Negative to the Contrary
SAM BECKETT, in his book Comment C’est, circles language La Boue (means mud in FR, nostalgia de la boue). He flushes and loops through an exquisite meandering mud of reason & dreams like a cryptographic lattice. My language dreams in La Boue too. Only now to open this book and discover – yeah Sam got there before me. His strength, courage & sanity gives for some of us a great sense of ministration & relief. Plot Summary: Past now gone with one Pim. Favorite soft sac he (apparently) sleeps on – and its readjustment once again (the last at first being so lovely). Also: a certain flow rate of (dinner?) tins. Part 1 is fab a lot. Eng/FR edition published by Routledge, a voluminous addition to the Beckett catalog.
by Robert Lowell
(For Elizabeth Bishop)
Nautilus Island’s hermit
heiress still lives through winter in her Spartan cottage;
her sheep still graze above the sea.
Her son’s a bishop. Her farmer
is first selectman in our village;
she’s in her dotage.
the hierarchic privacy
of Queen Victoria’s century,
she buys up all
the eyesores facing her shore,
and lets them fall.
The season’s ill—
we’ve lost our summer millionaire,
who seemed to leap from an L. L. Bean
catalogue. His nine-knot yawl
was auctioned off to lobstermen.
A red fox stain covers Blue Hill.
And now our fairy
decorator brightens his shop for fall;
his fishnet’s filled with orange cork,
orange, his cobbler’s bench and awl;
there is no money in his work,
he’d rather marry.
One dark night,
my Tudor Ford climbed the hill’s skull;
I watched for love-cars .
Lights turned down,
they lay together, hull to hull,
where the graveyard shelves on the town. . . .
My mind’s not right.
A car radio bleats,
“Love, O careless Love. . . .” I hear
my ill-spirit sob in each blood cell,
as if my hand were at its throat. . . .
I myself am hell;
only skunks, that search
in the moonlight for a bite to eat.
They march on their soles up Main Street:
white stripes, moonstruck eyes’ red fire
under the chalk-dry and spar spire
of the Trinitarian Church.
I stand on top
of our back steps and breathe the rich air—
a mother skunk with her column of kittens swills the garbage pail
She jabs her wedge-head in a cup
of sour cream, drops her ostrich tail,
and will not scare.
Development of communication & gesture by pre-eminent expert in field, Prof. Emeritus DAVID MCNEILL. Author of 11 books on language, gesture, speech and so on. Several of which are considered classics. (If I get 1 pub’d in my life time will be a frckng miracle.) Very Prestigious Guy. Was honored to provide Professor McNeill with series of gesture drawings for one of his latest books.
Do it your own way. No matter what that is.
Untamed, joyous stubbornness that yearns and burns — for whatever that is. Struck right alongside the εἶδον, Greek for behold/experience, alas: the image, as complicit implicit duplicit trifarious etc, the force mejeure.
Uninhibited the cuts, set in motion (like a whirlwind of madness) the wag hag nag rag bag fog sog cog, sod prod and log.
Influence — noyous, joyous, rascally, loveable, intractable.
Slavoj Zizek talking up Beckett & Lacan: “If there ever was a kenotic writer, the writer of the utter self-emptying of subjectivity, of its reduction to a minimal difference, it is Beckett. We touch the Lacanian Real when we subtract from a symbolic field all the wealth of its differences, reducing it to a minimum of antagonism. Lacan gets sometimes seduced by the rhizomatic wealth of language beyond (or, rather, beneath) the formal structure that sustains it. (My emphasis).” – Its the glue its the glue –
And on the infamous Not I: “When asked if the Auditor is Death or a guardian angel, Beckett shrugged his shoulders, lifted his arms and let them fall to his sides, leaving the ambiguity intact – repeating the very gesture of the Auditor.” Auditors! I love it. Fab a Lot!
Got off of archive.org. Considered historically important French language book by Etymologtist Auguste Brachet. Its pretty darn good – Cours complet d’histoire de la langue française conforme au programme du Conseil supérieur de l’instruction publique en date du 15 juillet 1880.
