Sunday, December 30, 2007

“Manera sencillíssima de destruir una ciudad”

René Magritte, La bataille de l’Argonne

“Se espera, escondido en el pasto, a que una gran nube de la especie cúmulo se sitúe sobre la ciudad aborrecida. Se dispara entonces la flecha petrificadora, la nube se convierte en mármol, y el resto no merece comentario.”


Maneira sensibilíssima de destruir uma cidade

Espere, escondido no pasto, até que uma grande nuvém da espécie cúmulo paire sobre a cidade aborrecida. Dispare então a flecha petrificadora, a nuvem se converte em mármore, e o resto não merece comentário.


Really Sensible Way To Destroy A City

Wait, hidden in the pasture, until a large cumulus cloud settles over the abhorred city. Then shoot the petrifying arrow, the cloud will be converted into marble, and the rest deserves no comment.



(Julio Cortázar, “Verano en las Colinas,” La vuelta al día en ochenta mundos.” Trans. Marco Alexandre de Oliveira)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

El poeta es camaleón ...

“En cambio, ve usted, el poeta renuncia a defenderse. Renuncia a conservar una identidad en el acto de conocer porque precisamente el signo inconfundible, la marca en forma de trébol bajo la tetilla de los cuentos de hadas, se la da tempranamente el sentirse a cada paso otro, el salirse tan fácilmente de sí mismo para ingresar en las entidades que lo absorben, enajenarse en el objeto que será cantado, la materia física o moral cuya combustión lírica provocará el poema. Sediento de ser, el poeta no cesa de tenderse hacia una realidad cada vez mejor ahondada, más real. Su poder es instrumento de posesión pero a la vez e inefablemente es deseo de posesión; como una red que pescara para sí misma, un anzuelo que fuera a la vez ansia de pesca. Ser poeta es ansiar, pero sobre todo obtener en la exacta medida en que se ansía. De ahí las distintas dimensiones de poetas y poéticas; está el que se conforma con el deleite estético del verbo y procede en la medida circunstanciada de su impulso de posesión; está el que irrumpe en la realidad como un raptor de esencias y halla en sí mismo y por eso mismo el instrumento lírico que le permitirá arrancar una respuesta de lo otro capaz de volverlo suyo, de hacerlo suyo y, por lo tanto, nuestro…”

“Mire usted, señora, la experiencia humana no basta para hacer un poeta, pero lo engrandece cuando se da paralelamente a la condición de poeta y cuando el poeta comprende la especial relación con que debe articularlas.”

(Julio Cortázar, “Casilla de camaleón,” La vuelta al día en ochenta mundos”)

Friday, December 21, 2007

"Citar es citarse"

“Se habrá advertido que aquí las citas llueven, y esto no es nada al lado de lo que viene, o sea casi todo. En los ochenta mundos de mi vuelta al día hay puertos, hoteles y camas para los cronopios, y además citar es citarse, ya lo han dicho … con la diferencia de que los pedantes citan porque viste mucho, y los cronopios porque son terriblemente egoístas y quieren acaparar sus amigos …”

(Julio Cortázar, La vuelta al día en ochenta mundos.)

Monday, December 17, 2007

"pobre shaman blanco"

“¿Por qué escribo esto? No tengo ideas claras, ni siquiera tengo ideas. Hay jirones, impulsos, bloques, y todo busca una forma, entonces entra en juego el ritmo y yo escribo dentro de ese ritmo, escribo por él, movido por él y no por eso que llaman el pensamiento y que hace la prosa, literaria u otra …. Escribir es dibujar mi mandala y a la vez recorrerlo, inventar la purificación purificándose; tarea de pobre shaman blanco con calzoncillos de nylon.”

(Julio Cortázar, Rayuela.)

"desde un intersticio ..."

“Mucho de lo que he escrito se ordena bajo el signo de la excentricidad, puesto que entre vivir y escribir nunca admití una clara diferencia; si viviendo alcanzo a disimular una participación parcial en mi circunstancia, en cambio no puedo negarla en lo que escribo puesto que precisamente escribo por no estar o por estar a medias. Escribo por falencia, por descolocación; y como yo escribo desde un intersticio, estoy siempre invitando a que otros busquen los suyos y miren por ellos el jardín donde los árboles tiene frutos que son, por supuesto, piedras preciosas.”

(Julio Cortázar, “Del sentimiento de no estar del todo,” La vuelta al día en ochenta mundos.)

what poetry is even ...

“Her stockings are loose over her ankles. I detest that: so tasteless, Those literary etherial people they are all. Dreamy, cloudy, symbolistic. Esthetes they are. I wouldn't be surprised if it was that kind of food you see produces the like waves of the brain the poetical. For example one of those policemen sweating Irish stew into their shirts; you couldn't squeeze a line of poetry out of him. Don't know what poetry is even. Must be in a certain mood.”

(James Joyce, Ulysses)

Monday, December 10, 2007

To PRACTICE Poetry ...

