, and hospitals Stand gruesome in the twilight. Blood-stained linens billow Sails upon the canal.
Hellebore for Georg Trakl
Index of all literary texts of Georg Trakl
Winter Walk in A-Minor Georg Trakl Red spheres often emerge from branches, Snowed under softly and black by a long snowfall. The priest escorts the dead person. The nights are fulfilled by celebrations of masks. Then tousled crows glide over the village; In books fairy tales are written miraculously. At the window an old man's hair flutters. Demons go through the ill soul. The well freezes in the courtyard. Decayed stairs fall In the darkness and a wind blows Through old shafts which are buried. The palate tastes the frost's strong spices.
Gertrude Stein Links"As long as the outside does not put a value on you it remains outside but when it does put a value on you then it gets inside or rather if the outside puts a value on you then all your inside gets to be outside."
Two brown men on a yellow round rick, thatching; in the background, a row of green elms; above, a windhover poised in mid-air; perpendicular silver streaks of rain; bright sunlight, and a rainbow encircling all. It was as simple as a diagram. One could have cut out the picture with a pair of scissors. I looked with a cold detached eye, for all the world as if the thatchers had no bellies nor immortal souls, as if the trees were timber and not vibrant vegetable life; I forgot that the motionless windhover contained a wonderful and complex anatomy, rapidly throbbing all the while, and that the sky was only a painted ceiling.W. N. P. Barbellion
Can you sense the growing momentum of militarism and imperialism rampaging across the nation, and the globe, leaving nothing but hatred and animosity in its wake? Can you sense that imperialism and empire abroad and freedom and democracy at home are mutually exclusive, that to attain the former the latter must be sacrificed, and that inevitably the people must, for imperialism to function, be immersed in tyranny? Do you realize that we are one major shock, one major event away from catapulting our lives into the headwaters of an altogether different America?(...)
In Winter Georg Trakl The acre shines white and cold. The sky is lonely and immense. Jackdaws circle over the pond And hunters climb down from the forest. A silence dwells in black treetops. Firelight flits from the huts. Sometimes a sleigh rings far away And slowly the gray moon rises. A deer bleeds to death softly at the field's edge And ravens splash in bloody gutters. The reeds tremble yellow and upraised. Frost, smoke, a step in the empty grove.
Three quarks for Muster Mark!
The Brazen Head
James Joyce Portal
Countlessness of livestories have netherfallen by this plage, flick as flowflakes, litters from aloft, like a waast wizzard all of whirlworlds. Now are all tombed to the mound, isges to isges, erde from erde.
The Mandelbrot Set has been called "God's thumbprint." The thumbprint is a good point of comparison, for while every thumbprint looks different, every thumbprint also looks like a thumbprint. While such fractals never repeat themselves, nor do they ever (in any meaningful sense of the word) change. So if the Mandelbrot Set is the thumbprint of God because it possesses a complexity that never precisely repeats, then it may also be the map of hell, for it possesses a complexity that never advances, no matter how hard you push. Everywhere is different; everywhere is the same. We always know where we're going; it's just that we'll never quite get there. They are the visual equivalent of a Zeno paradox - never quite finishing, but not really changing either.
Thanks to Mark Thwaite (ReadySteadyBlog) for the heads-up.
I talked with Patrick recently in his store about the book trade: how it was, how it is, how it will be. About idiosyncrasies, obsessions, buses and booksellers playing psychiatrist and priest; about ILAB and AbeBooks, and finally, about simply doing the work.Patrick McGahern Books
a favorite of mine in the Glebe neighbourhood of Ottawa
Brattle Books, Boston
The Old Haunts: A Guided Tour Philip Metres I hate to be the head People have to look through * A benighted daydream A Venice in ice * So let’s begin: This is the Winter Palace * Six selves sleeping on the Neva Their dreams the frames * Of the History of Western Art: Two thousand eyes open * Have you been sleeping? I can’t catch up my body clock
Pound visits Joyce's grave
You is feeling like you was lost in the bush, boy? You says: It is a puling sample jungle of woods. You most shouts out: Bethicket me for a stump of a beech if I have the poultriest no- tions what the farest he all means. Gee up, girly! The quad gos- pellers may own the targum but any of the Zingari shoolerim may pick a peck of kindlings yet from the sack of auld hensyne.
The Oedipal pull of the poet’s tropes is in some sense “ridiculous,” too, and the strain it evinces dramatizes the difficulties of displacing social hierarchies with a new, better configuration. But perhaps the most important assertion, not far from the end of the series, involves precise political resonances: ”I am Babaylan. I have never been mastered by three centuries of invading colonizers or their religion” (70). The spirit of Filipina women has survived colonizations, and the spell-maker invites others to experience the restorative energy of its voice and scent: “Breathe in the sampaguita breeze known by warrior cultures as jasmine. Inhale my breath// into your veins to linger there, healing your ears now to hear me sing. . . .” The “autobiography of loss” moves from “silences” to articulation, and it also includes the autobiography of future gain.Otoliths - February, 2008
Oppression Langston Hughes Now dreams Are not available To the dreamers, Nor songs To the singers. In some lands Dark night And cold steel Prevail But the dream Will come back, And the song Break Its jail.
Featured Author: Langston Hughes
"To rule forever," continues the Chinaman, later, "it is necessary only to create, among the people one would rule, what we call...Bad History. Nothing will produce Bad History more directly nor brutally, than drawing a Line, in particular a Right Line, the very Shape of Contempt, through the midst of a People,-- to create thus a Distinction betwixt 'em,-- 'tis the first stroke.-- All else will follow as if predestin'd, unto War and Devastation."
Rhetoric of the Image