His near stammering. With disconcerting promptness one word hid behind another. -- Maurice Blanchot, Le Dernier Homme Contact me: red3ad (at) yahoo (dot) com


Sometimes only a single image is retained. It’s morning light, cloud-filtered, grey after the blue of dawn has faded. I’m cleaning or refilling my grey Esterbrook fountain pen in a round glass of water, like a wine globe sans stem. The surface of the water is spotted with dust, and I depress the lever and watch the remaining ink swirl out into the water and dissipate, tint the water faint grey.
It was raining, earlier. As I write this a church bell tolls, clouds move. The bell stops and I become aware of the silence that fills its space. A plane passes overhead. It’s midday: in a couple of hours the light will start to fade. And we’re at the end of the year, we’ve passed the solstice; the light slowly, imperceptible erodes the all-too palpable night. And I dreamt I refilled my pen, not with ink, but with water. Sometimes only an image is retained.

Astronomical Twilight: 6:13am
Sunrise: 7:57am
Transit: 12:11pm
Sunset: 4:25pm
Astronomical Twilight: 6:09pm



History's the reason
I'm washed up.

- Gang of Four, "Paralysed"


Watching a figure approach, walking towards the bus and then realizing it's their reflection that I'm observing, that the person is walking behind and then alongside the bus, and I watch until a point where the approaching figure disappears and becomes, in its turn, a figure walking away; for a second the one folds into nothing, one becomes the other, and the approaching image becomes historical.
The bus moves forward, stops, and the pattern repeats. Sometimes the figure varies.

[long afternoon of the shortest day of the year, 2005].



If I were a Cioran, a Canetti or a Joubert; perhaps a Kraus or even a Sei Shonagon, I should like to write:
Each work should be atypical.



I really need to sit down and spend my next few days off working through this; entire issue dedicated to Blanchot.

In each case I had no further information. 

Most of the plays are engendered by a line, a word or an image. The given word is often shortly followed by the image. I shall give two examples of two lines which came right out of the blue into my head, followed by an image, followed by me.

The plays are The Homecoming and Old Times. The first line of The Homecoming is 'What have you done with the scissors?' The first line of Old Times is 'Dark.'

In each case I had no further information.

-- Harold Pinter, from his Nobel Prize lecture.


I have given little thought to drama. "Too much shouting!" I mean to say that theater has little visceral or intellectual appeal to me in any way: I know I'm probably missing something, but the whole formal setting and Theatre Voice -- that odd projection -- just doesn't work for me. I am, however, quite moved (is that the word? I've a cold, and feel fuzzy and fevered) by the above. The lecture is worth reading in full, for his assessment of US politics and power. If drama has potential, I wonder, maybe poetry, then, has a chance.
It's Sunday. The days are short. I have a fever.

The Daze of Orpheus 

Why is it that all those teachers of writing and critics and administrators who go on about "finding one's true voice" all seem to have pretty much the same Distinct Voice? At least, some similar cog-like drone that keeps the Book Machine humming. Mightn't this notion, even in some small way, help explain why the book sections of our various papers have become little more than advertising sections, where books are traded on the value of the author's name, and little else?
Rather than speaking of "Voice" -- talk wch seems inevitably to orbit the temple of some Privileged Speaker, hailing, no doubt, from some land of unconstructed Authenticity -- wouldn't it be more useful to speak in terms of "tone" or "sound"?
The myth of Orpheus can offer useful study; the figure of Orpheus, on the other hand, simply seems a bad model.
[Trackback to "Overstating the Bleeding Obvious"]


1000 Hours Later 

"Someone begins to write, determined by despair. But despair cannot determine anything. "It has always, and right away, exceeded its purpose" (Kafka, Diaries, 1910). And, likewise, writing cannot have as its origin anything but 'true' despair, the kind that leads to nothing, turns us away from everything, and for a start withdraws the pen from whoever writes."
-- Maurice Blanchot, "Kafka and the Work's Demand"


Le pas au-delà 

“While they waited on the threshold, far away, yet perhaps already leaning towards us, and watching us as if we were a single thing, he saw, falling over the face of the young girl, as the night falls, the dark hair that completely hides it.”
– Maurice Blanchot

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