“Man proposes and disposes. He and he alone can determine whether he is completely master of himself, that is, whether he maintains the body of his desires, daily more formidable, in a state of anarchy. Poetry teaches him to. It bears within itself the perfect compensation for the miseries we endure. It can also be an organizer, if ever, as the result of a less intimate disappointment, we contemplate taking it seriously. The time is coming when it decrees the end of money and by itself will break the bread of heaven for the earth! There will still be gatherings on the public squares, and movements you never dared hope participate in. Farewell to absurd choices, the dreams of dark abyss, rivalries, the prolonged patience, the flight of the seasons, the artificial order of ideas, the ramp of danger, time for everything! May you only take the trouble to practice poetry. Is it not incumbent upon us, who are already living off it, to try and impose what we hold to be our case for further inquiry?”

(André Breton, “Manifesto of Surrealism”)

IMAGINE ...

“We are still living under the reign of logic: this, of course, is what I have been driving at …. It is pointless to add that experience itself has found itself increasingly circumscribed. It paces back and forth in a cage from which it is more and more difficult to make it emerge. It too leans for support on what is most immediately expedient, and it is protected by the sentinels of common sense. Under the pretense of civilization and progress, we have managed to banish from the mind everything that may rightly or wrongly be termed superstition, or fancy; forbidden is any kind of search for truth which is not in conformance with accepted practices.”

“The imagination is perhaps on the point of reasserting itself, of reclaiming its rights. If the depths of our mind contain within it strange forces capable of augmenting those on the surface, or of waging a victorious battle against them, there is every reason to seize them – first to seize them, then, if need be, to submit them to the control of our reason …. But it is worth noting that no means has been designated a priori for carrying out this undertaking, that until further notice it can be construed to be the province of poets as well as scholars, and that its success is not dependent upon the more or less capricious paths that will be followed.”


(André Breton, “Manifesto of Surrealism”)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

No "One" Like Stein ...

“Each one is one. Each one looking is that one the one then looking. Each one looking and loving is then that one the one looking then and loving. Looking and loving is anything.”

“Any day one being that one is one being that one. Any day is a day. Any one being one is being that one. Any one going on being one is being that one. Any day is a day. Every day is a day. Each day is a day. Each one is one. Any one is one. Any one is the one that one is.”

“If any one were one being such a one such a one as any one is then that one would be one expressing all of that thing and expressing all of that thing would be what that one expressing is expressing. Each one is one. That is enough to satisfy some, each one being one is enough to satisfy some. One being one is one that many are certain is a different one from the ones others are who are not like that one. That one is a different one and being a different one he is the one knowing everything of there being very many who are just like him. That is enough to satisfy him.”

“Each one is one. Each one has been one. Each one being one, each one having been one is remembering something of that thing.”

“Each one is one. Each one has been one. Each one is remembering that thing.”

“Each one is one. Each one has been one. That is something that any one having been one, any one being one is having happen. Each one being one is having it happen that that one is being that one. Each one having been one is one having had it happen that that one has been that one.”

“Each one is one. Any one is the one that one is. Each one is one.”

“This one is one and she is that one. Each one is one. There are many. Each one is different from any other one.”

“Each one is one. There are many. Some of them are loving. Some of them are completely loving. One of them is completely loving. This one is living in loving being existing in that one and loving is existing in that one, completely existing in that one. That one is loving and is completely existing in loving being completely existing in that one and in the one that one is loving and in that one who is the one loving that one. This one is one completely existing as loving is completely existing in that one and one other one.”

“Each one is one. There are many of them. Each one is different from any other one of them. Each one is one being living. Some are ones loving. Some are ones believing in loving. Some are ones believing in loving and marrying and having children. Some of such of them are ones believing in working and believing in every one. Some of such of them are ones working and getting sick then and going on believing in everything in which they have been believing. One being such a one was one loving. She was one believing in something, she was one believing in working and marrying and having children and believing in all that she had been believing. She believed in changing in some things. She believed in something. She was loving. She was working. She was marrying. She was having children. She was believing in all she had been believing. She was one believing in something. She was a sick one. She believed then in what she had been believing.”

“There are very many being living. Each one is one. Each one is one being that one. Each one is like some. Each one is one. There are very many of them. There are many kinds of them. Each one is one. Each one is that one.”

“Each one is one. Each one is that one. Each one is one. Each one expressing an opinion is expressing that thing that opinion.”

“Each one is one. Each one is that one the one that one is. Each one is one. Each one is one some are knowing. Each one is one. One is one many are knowing. One is one not any one is completely certain is completely charming. That one is one being one being almost completely feeling in being almost completely charming. This one is one not completing any such thing not completing feeling, not completing feeling in being almost completely charming, not completing being almost completely charming, not completing being charming.”

“Each one is one, there are many of them. Each one is one. Each one is that one the one that one is. Each one is one, there are many of them. Each one is one.”

“Each one is one. Each one might be one being like every other one if every one was one being like every other one. Each one is one. Each one is one not like every other one. Each one is one. Any one is like any one. Every one is like every one. Each one is one. There are very many of them. Each one is one.”

“Each one is one and is mentioning something of some such thing. Each one has been one and is mentioning something of some such thing. Each one is one and is mentioning something of being like any other one. Each one is one and is mentioning having been like any other one. Each one is one. Each one is one and is mentioning having been, is mentioning being that one. Each one is one. Each one is that one, the one that one is. Each one is one, each one is mentioning such a thing. Each one is mentioning something, each one is mentioning having been mentioning something. Each one is one. Each one is mentioning having been that one.”

