Monday, October 08, 2012

Beware of spitting against the word*

"It eventually became some sort of habit, of including these pictures, I think they do tell their own story within the prose narrative and do establish a second level of discourse that is mute. It would be an ambition of mine to produce the kind of prose which has a degree of mutedness about it."
W.G. Sebald

I've been exploring the notion of how to get at silence within a work. One attempt tends to see through me, into the physical space of the poem itself. Another takes its time elucidating arrangements of words--they rest, awaiting their final placement. The phrases (musical or otherwise) are composites of intended and unknown explorations, forming silent fountains undiscoverd until later readings.

Other, more fervent phrases nourish fires and devour eyes that seek some criteria not yet installed, or some melancholy stalled in an act of silence. An aporia concerning solitude that one dare not brush, too soon, lest it relinquish its silent metaphor... silent grasp.

When one reaches the height(s), what is that sound of solitude?

I'm reminded, often, of the hush spaces in Camera Lucida. Barthes' quiet explorations of photographs; his attributing them to what he wishes.

(And, how lonely it is to gaze at a photograph. Nostalgia's trick.)

There is also this notion in Barthes of hebetude: in such a state of 'dullness of mind,' is there a consciousness attributed to silence? Or is it a blissful nothingness...

I remain fascinated by second levels of discourse and figuring how to fold that into my work, perhaps as Nietzsche suggests, "the tempo of these speeches is a tender adagio."

*Beware of spitting against the wind (Ecce Homo)


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