Nov 14, 2012
There’s a zone I aspire to. Finding it is another question. It’s a state of automatic writing, and it represents the paradox that’s at the center of a writer’s consciousness—this writer’s anyway. First you look for discipline and control. You want to exercise your will, bend the language your way, bend the world your way. You want to control the flow of impulses, images, words, faces, ideas. But there’s a higher place, a secret aspiration. You want to let go. You want to lose yourself in language, become a carrier or messenger. The best moments involve a loss of control. It’s a kind of rapture, and it can happen with words and phrases fairly often—completely surprising combinations that make a higher kind of sense, that come to you out of nowhere. But rarely for extended periods, for paragraphs and pages—I think poets must have more access to this state than novelists do. In End Zone, a number of characters play a game of touch football in a snowstorm. There’s nothing rapturous or magical about the writing. The writing is simple. But I wrote the passage, maybe five or six pages, in a state of pure momentum, without the slightest pause or deliberation.
delillo
Oct 30, 2012

Definition of Blue

The rise of capitalism parallels the advance of romanticism
And the individual is dominant until the close of the nineteenth century.
In our own time, mass practices have sought to submerge the personality
By ignoring it, which has caused it instead to branch out in all directions
Far from the permanent tug that used to be its notion of ‘home’.
These different impetuses are received from everywhere
And are as instantly snapped back, hitting through the cold atmosphere
In one steady, intense line.

There is no remedy for this ‘packaging’ which has supplanted the old sensations.
Formerly there would have been architectural screens at the point where the action became most difficult
As a path trails off into shrubbery – confusing, forgotten, yet continuing to exist.
But today there is no point in looking to imaginative new methods
Since all of them are in constant use. The most that can be said for them further
Is that erosion produces a kind of dust or exaggerated pumice
Which fills space and transforms it, becoming a medium
In which it is possible to recognize oneself.

Each new diversion adds its accurate touch to the ensemble, and so
A portrait, smooth as glass, is built up out of multiple corrections
And it has no relation to the space or time in which it was lived.
Only its existence is a part of all being, and is therefore, I suppose, to be prized
Beyond chasms of night that fight us
By being hidden and present.

And yet it results in a downward motion, or rather a floating one
In which the blue surroundings drift slowly up and past you
To realize themselves some day, while, you, in this nether world which could not be better
Waken each morning to the exact value of what you did and said, which remains.

ashbery
Oct 30, 2012
L’Eskimo sculpteur de saumons utilise, pour figurer chaque espèce, le bois dont la couleur ressemble davantage a celle de la chair: >
levi strauss, la pensee sauvage
Aug 10, 2012
And to read is to understand, to question, to know, to forget, to erase, to to deface, to repeat - that is to say, the endless prosopopeia by which the dead are made to have a face and a voice which tells the allegory of their demise and allows us to apostrophize them in our turn. No degree of madness can ever stop this madness, for it is the madness of words
paul ‘o homem’ de man (desculpa), the rhetoric of romanticism
Jul 3, 2012

Dear and most esteemed brother and sister,

I call your attention to the precious enclosed transcripts of plans and designs for the decoration of certain apartments of the palaces, here, of the Louvre and the Tuileries, which you will find addressed in detail to artists and workmen who are to take them in hand. I commit them to your earnest care till the questions relating to this important work are fully settled. When that is the case I shall require of you further zeal and further taste. For the present the course is definitely marked out, and I beg you to let me know from stage to stage definitely how the scheme promises, and what results it may be held to inspire. It is, you will see, of a great scope, a majesty unsurpassed by any work of the kind yet undertaken in France. Please understand I regard these plans as fully developed and as having had my last consideration and look forward to no patchings nor perversions, and with no question of modifications either economic or aesthetic. This will be the case with all further projects of your affectionate

NAPOLEONE

My dear brother and sister,

I offer you great opportunities in the exchange for the exercise of great zeal. Your position as residents of our young but so highly considered Republic at one of the most interesting minor capitals is a piece of luck which may be turned to account in the measure of your acuteness and experience. A brilliant fortune may come to crown it and your personal merit will not diminish that harmony. But you must rise to each occasion — the one I now offer you is of no common cast, and please remember that any failure to push your advantage to the utmost will be severely judged. I have displayed you as persons of great taste and great judgment. Don’t leave me a sorry figure in consequence but present me rather as your very fond but not infatuated relation able and ready to back you up, your faithful brother and brother-in-law

HENRY JAMES.

cartas que o H James ditou logo antes de morrer, já doido de tão velhinho :~~

(pelo que entendi, o ‘sister’ aí não é a Alice irmã doidinha sobre quem a Sontag escreveu uma peça, é a Alice cunhada, casada com o William. *acho* que todo mundo já tava morto a essa altura)