“Each one is one. Each one has been, each one is mentioning something. Each one is one. There are many of them. There are many mentioning something. There are many mentioning everything. Each one is one. There are many of them. Some are mentioning something, some are mentioning everything, some are mentioning anything. Each one is one. Each one is mentioning something.”

“She was that one. There are many being living. Each one is one. There are many of them. Each one is one, each one in being one and saying something is saying something in a way, is saying anything in a way.”

“There are many being living. Each one is one. There are many of them. Each one is one. There are many of them.”



(From Matisse Picasso and Gertrude Stein, by Gertrude Stein)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Parable of the Klee ...

“The artist has studied this world of variety and has, we may suppose, unobtrusively found his way in it. His sense of direction has brought order into the passing stream of image and experience. This sense of direction in nature and life, this branching and spreading array, I shall compare with the root of the tree. From the root the sap flows to the artist, flows through him, flows to his eye. Thus he stands as the trunk of the tree. Battered and stirred by the strength of the flow, he guides the vision on into his work. As, in full view of the world, the crown of the tree unfolds and spreads in time and space, so with his work. Nobody would affirm that the tree grows its crown in the image of its root.… Different functions expanding in different elements must produce divergences. [The artist], standing at his appointed place, the trunk of the tree, he does nothing other than gather and pass on what comes to him from the depths. He neither serves nor rules – he transmits. His position is humble. And the beauty at the crown is not his own. He is merely a channel.”

(Paul Klee, On Modern Art.)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Being (Not So) Great ...

“The nocturnal glory of being great without being anything! The somber majesty of unknown splendor … And I suddenly feel the sublimity of the monk in the desert, of the hermit in his retreat, imbued with the substance of the Christ in the stones and the caves, which are the negation of the world, empty statuary.

And sitting at the table in my room, I am less despicable, an employee and anonymous; I write words that are the salvation of my soul […] a ring of renunciation on my evangelical hand, the dull jewel of my ecstatic disdain.”


(Bernardo Soares / Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet. Trans. Alfred Mac Adam)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

the (im)moral value of work ...

“I am forced to accept the notion of work as a material necessity, and in this regard I strongly favor its better, that is fairer, division. I admit that life’s grim obligations make it a necessity, but never that I should believe in its value, revere my own or that of other men. I prefer, once again, walking by night to believing myself a man who walks by daylight. There is no use being alive if one must work. The event from which each of us is entitled to expect the revelation of his own life’s meaning – that event which I may not have found, but on whose path I seek myself – is not earned by work.”

(André Breton, Nadja. Trans. Richard Howard)

Who I am ...

“I insist on knowing the names, on being interested only in books left ajar, like doors; I will not go looking for keys…. I myself shall continue living in my glass house where you can always see who comes to call; where everything hanging from the ceiling and on the walls stays where it is as if by magic, where I sleep nights in a glass bed, under glass sheets, where who I am will sooner or later appear etched by a diamond.”


(André Breton, Nadja. Trans. Richard Howard)

Who am I?

“Who am I? If this once I were to rely on a proverb, then perhaps everything would amount to knowing whom I ‘haunt’ …. Such a word means much more than it says, makes me, still alive, play a ghostly part, evidently referring to what I must have ceased to be in order to be who I am. Hardly distorted in this sense, the word suggests that what I regard as the objective, more or less deliberate manifestations of my existence are merely the premises, within the limits of this existence, of an activity whose true extent is quite unknown to me. My image of the ‘ghost,’ including everything conventional about its appearance as well as its blind submission to certain contingencies of time and place, is particularly significant for me as the finite representation of a torment that may be eternal. Perhaps my life is nothing but an image of this kind; perhaps I am doomed to retrace my steps under the illusion that I am exploring, doomed to try and learn what I should simply recognize, learning a mere fraction of what I’ve forgotten.

(André Breton, Nadja. Trans. Richard Howard)


Sunday, November 25, 2007

word = sound-image2

Copyright © 2007 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Friday, November 23, 2007

Fatherhood ...

“Fatherhood, in the sense of conscious begetting, is unknown to man. It is a mystical state, an apostolic succession, from only begetter to only begotten. On that mystery and not on the madonna which the cunning Italian intellect flung to the mob of Europe the church is founded and founded irremovably because founded, like the world, macro- and microcosm, upon the void. Upon incertitude, upon unlikelihood. Amor matris, subjective and objective genitive, may be the only true thing in life. Paternity may be a legal fiction. Who is the father of any son that any son should love him or he any son?”

(James Joyce, Ulysses)

New (Old) Age ...

“Yogibogeybox in Dawson chambers. Isis Unveiled. Their Pali book we tried to pawn. Crosslegged under an umbrel umbershoot he thrones an Aztec logos, functioning on astral levels, their oversoul, mahamahatma. The faithful hermetists await the light, ripe for chelaship, ringroundabout him.... Lotus ladies tend them i'the eyes, their pineal glands aglow. Filled with his god, he thrones, Buddh under plantain. Gulfer of souls, engulfer. Hesouls, shesouls, shoals of souls. Engulfed with wailing creecries, whirled, whirling, they bewail.”

(James Joyce, Ulysses)

The Supreme Question of Art ...

