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


because you read 

The Black Debt, Hope, and More Links. 

"The black debt" -- Hegel's term for writing. Today's post, Black Pages, at This Space, reminds us that today is the anniversary of the beginning of Jacques Roubaud's The Great Fire of London. And Carceraglio points out an intriguing volume here; so, this afternoon, a few rays of hope, not in a jar or tube, but via the goddamn internet.
I still prefer words printed in ink. A correspondent, knowing of my predilection for (or borderline obsession with) found paperclips, offered this.

File under: diaries, encyclopedias, misc.


An earlier search on Amazon (see below) to see if a book was still in print alerted me to several things, not least the line of philosophy makeup products. Are these supposed to give you the aura of thoughtfulness? Do they increase the furrowed lines in one's brow, or alleviate them? I'm just wondering if I should purchase Hope in a Jar, or if Hope in a Tube might be more convenient.

attn: book lovers 

Amazon.com also offers engagement rings, loose diamonds, instant noodles and philosophy makeup. So if this whole "reading thing" doesn't work out for you, Jeff Bezos & corporation have you covered.
Even if you simply want... CRAP.)


gesture (note) 

Sitting in a movie theater last night after catching part of a reading, I thought about the fact that I'm a lot harder on writing than film; what's that say?-- am I really more interested in the latter, or (still) too engaged with the former? I spend more time re-viewing movies than re-reading poetry, and shdn't it be the other way around? Ok, there's George Oppen (always), Rae Armantrout (now), Barrett Watten (recently)... I'd say I'm slighly less narrowly selective about film; even a flawed and "small" picture like SUICIDALS (Argentinian movie wch I saw yesterday afternoon) seems to offer more residue, or resonance, to walk away with than a reading. I'm allowing for the relative levels of absorption each medium provides / provokes - obv. cinema is more consuming. But still, a line or a poem doesn't ring through the way a tone (heavy blues throughout the movie) or a scene can.
I can reduce either down to the quality of a gesture.

And then, of course, there's Proust.


Die Grosse Stille 

Within the past hour, I left the theater after seeing Into Great Silence. 2 hours, 45 minutes, filmed in natural light, with no added sound, little in the way of interview, explanation. Not a documentary, per se -- no implied narrative, or explicated thesis -- almost, simply, the materials of a documentary. A document. A monk at prayer in half-light. The cloister. The swirling snow. The red light of the sanctuary lamp. Light touching the floor and a diagonal shadow. Footsteps. Silence.
There's a line of Rilke's from The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge that seems to convey best to me the proximity, or experience, of the Divine: "that noise at the threshhold of the voiceless silence." In this film, Philip Groening transmits that sense of the sublime -- enough that it doesn't matter that this Catholic monastery set in the French Alps is the subject; it could well have been filmed in a Buddhist monastery in Asia. When the brothers leave their cloister for a walk into a glaciated valley, there seems to be little difference between the natural stones that they pass and the hewn stone rooms they live in. To riff on Pascal, the periphery is nowhere and the centering is everywhere.
In one of the few portions of text, from a reading given while the brothers gather for their weekly communal meal, it is stated that in the notion of the Trinity, "the presence of the Father and the Holy Spirit is suggested so that the ineffability of God is preserved." I mean that, peut-ĂȘtre, prior to speech, at the very limit of speech, not much can be said.
The swirling snow. The mist. The flickering red lamp.

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