Jun 26, 2012
Les rapports qui unissent les formes entre elles dans la nature ne sauraient être pure contingence, et ce que nous appelons la vie naturelle s’évalue comme un rapport nécessaire entre les formes sans lesquelles elle ne serait pas. De même pour l’art. Les relations formelles dans une ouvre et lentre les ouvres constituent un ordre, une métaphore de l’univers’
henri focillon, vie des formes
Jun 26, 2012
Philosophical narrative, like historical or fictional narrative, does more than narrate: it reaches an end and stops, and where it stops it points to a simultaneous structure of how, say, the wrorld looked to Spinoza in the seventeeth century or Kant in the eighteenth. This simultaneous structure is a kind of cosmology, and a cosmology is écriture in the sense of being a a structure of meaning written over the heavens. As usual, we can see this more clearly in religious or imaginative literature. Most religions, including the biblical ones, begin with a creation myth. But creation, at any rate in the Book of Genesis, is not a story of how the order of nature came into being, but a vision of nature as écriture, as an interlocking system of signs. “Let them be for signs”, is what God says when he creates the sun and moon. Every cosmology is a renewed effort to see the creation as an end rather than a beginning.
northrop frye, The Koine of Myth: Myth as universally intelligible language
Jun 5, 2012
One fate of the genuine modern author is exactly his
indirectness; his inability, somehow just because of his genuineness,
to confront his audience directly with what he must say. Kierkegaard’s
claim to religious authorship sounds too much as though the Pseudonymous
works were a strategy he employed for the benefit of
others; whereas those works ought to be seen as a function of his
inner strategy, as a genuine writer, to find ways of saying what he has
it at heart to say. For it is very peculiar to us-in an age of Rilke,
Kafka, Joyce, Mann, Beckett, non-objective painting, twelve-tone
music-to hear an artist praising the strategy of indirectness, thinking
to encompass its significance by acknowledging its usefulness as
a medium of communication. What else have we had, in major art
of the past hundred years, but indirectness: irony, theatricality,
yearning, broken forms, denials of art, anti-heroes, withdrawals from
nature, from men, from the future, from the past …. What is
admirable in a work like Fear and Trembling is not its indirectness
(which, so far as this is secured by the Pseudonym, is a more or less
external device) nor its rather pat theory about why Abraham must
be silent. What is admirable, exemplary, is its continuous awareness
of the pain, and the danger, of that silence-of the fear of the false
word, and the deep wish that the right word be found for doing
what one must: what, to my mind, Kierkegaard’s portrait of Abraham
shows is not the inevitability of his silence, but the completeness of
his wish for directness, his refusal of anything less. Exemplary, because
while we are stripped of Abraham’s faith and of his clarity, it
is still his position we find ourselves in. For certainly we cannot see
ourselves in Kierkegaard’s alternative, we are not Tragic Heroes: our
sacrifices will not save the State. Yet we are sacrificed, and we sacrifice.
Exemplary, because in our age, which not only does not know what it
needs, but which no longer even demands anything, but takes what
it gets, and so perhaps deserves it; where every indirectness is dime-adozen,
and any weirdness can be assembled and imitated on demand
-the thing we must look for, in each case, is the man who, contrary
to appearance, and in spite of all, speaks.
stanley cavell, kierkegaard’s on authority and revelation (formatação talvez esteja zoada).
May 26, 2012
A guerra entre o judeu-cristianismo e o paganismo ainda está sendo travada nas últimas ideologias das universidades.(…) as discussões dos franceses sobre as limitações racionalistas de sua própria cultura foram ilegitimamente transferidas para a Inglaterra e para os Estados Unidos, com resultados medíocres. A língua inglesa foi criada por poetas, um empreendimento de quinhentos anos de emoção e metáfora, o mais rico diálogo interior da literatura mundial. Os modelos retóricos franceses são demasiado estreitos para a tradição inglesa. A mais perniciosa das importações francesas é a ideia de que não há pessoa por trás de um texto. Haverá alguma coisa mais afetada, agressiva e inexoravelmente concreta do que um intelectual parisiense por trás de seu bombástico texto? O parisiense é um provinciano quando pretende falar para o universo.
Camille Paglia, comecinho de Personas Sexuais
May 17, 2012
Kierkegaard has written a fascinating little book called Repetition, in which he proposes to use this term to replace the most traditional Platonic term anamnesis or recollection. By it he apparently means, not the simple repeating of an experience, but the recreating of it which redeems or awakens it to life, the end of the process, he says, being the apocalyptic promise: “Behold, I make all things new.” The preoccupation of the humanities with the past is sometimes made a reproach against them by those who forget that we face the past: it may be shadowy, but it is all that is there. Plato draws a gloomy picture of man staring at the flickering shapes made on the wall of the objective world by a fire behind us like the sun. Bu the analogy breaks down when the shadows are those of the past, for the only light we can see them by is the Promethean fire within us. The substance of these shadows can only be in ourselves, and the goal of historical criticism, as our metaphors about it often indicate, is a ind of self-ressurection, the vision of a valley of dry bones that takes on the flesh and blood of our own vision. The culture of the past is not only the memory of mankind, but our own buried life, and study of it leads to a recognition scene, a discovery in which we see, not our past lives, but the total cultural form of our present life. It is not only the poet but his reader who is subject to the obligation to “make it new”.

frye, anatomy of criticism

:~

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