“Art has to reveal to us ideas, formless spiritual essences. The supreme question about a work of art is out of how deep a life does it spring.”

(James Joyce, Ulysses)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

solvetudo sonambulando ...

A "Martial Cadenza" ...

“It was like sudden time in a world without time
This world, this place, the street in which I was,
Without time: as that which is not has no time,
Is not, or is of what there was, is full
Of the silence before the armies, armies without
Either trumpets or drums, the commanders mute, the arms
On the ground, fixed fast in a profound defeat.”

“The present close, the present realized,
Not the symbol but that for which the symbol stands,
The vivid thing in the air that never changes,
Though the air change. Only this evening I saw it again,
At the beginning of winter, and I walked and talked
Again, and lived and was again, and breathed again
And moved again and flashed again, time flashed again.”

(Wallace Stevens, “Martial Cadenza”)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Old Man (for Ashley Brown)

The old man leaves his life and death behind
Pruned head, he moves ahead and never, never again
The great mirror of the world would dare reflect his mind
The old man is the king of his den

Solitude is solid, a stone in the sun
The lines of destiny in hand are erased by hand
Poetry, soul, and rock’n’roll have made him one
Things migrate and he still serves as land

Heart, art burns, the afternoon spent
In the abyss of city streets
The breeze takes brings the fleeting scent
Of the girls’ sexy sweets

Cold light, his hair has a neon sadness all around
Beauties, joys, and pains pass by without a sound
I see the old man laughing at a curve on the way to Hebron
And to his eye everything that’s color changes tone

The children, films, sayings, books like a gale
Disperse his being beyond the illusion of the personal
But he hurts and shines unique, individual, wonder without equal
He
s already got the courage to say hes immortal.


– Caetano Veloso / gringocarioca



O homem velho



O homem velho deixa a vida e morte para trás
Cabeça a prumo, segue rumo e nunca, nunca mais
O grande espelho que é o mundo ousaria refletir os seus sinais
O homem velho é o rei dos animais


A solidão agora é sólida, uma pedra ao sol
As linhas do destino nas mãos a mão apagou
Ele já tem a alma saturada de poesia, soul e rock’n’roll
As coisas migram e ele serve de farol

A carne, a arte arde, a tarde cai
No abismo das esquinas
A brisa leve traz o olor fulgaz
Do sexo das meninas

Luz fria, seus cabelos têm tristeza de néon
Belezas, dores e alegrias passam sem um som
Eu vejo o homem velho rindo numa curva do caminho de Hebron
E ao seu olhar tudo que é cor muda de tom

Os filhos, filmes, ditos, livros como um vendaval
Espalham-no além da ilusão do seu ser pessoal
Mas ele dói e brilha único, indivíduo, maravilha sem igual
Já tem coragem de saber que é imortal


– Caetano Veloso


Autographia ...

Monday, November 12, 2007

choice

Copyright © 2007 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

On the Imagination ...

“The inevitable flux of the seeing eye toward measuring itself by the world it inhabits can only result in himself crushing humiliation unless the individual raise to some approximate co-extension with the universe. This is possible by the aid of the imagination.”

“In the composition, the artist does exactly what every eye must do with life, fix the particular with the universality of his own personality – Taught by the largeness of his imagination to feel every form which he sees moving within himself, he must prove the truth of this by expression.”

“It is a work of the imagination. It gives the feeling of completion by revealing the oneness of experience; it rouses rather than stupefies the intelligence by demonstrating the importance of personality, by showing the individual, depressed before it, that his life is valuable – when completed by the imagination. And then only. Such work elucidates.”

“The only realism in art is of the imagination. It is only thus that the work escapes plagiarism after nature and becomes a creation.

Invention of new forms to embody this reality of art is, must occupy all serious minds concerned.”


(William Carlos Williams, Spring and All.)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

was is will be ...

“– As we, or mother Dana, weave and unweave our bodies, Stephen said, from day to day, their molecules shuttled to and fro, so does the artist weave and unweave his image. And as the mole on my right breast is where it was when I was born, though all my body has been woven of new stuff time after time, so through the ghost of the unquiet father the image of the unliving son looks forth. In the intense instant of imagination, when the mind, Shelley says, is a fading coal, that which I was is that which I am and that which in possibility I may come to be. So in the future, the sister of the past, I may see myself as I sit here now but by reflection from that which then I shall be.”

(James Joyce, Ulysses)

Friday, November 02, 2007

LOOK (again) ...


Copyright © 2007 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira & Joaquin Eduardo Bueno Ramos

A Play of Personalities ...

“I have cultivated many personalities within myself. I constantly cultivate personalities. Each of my dreams, immediately after I dream it, is incarnated into another person, who then goes on to dream it, and I stop.

To create, I destroyed myself; I made myself external to such a degree within myself that within myself I do not exist except in an external fashion. I am the living setting in which several actors make entrances, putting on several different plays.”

(Bernardo Soares / Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet. Trans. Alfred Mac Adam)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Concerning the Spiritual in Art ...

“Painting is an art, and art is not vague production, transitory and isolated, but a power which must be directed to the improvement and refinement of the human soul . . . . If art refrains from doing this work, a chasm remains unbridged, for no other power can take the place of art in this activity. . . . It is very important for the artist to gauge his position aright, to realize that he has a duty to his art and to himself, that he is not king of the castle but rather a servant of a nobler purpose. He must search deeply into his own soul, develop and tend it, so that his art has something to clothe, and does not remain a glove without a hand.