Russell Sbriglia’s introduction to Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Literature but Were Afraid to Ask Žižek offers a great explanation of Zizek’s work meanwhile discussing Lacan’s boss threesie: Symbolic, Real, Imaginary. I found it very elucidating!
Russell’s chapter, Symptoms of Idealogy Critique offers up a voracious philosophical investigation into interpretive paradigms on symptomatic readings (cynicism vs. fetishistic) of early modern literature – through Emerson from Freud to Zizek. And in the spirit of Zizek (plus-de-jouir) discusses “the embodiment of the lie which enables us to sustain the unbearable truth.”
Book’s last chapter is from Zizek – deliciously entitled Subjective Destruction in Shakespeare and Beckett. Section 1, to put very casually, how in Shakespeare “melancholia precedes prohibition,” filling a void “primordially not its own.” Section 2, takes us from Joyce’s illicit pleasure in language (Here Comes Everybody) to Sam Beckett’s self-emptying subjectivity (Here Comes the Not I) and “whose dead puppet, the ‘real’ person is” anyway. Fabulous, as always. Wee bit excerpted here.
Compares line where divine meets the sublime and language of the counting heads – as coextensive with history of math, which it is. Book very fine for philosophy majors.
The Art of Dressing Curves is a gorgeous book that only SUSAN MOSES could write. Acclaimed stylist for the curvy side of life. No other book quite like it. Includes diagrammatic of 9 collars that she had me draw. I admire Susan greatly! Her faith helps me find what having faith means – Sacrificial cults abscond with me. Jesus was such a do or die. She’s on the DO side. And does it so beautifully!
Soul, wilt thou toss again?
By just such a hazard
Hundreds have lost, indeed,
But tens have won an all.
Angels' breathless ballot
Lingers to record thee;
Imps in eager caucus
Raffle for my soul.
Suzy Cave’s The Vampire’s Wife. Am indebted to her approach to beauty that plumbs artistic and dramatic strains across the universe, however curious, transgressive, or both.
Virginia has been much on my mind lately. Experimental way approaches her paragraphs — My LuLu du Lac loves how she starts to slip into passages with fingers running freely either side like its an open maze, where language funnels off and tunnels back in.
Sun through leaves breakaway breakaway open handed chasing seedpuffs that dehiscse on a hot day in Britian, Gorse bushes exploding pods sound almost like gunshots.
Unavoidable with participation, earnest interest, eagerness, shock, tenderness, injury, inquiry. Etc.
She is an Angel for me. Influence very real even needy — but not nearly as traumatic. Startles yet brightens, exhilarates yet fights for it, reaches — as I reach, back for Clarice again and again —
“They would understand,” my LuLu equates out loud to herself. How must be able to work at peak intervals, engage with beauty — who as part of creation often dances with darker forces, battles “for real.” What leads body of hate back to surface of love. Sleeps tender with the undead. Tender yet monstrous, when love explodes with horror and light —
La Folie Charles Baudelaire
Two books had super heavy influence on me very early on.
Ezra Pounds translation of Remy du Gormant’s The Natural Philosophy of Love. A later 1800’s serious tract about sexual instincts in animals. And translated with marked succinctness and intensity by the great Ezra. Loved it.
Also: The infamous In Praise of Folly. A satirical essay written by Erasmus of Rotterdam, first printed in June 1511. “Folly praises self-deception and madness and moves to a satirical examination of pious but superstitious abuses –” WIKI.
A comedy really. Found it a great relief to “wisdom” as heads in bible and prayers, scriptures that howled at my want of freedom — like an escaping thief. Who bothered to, dared.
The Sick Bag Song by Nick Cave is especially essential to my collection.
Helps me wake up beyond revelations of ornery terrors: to behold with honesty humor and relish the beauty in my obsessions –
Especially those that otherwise would tear the soul apart.
