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


"The bells stopped on Sunday when he rose" 

It's a long Sunday; time drags, everything seems somehow suspended & vaguely unreal. There seems to be a low-pressure system hovering. Various non-thoughts press, and I know I will accomplish little today. But I will point to a post on Long Sunday that I read last week, and meant to link to then. Have at it.
(this post's title, BTW, is from "Garden," on The Fall's Perverted by Language record. Lovely title, that).


& then silence. 


...these terrible fragments.



not effaced, but rather, underlined

as if for the first time



The hand inevitably precedes the pen; the text is destroyed as it is created, borne by the hand - destroyed, then, in advance of its own writing.

Thus, writing is always withdrawing, redrawing, and reinscription: continual palimpsest.

We always know more than we can say, and saying, in turn, reveals further limits of the knowable / utterable, & this erasure, paradoxically - precipitously, apocalyptically - provokes other thoughts.

The un-encumbering of paradox: its continual opening.

"The circle, uncurled along a straight line rigorously prolonged, reforms a circle eternally bereft of a center" as Blanchot writes in The Writing of the Disaster.


delicious moment 

"That melancholy which is the sweetest tongue of thought"
— Virginia Woolf

I consider the figure of Melancholia: seated, with a closed book in her lap. The book not yet open, or the book just closed? The book, once open only to be re-opened? The book to come. The pause. Slowly

"Walking, when it is writing."
— Woolf, again

Melancholia: the space between footsteps


"'I want the beforehand of a book.' I just wrote this sentence, but before this sentence, I wrote a hundred others, which I've suppressed, because the moment for cutting short had arrived. It's not me, it's necessity which has cut the text on the way to writing. Because the text and I, we would continue on our way."
- Helene Cixous, "Without End, no, State of Drawingness, no, rather: The Executioner's Taking Off"

a shrug of the shoulders 

It is always the small things that I recall, the small things that inscribe the quality of larger moments, or a word called "memory."
-- A shrug of the shoulders; a spot of ink on the fore-edge of a book that I happen to be looking at as someone speaks; the quality of light; a particlular shade of green; the light touch of a hand upon my arm; listening to a recording of a particular aria rather than an evening at the opera. Gestures. Scents. The smell of coffee, rain after a dry spell, French cigarettes...
["Later," I note: the following, however, written first]:

... I deliberate. My refusal is slow. Pause. Say the word slow. Say it slowly. Pause. Breathe as you never have before. Let the question of ________, the question of mistaking words for things, evaporate. Feel the words slip away: Slowly. October. Perhaps. Memory. A word that begins, you think, with the letter n.




"The more you refuse, the more anti you are, the more you live."
- Marguerite Duras

refusal the only option

"There should be a writing of non-writing. Someday it will come. A brief writing, without grammar, a writing of words alone. Words without supporting grammar. Lost. Written, there. And immediately left behind."
- Marguerite Duras



“In contrast to the knowledge that keeps man in a passive quietude, Desire dis-quiets him and moves him to action. Born of Desire, action tends to satisfy it, and can do so only by the “negation,” the destruction, or at least the transformation, of the desired object: to satisfy hunger, for example, food must be destroyed or, in any case, transformed. Thus, all action is “negating.” Far from leaving the given as it is, action destroys it; if not in its being, at least in its given form.”
— Hegel

“Man must be an emptiness. a nothingness, which is not a pure nothingness (reines Nichts), but something that is to the extent that it annihilates Being, in order to realize itself at the expense of Being and to nihilate in being. Man is negating Action, which transforms given Being and, by transforming it, transforms itself.
— Alexandre Kojève, Lectures on the Phenomenology of the Spirit


Hatred of Poetry 

“Realism gives me the impression of a mistake. Violence alone escapes the feeling of poverty of those realistic experiences. Only death and desire have the force that oppresses, that takes one’s breath away. Only the extremism of desire and of death allows one to attain the truth.

I first published this book fifteen years ago, giving it an obscure title: The Hatred of Poetry. It seemed to me that true poetry was reached only by hatred. Poetry had no powerful meaning except in the violence of revolt. But poetry attains this violence only by invoking the impossible. Almost no one understood the meaning of the first title, which is why I prefer finally to speak of The Impossible.

It’s true that this second title is far from being clearer.

But it may be one day...: I perceive the course of a convulsion that involves the whole movement of beings. This convulsion goes from death’s disappearance to that voluptuous rage which, perhaps, is the meaning of the disappearance.

Humanity is faced with a double perspective: in one direction, violent pleasure, horror, and death — precisely the perspective of poetry — and in the opposite direction, that of science or the real world of utility. Only the useful, the real, have a serious character. We are never within our rights in preferring seduction: truth has rights over us. Indeed, it has every right. And yet we can, and indeed we must, respond to something which, not being God, is stronger than every right, that impossible to which we acceded only by forgetting the truth of all these rights, only by accepting disappearance."

— Georges Bataille, Preface to the Second Edition of
The Impossible



“Literature is perhaps essentially (I am not saying uniquely or manifestly) a power of contestation: contestation of the established power, contestation of what is (and of the fact of being), contestation of language and of the forms of literary language, finally contestation of itself as power. It constantly works against the limits that it helps fix, and when these limits, pushed back indefinitely, finally disappear in the knowledge and happiness of a truly or ideally accomplished totality, then its force of transgression becomes more denunciatory, for it is the unlimited itself, having become its limit, that it denounces by the neuter affirmation that speaks in it, which always speaks beyond. It is in this sense that any important literature appears to us as a literature of final daybreak: disaster is awake in its night, but a receptiveness is also always preserved in it, an inclemency of the not-I, a patient imagination at arms that introduces us to that state of incredible refusal.”
- Maurice Blanchot, from Friendship




The Neuter 

S/he laboriously burns out each line; effaces / erases it, word by word, phrase by phrase.

"Someday, it will come. A writing of non-writing"



Dreamt that M. was seated at a table in a large room, some sort of makeshift cafe / cafeteria / refectory, reading a letter from V., whose letters and penmanship are unmistakable. I didn't know that they were acquainted. I later run into V., who becomes / is M.

A scant period of wakefulness, followed by an equally brief sleep wch brought a bad dream. But upon waking, the first dream leaches out of the subconscious & obscures all but a few of the details of the second. But the first, now, only a vague form with a few images.

-- writing translates to writing, and dream to dream

[Again]; not a metaphor:

Leaving for work, my key breaks off in the lock.

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