The artist must have something to say, for mastery over form is not his goal but rather the adapting of form to its inner meaning.”


(Wassily Kandinsky, Concerning the Spiritual in Art)

A Soulless Art ...

“At such a time art ministers to lower needs, and is used for material ends. She seeks her substance in hard realities because she knows of nothing nobler. Objects, the reproduction of which is considered her sole aim, remain monotonously the same. The question "what?" disappears from art; only the question "how?" remains. By what method are these material objects to be reproduced? The word becomes a creed. Art has lost her soul. In the search for method the artist goes still further. Art becomes so specialized as to be comprehensible only to artists, and they complain bitterly of public indifference to their work. For since the artist in such times has no need to say much, but only to be notorious for some small originality and consequently lauded by a small group of patrons and connoisseurs (which incidentally is also a very profitable business for him), there arise a crowd of gifted and skilful painters, so easy does the conquest of art appear. In each artistic circle are thousands of such artists, of whom the majority seek only for some new technical manner, and who produce millions of works of art without enthusiasm, with cold hearts and souls asleep.

Competition arises. The wild battle for success becomes more and more material. Small groups who have fought their way to the top of the chaotic world of art and picture-making entrench themselves in the territory they have won. The public, left far behind, looks on bewildered, loses interest and turns away.”


(Wassily Kandinsky, Concerning the Spiritual in Art)

Monday, October 29, 2007

mover ...

Copyright © 2007 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

LOOK ...

Copyright © 2007 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Problem of Form

“Thus, one realizes that the Absolute is not to be found in form (materialism).

Form is always transient, i.e., relative, since it is nothing more than the necessary medium through which today's revelation can be heard.

The Sound is therefore the soul of form. Coming from within, it alone activates form.

The form is the outer expression of inner content.”



(Wassily Kandinsky, “The Problem of Form.”)

Monday, October 22, 2007

On True Artists ...

“I value only those artists who really are artists, that is, who consciously or unconsciously, in an entirely original form, embody the expression of their inner life; who work only for this end and cannot work otherwise.”

Wassily Kandinsky



The true artist helps the world by revealing mystic truths”

Bruce Nauman


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Ineluctable Modalities ...

“Ineluctable modality of the visible: at least that if no more, thought through my eyes. Signatures of all things I am here to read, seaspawn and seawrack, the nearing tide, that rusty boot. Snotgreen, bluesilver, rust: coloured signs. Limits of the diaphane. But he adds: in bodies. Then he was aware of them bodies before of them coloured. How? By knocking his sconce against them, sure. Go easy…

…You are walking through it howsomever. I am, a stride at a time. A very short space of time through very short times of space. Five, six: the nacheinander. Exactly: and that is the ineluctable modality of the audible. Open your eyes…

…Open your eyes now. I will. One moment. Has all vanished since? If I open and am for ever in the black adiaphane. Basta! I will see if I can see.

See now. There all the time without you: and ever shall be, world without end…

The cords of all link back, strandentwining cable of all flesh. That is why mystic monks. Will you be as gods? Gaze in your omphalos. Hello! Kinch here. Put me on to Edenville. Aleph, alpha: nought, nought, one.”



(James Joyce, Ulysses)

A Portrait of the Artist as an Older Man ...

“He came forward a pace and stood by the table. His underjaw fell sideways open uncertainly. Is this old wisdom? He waits to hear from me.

History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.

From the playfield the boys raised a shout. A whirring whistle: goal. What if that nightmare gave you a back kick?

– The ways of the Creator are not our ways, Mr Deasy said. All history moves towards one great goal, the manifestation of God.

Stephen jerked his thumb towards the window, saying:

– That is God.

Hooray! Ay! Whrrwhee!

– What? Mr Deasy asked.

– A shout in the street, Stephen answered, shrugging his shoulders.”


. . .


“– I foresee, Mr Deasy said, that you will not remain here very long at this work. You were not born to be a teacher, I think. Perhaps I am wrong.

– A learner rather, Stephen said.

And here what will you learn more?

Mr Deasy shook his head.

–Who knows? he said. To learn one must be humble. But life is the great teacher.”


(James Joyce, Ulysses)

The Form of Forms ...

“… and in my mind’s darkness a sloth of the underworld, reluctant, shy of brightness, shifting her dragon scaly folds. Thought is the thought of thought. Tranquil brightness. The soul is in a manner all that is: the soul is the form of forms. Tranquility sudden, vast, candescent: form of forms.”

(James Joyce, Ulysses)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Purpose of Art ...

“When art and the praxis of life are one, when the praxis is aesthetic and the art is practical, art’s purpose can no longer be discovered, because the existence of two distinct spheres (art and the praxis of life) that is constitutive of the concept of purpose or intended use has come to an end.”

(Peter Bürger, Theory of the Avant-Garde. Trans. Michael Shaw)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Rooms of Mirrors and the Mind . . .

“I just want to know about, the rooms behind your minds,
Do I see a vacuum there, or am I going blind?
Or is it just remains from vibrations and echoes long ago,
Things like 'Love the World' and 'Let your fancy flow'...”