The Limits of Fabrication: Materials Science, Materialist Poetics (Idiom: Inventing Writing Theory) by Nathan Brown, book about materials science and Charlie Olson’s (I, Maximus of Gloucester, to You) poetry.
Form of language courted by Heidegger — over what is life and what is rock.
Reminds me of Carlos Castenada — in one of his last books, where searching for truth of image, crawls into rock as shaman logic, to unavoidably discover essence & meaning of slowing down time.
High Didg section. Being and Time as Shape.Continue reading
Agua Viva. Ex-lover to whom she must explain. And para after para gushes out after thresholds where language goes beyond the simple or complex, beyond deviousness, and even beyond reflection or admission, to something ailing for a form. Seeps as paint does blood through the grave and the mighty. Irresolvable with hidden beauty, nestling in cracks. Luminance and void, dangling off hiatus of every breadth, every death, hearing itself scream, for murder & joy. Wild as a state of nature.
Watt will not
abate one jot
but of what
of the coming to
of the being at
of the going from
of the long way
of the short stay
of the going back home
the way he had come
of the empty heart
of the empty hands
of the dim mind wayfaring
through barren lands
of a flame with dark winds
of the empty heart
of the empty hands
of the dark mind stumbling
through barren lands
that is of what
Watt will not
abate one jot
Falling asleep with Finnegans Wake. Gave me hallucinations still cherish. Think about this book a lot. Like a fish, the tide and blotting paper. Aquatic with words, to see what undercurrent pings and plots like a sinking rock. I love this book. Where poetry upends with limerick, descends into every threshold of language at its poetic markers, among many.
Even mine such as it is shrouded in magical horror. Astonished at the elevation! What a relief and shock it was to first wander around in, like Alice for a chalice, for shimmering destinies that plait through his language. Mindfulness concocting particulate simmering connections, as his carpet beater silts and looms, through poetic slough’n trough (with highly hilly integrity).
And without having to let go at all of its density!
Night Table. Every Night. In the French.
I really liked Lulu In Hollywood by Louise Brooks. Working in Hollywood, and on dancing stages, travelled with Ziegfeld. Its an honest book. Bitter, its been called — but I dont see it that way entirely. Its another hard knocks western song out of Kansas and Missouri. Her best friend commits suicide. There is seemingly all this emotional blackmail from men and Hollywood — money, travel, working in theatre, running to and from NY and Calif and Germany. She did several German films. Basically hated Hollywood, but also loved having the work, refused at first to do talkies.
Adventurous, stubborn, she loved to read. Was more into books herself than movies, she dogmatically proclaims. But the book is also full of hard knocks, loss, and tons of disdain — for wealthy of Hollywood, in particular and in general.
From Wikipedia. Essay written in Latin in 1509 by Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam and first printed in June 1511. Inspired by previous works of the Italian humanist Faustino Perisauli De Triumpho Stultitiae, it is a satirical attack on superstitions and other traditions of European society as well as on the Western Church.
Erasmus revised and extended his work, which was originally written in the space of a week while sojourning with Sir Thomas More at More’s house in Bucklersbury in the City of London. The title Moriae Encomium had a punning second meaning as In Praise of More. In Praise of Folly is considered one of the most notable works of the Renaissance and played an important role in the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation.
The brilliance and originality of this book consists specifically in its radical recasting of the metaphorical, figural uses of “theater” and “drama.”—Robert Hanke
Paul is editing a new book series at Stanford University Press, Square One: First Order Questions in the Humanities.
I love candor that seeks out order, what call Purveyors of The Decimals, indeed even as as Tunnel of Love (most recent book, Love as Human Freedom, Stanford University Press, 2017).Continue reading
Read almost everything by GEORGES BATAILLE on beauty, sex & death. He wrote novels & philosophy. This is his master work. Holding French against English I have read it at least three times. I adore it. Sacred essentials of horror & beauty taken out to edges of ecstasy at depths of impossibility and endlessness. Fearless F$CKER I love him. New translation by Prof. Kendall (with whom I took an online course once, I think).