(Jimi Hendrix, “Up from the Skies”)


“I used to live in a room full of mirrors
All I could see was me
Well I take my spirt and I smash my mirrors
Now the whole world is here for me to see”

(Jimi Hendrix, “Room Full of Mirrors”)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Function of Poets and Artists ...

“It is the social function of great poets and artists to renew continually the appearance nature has for the eyes of men.

Without poets, without artists, men would soon weary of nature’s monotony. The sublime idea men have of the universe would collapse with dizzying speed. The order which we find in nature, and which is only an effect of art, would at once vanish. Everything would break up in chaos. There would be no seasons, no civilization, no thought, no humanity; even life would give way, and the impotent void would reign everywhere.

Poets and artists plot the characteristics of their epoch, and the future docilely falls in with their desires.”


(Guillaume Apollinaire, “On painting,” The Cubist Painters.)

Profane Illuminations ...

“But the true, creative overcoming of religious illumination certainly does not lie in narcotics. It resides in a profane illumination, a materialistic, anthropological inspiration, to which hashish, opium, or whatever else can give an introductory lesson. (But a dangerous one; and the religious lesson is stricter.)”

“And the most passionate investigation of the hashish trance will not teach us half as much about thinking (which is eminently narcotic), as the profane illumination of thinking about the hashish trance. The reader, the thinker, the loiterer, the flâneur, are types of illuminati just as much as the opium eater, the dreamer, the ecstatic. And more profane. Not to mention that most terrible drug – ourselves – which we take in solitude.”


(Walter Benjamin, “Surrealism: The Last Snapshot of the European Intelligentsia.” Trans. Edmund Jephcott)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

black & white ...

Copyright © 2007 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Me, Myself, and I ...

“Each of us is various, many people, a prolixity of selves. Which is why the person who disdains his world is not the same as the person who rejoices or suffers because of his world. In the vast colony of our being there are many species of people, thinking and feeling differently. . . . And like a diverse but compact multitude, this world of different people that I am projects a unique shadow …”

“My God, my God, whose performance am I watching? How many people am I? Who am I? What is this space between myself and myself?”


(Bernardo Soares / Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet. Trans. Alfred Mac Adam)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Embryonic Abstractions ...

“Perhaps that ideal enigma that the modern would desire to solve is, ‘what would we know about anything, if we didn’t know anything about it?’ . . . to track intellection back to the embryo.

For the spiritual record of the race is this nostalgia for the crystallization of the irreducible surplus of the abstract. The bankruptcy of mysticism declared itself in an inability to locate this divine irritation, and the burden of its debt to the evolution of consciousness has devolved upon the abstract art.”

(Mina Loy, “Gertrude Stein”)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

"why is there that scissor"

“Why is a pale white not paler than blue, why is a connection made by a stove, why is the example which is mentioned not shown to be the same, why is there no adjustment between the place and the separate attention. Why is there a choice in gamboling. Why is there no necessary dull stable, why is there a single piece of any color, why is there that sensible silence. Why is there the resistance in a mixture, why is there no poster, why is there that in the window, why is there no suggester, why is there no window, why is there no oyster closer. Why is there a circular diminisher, why is there a bather, why is there no scraper, why is there a dinner, why is there a bell ringer, why is there a duster, why is there a section of a similar resemblance, why is there that scissor.”

(Gertrude Stein, Tender Buttons.)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Key to Happiness

A wise man once asked me:
“Do you know the key to happiness?”
Being the fool that I was,
I showed him the door …

gringocarioca

The 4th Dimension ?!?

“Your being a person is due to the illusion of space and time; you imagine yourself to be at a certain point occupying a certain volume; your personality is due to your self-identification with the body. Your thoughts and feelings exist in succession; they have their span in time and make you imagine yourself, because of memory, as having duration. In reality time and space exist in you; you do not exist in them. They are modes of perception, but they are not the only ones. Time and space are like words written on paper; the paper is real, the words merely a convention.”

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Friday, September 14, 2007

Dada Fragments ...

“The image differentiates us. Through the image we comprehend.”

“The word and the image are one. Painting and composing poetry belong together. Christ is image and word. The word and the image are crucified …”

“We have developed the plasticity of the word to a point which can hardly be surpassed. This result was achieved at the price of the logically constructed, rational sentence, and therefore, also, by renouncing the document (which is only possible by means of a time-robbing grouping of sentences in a logically ordered syntax). . . . We have charged the word with forces and energies which made it possible for us to rediscover the evangelical concept of the ‘word’ (logos) as a magical complex of images …”

(Hugo Ball, “Dada Fragments)


“A work of art should not be beauty in itself, for beauty is dead.”

Order = disorder; ego = non-ego; affirmation = negation: the supreme radiations of an absolute art.”

“Dada is the signboard of abstraction; advertising and business are also elements of poetry.”

(Tristan Tzara, “Dada Manifesto 1918”)


“The expression of a picture cannot be put into words, any more than the expression of a word, such as the word ‘and’ for example, can be painted.”

“Art is a primordial concept, exalted as the godhead, inexplicable as life, indefinable and without purpose.”

“The medium is as unimportant as I myself. Essential is only the forming.”

(Kurt Schwitters, “Merz”)


“The obscurity of our words is constant. The riddle of meaning must remain in the hands of children. Reading a book to learn something denotes a certain simplicity. The little that the most famous works can teach us about their authors, or about their readers, should rapidly dissuade us from trying this experiment. It is the thesis that disappoints us, not its expression. I regret having to pass through these unclear sentences, receiving confidences without object, feeling at every moment, through the fault of some blabbermouth, a sense of knowing it already. The poets who have recognized this hopelessly flee the intelligible: they know that their work has nothing to lose. One can love an insane woman more than any other.”

“Some have spoken of systematically exploring the unconscious. For poets, it is nothing new to let oneself go and write according to the vagaries of one’s mind. The word inspiration, which for some reason has fallen into disuse, was once seen in a favorable light. Almost every true imagistic innovation, for example, strikes me as being a spontaneous creation.”

(André Breton, “For Dada”)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Message (Preliminary Note)

"The understanding of symbols and (symbolic) rituals demands that the interpreter have five qualities or conditions, without which the symbols would be dead to him, and he dead to them.

The first is sympathy; I won’t say the first in time, but the first as I go on citing, and I cite by grades of simplicity. The interpreter has to feel sympathy for the symbol that he proposes to interpret. The cautious, ironic, or displaced attitude – all deprive the interpreter of the first condition to be able to interpret.

The second is intuition. Sympathy can aid it, if it already exists, but not create it. Intuition is understood to be that type of understanding with which one feels what is beyond the symbol, without it being seen.

The third is intelligence. Intelligence analyzes, decomposes, orders, reconstructs the symbol on another level; it nonetheless has to do so after sympathy and intuition have been used. One of the ends of intelligence, in the examination of symbols, is to relate on high what is in accordance with the relation that is below. It will not be able to do this if sympathy has not remembered this relation, if intuition has not established it. So intelligence, from being discursive as it naturally is, will become analogical, and the perfect symbol will be interpretable.

The fourth is comprehension, understanding this word to mean the knowledge of other subjects, which permit the symbol to be illuminated under various lights, related to various other symbols, since, at bottom, it’s all the same. I won’t say erudition, like I could have said, since erudition is only a sum; I won’t even say culture, since culture is a synthesis; and comprehension is a lifetime. As such, certain symbols can’t be well understood if there is not beforehand, or at the same time, the understanding of different symbols.

The fifth is less definable. I will say, perhaps, telling some it is grace, telling others it is the hand of the Supreme Unknown, telling even others that it is the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, understanding each one of these things, that they are the same thing in the way that those who use them, speaking or writing, understand them."


(Fernando Pessoa, Message. Trans. gringocarioca)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

On the Art of Prose . . .

“All art is contained in prose – in part because the whole world is contained in language, in part because words set free contain all possibilities for expression and thought. In prose we give everything by transposition: the colors and forms painting can only give directly, in themselves, without any intimate dimension; the rhythm that music cannot give except directly, in itself, without formal body, without that second body that is an idea; without the structure the architect has to form from hard, given, external things that we erect out of rhythm, indecision, duration, and fluidity; without the reality, which the sculpture must leave in the world, without any aura or transubstantiation; without, finally, poetry in which the poet, like an initiate in a secret society, is subject, albeit voluntarily subject, to an order and a ritual.”

“And there is also in prose convulsive subtlety in which a great actor, the Word, rhythmically transforms the untouchable mystery of the Universe into its corporeal substance.”


(Bernardo Soares / Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet. Trans. Alfred Mac Adam)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

What "the age" demanded . . .

“The age demanded an image
Of its accelerated grimace,
Something for the modern stage,
Not, at any rate, an Attic grace;

Not, not certainly, the obscure reveries
Of the inward gaze;
Better mendacities
Than the classics in paraphrase!

The ‘age demanded’ chiefly a mould in plaster,
Made with no loss of time,
A prose kinema, not, not assuredly, alabaster
Or the ‘sculpture’ of rhyme.”


(Ezra Pound, from Hugh Selwyn Mauberly)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

riddle

Copyright © 2007 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Pound for Pound: The Do's and Don'ts . . .

“It is better to present one Image in a lifetime than to produce voluminous works.”

“Pay no attention to the criticism of men who have never themselves written a notable work.”

“Use no superfluous word, no adjective, which does not reveal something.”

“Don’t retell in mediocre verse what has already been done in good prose. Don’t think any intelligent person is going to be deceived when you try to shirk all the difficulties of the unspeakably difficult art of good prose by chopping your composition into line lengths.”

“Don’t imagine that the art of poetry is any simpler than the art of music . . . .”

“Be influenced by as many great artists as you can, but have the decency either to acknowledge the debt outright, or to try to conceal it.”

“Let the candidate fill his mind with the finest cadences he can discover, preferably in a foreign language so that the meaning of the words may be less likely to divert his attention from the movement”

“Let the neophyte know assonance and alliteration, rhyme immediate and delayed, simple and polyphonic, as a musician would expect to know harmony and counter-point and all the minutiae of his craft.”

“Don’t be descriptive; remember that the painter can describe a landscape much better than you can, and that he has to know a deal more about it.”

“Consider the way of the scientists rather than the way of an advertising agent for a new soap.