Dagda, comes from proto celtic word dago-s for “good”. A fertility monster with bottomless cauldron who spawned at least six and was known as a trickster – with a magic staff that could kill with one end / bring to life with the other.
Daughter Brigid wears helmet with bird on head. Guards pagan shrine tending eternal flame.
Found reference to Open Culture‘s reference to
“Hear Sylvia Plath Read 18 Poems From Her Final Collection, Ariel, in 1962 Recording”
There is even a poem called Nick and the Candlestick.
They are brave horrible beautiful and relentless. Reading from her book Ariel:
Victorian birthday book + Room for Notes
BASED ON quotations from Nick Cave for each day of the year.
Created and designed by Nick Cave
Published by Cave Things
Size: 10,2 x 12,5 cm (hardcover)
Number of pages: 136
Printed and bound in Denmark by Narayana Press
Compiled by Rodrigo Perez Pereira
Dispatching from 4th December
Gotta Love Sammy!
A gentle littering of MOST-READ McSWEENEY’S INTERNET TENDENCY ARTICLES OF ALL-TIME by McSWEENEY’S
43. Unused Audio Commentary by Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, Recorded Summer 2002 For The Fellowship Of The Ring (Platinum Series Extended Edition) DVD, Part One by Tom Bissell and Jeff Alexander (4/23/03)
40. Hamlet: Facebook Newsfeed Edition by Sarah Schmelling (7/30/08)
19, Kafka’s Joke Book by John McNamee (3/19/14)
12. Seven Bar Jokes Involving Grammar and Punctuation by Eric K. Auld (11/8/11)
Truman at Yaddo.
Swan et le Monde.
Russell Sbriglia (Assistant Professor of English at Seton Hall University) hosts a discussion with Cornel West and Slavoj Žižek on “The Future of the Left” —Continue reading
After reading just three chapters, could read titles for Philosophy Books/Articles and tell apart parts of sentences and match up meaning to words.
FAB A LOT has fallen in love with this piece by Anna Maria Maiolino from her In and Out series. Yarn that tumbles out of the mouth of desire, exacerbating after knots? of beauty folly death. So simple so true.
“… impressive, rigorous, coherent, and innovative.”—Yves Laberge, The European Legacy
Samuel Beckett’s actual library “is still where it was at the time of his death in 1989, in his apartment on the Boulevard St. Jacques in Paris. Only a relatively small amount of books had previously been taken out of the library…The library contains roughly 700 books, which includes those volumes that Beckett kept at his country retreat in Ussy that were moved to Paris when he died.” From books Introduction, pages xiii-xvii.
Consider a great find
Reading this book came to a new understanding of Beckett’s Process for Foraging and Storaging.
And how much unknowingly I was there — all along.
Talks about Beckett as an artist who is a reader, a phrase hunter, an extractor, notebook keeper, writer in margins — yes a marginalist!
Especially his Florentia edition of Dante.
Beckett himself having referred to it as “treasure … with notes that knew their place…” As well as: a “horrid [thing], beslubbered with grotesque notes, looking like a bank book in white cardboard and pale gold title …”
If you read Beckett a lot a lot — highly recommend. ★★★★★
Josefina Ayerza with Slavoj Zizek from Flash Art on Lacon.com
“The entire satisfaction, the jouissance is that you do not know and will never know who the other is… the entire satisfaction is in this purely symbolic exchange…”
“In quantum physics for example you have the idea of possibility. If you take all the possible movements of an electron, for example, that already describes a certain actuality. To deduce what the actual movement will be, you must consider all possibilities. Possibility is not just a mere possibility but already functions as (an) actuality in itself…”
“I came,” she said, “hoping you could talk me out of a fantasy.”
“Cherish it,” cried Hilarius, fiercely. “What else do any 0f you have? Hold it tightly by its little tentacle, don’t let the Freudians coax it away or the pharmacists poison it out of you. Whatever it is, hold it dear, for when you lose it you go over by that much to the other. You begin to cease to be.”Continue reading