The scientist does not expect to be acclaimed as a great scientist until he has discovered something. He begins by learning what has been discovered already. He goes from that point onward. He does not bank on being a charming fellow personally. He does not expect his friends to applaud the results of his freshman class work. Freshmen in poetry are unfortunately not confined to a definite and recognizable class room. They are ‘all over the shop.’ Is it any wonder ‘the public is indifferent to poetry?’”

“A rhyme must have in it some slight element of surprise if it is to give pleasure; it need not be bizarre or curious, but it must be well used if used at all.”

“Translation is likewise good training, if you find that your original matter ‘wobbles’ when you try to rewrite it. The meaning of the poem to be translated can not ‘wobble.’”

(Ezra Pound, “A Few Don'ts by an Imagiste”)

Words-in-Freedom . . .

“Casting aside all stupid definitions and confusing professorial verbalisms, I declare that lyricism is the rarely found faculty of intoxicating oneself with life and with oneself. The faculty of changing into wine the muddy waters of the life that surround us and flow through us. The faculty of coloring the world with the unique colors of our changeable ‘I.’

And in order to render the exact weight and proportion of the life he has experienced, he will hurl immense networks of analogies across the world. And thus will he render the analogical ground of life, telegraphically . . . . This need for laconicism not only responds to the laws of velocity that regulate us today, but also the age-old relations that the public and the poet have had. For between the poet and the public, in fact, the same kind of relations exist as between two old friends. They can speak to each other with a half-word, a gesture, a wink. That is why the imagination of the poet must weave together distant things without connecting wires, by means of essential words-in-freedom.”


(F. T. Marinetti, “Destruction of Syntax – Wireless Imagination – Words-in-Freedom.” Trans. Lawrence Rainey)


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Like bubbles in a glass of soda water . . .

“He was sitting on a tree-trunk, smoking a cigarette.

‘What are you doing here?’

‘Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing at all,’ he replied, smiling happily.

‘What is amusing you so much?’

‘What is amusing me? Why, nothing. That’s just the point. What amuses me, gentle sir and travelling companion, is precisely nothing, the nothing one does the whole of one’s life. You get up, sit down, speak, write, and it’s all nothing. You buy, sell, marry, don’t marry, and it’s all nothing. Like bubbles in a glass of soda water.’”


(Witold Gombrowicz, Cosmos. Trans. Eric Mosbacher)

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Ex post facto . . .

“But how can one avoid telling a story ex post facto? Can nothing ever be described as it really was, reconstituted in its anonymous actuality? Will no one ever be able to reproduce the incoherence of the living moment at its moment of birth? Born as we are out of chaos, why can we never establish contact with it? No sooner do we look at it than order, pattern, shape is born under our eyes. Never mind. Let it pass.”

(Witold Gombrowicz, Cosmos. Trans. Eric Mosbacher)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Totally Useless ! ? !

"Where are you going? Where are you coming from? What are you heading for? These are totally useless questions."

(Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

To Be

. . .
The child I never made
today would be a man.
Fleshless and nameless,
he runs with the wind.

Sometimes I find him
lost in the clouds.
He leans on my shoulder
With no shoulder of his own.

I ask my child,
a breath of air:
in what cave or shell
do you abstractly dwell?

There where I lay,
a breeze responds,
you didn’t notice me
though I called you

as I still call you
(beyond, beyond love)
where nothing, everything
aspires to be created.

The child I never made
is made by himself.



gringocarioca



Ser


O filho que não fiz
hoje seria homem.
Ele corre na brisa,
sem carne, sem nome.

Às vezes o encontro
num encontro de nuvem.
Apóia em meu ombro
seu ombro nenhum.

Interrogo meu filho,
objeto de ar:
em que gruta ou concha
quedas abstrato?

Lá onde eu jazia,
responde-me o hálito,
não me percebeste
contudo chamava-te

como ainda te chamo
(além, além do amor)
onde nada, tudo
aspira a criar-se.

O filho que não fiz
faz-se por si mesmo.


Carlos Drummond de Andrade


a word is what a word does . . .

Copyright © 2007 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

blocks of time





Copyright © 2007 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Monday, July 16, 2007

separação

Copyright © 2007 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Metaform

A thing exists to be something –
But if the word is a thing,
It might be nothing.

A form exists to have content –
But if the word has a form,
It might have no meaning.

So never mean for a word
To reveal the content of its form –
Its form means everynothing as it is –
For by means of the word it is meant to be
That a form means to become
Meaningful.

Let the form of the word be,
Let the thing mean by itself,
Form anything in formless form,
Let it be metaform!


gringocarioca




Metáfora

Uma lata existe para conter algo
Mas quando o poeta diz: "Lata"
Pode estar querendo dizer o incontível

Uma meta existe para ser um alvo
Mas quando o poeta diz: "Meta"
Pode estar querendo dizer o inatingível

Por isso, não se meta a exigir do poeta
Que determine o conteúdo em sua lata
Na lata do poeta tudonada cabe
Pois ao poeta cabe fazer
Com que na lata venha caber
O incabível

Deixe a meta do poeta, não discuta
Deixe a sua meta fora da disputa
Meta dentro e fora, lata absoluta
Deixe-a simplesmente metáfora


Gilberto Gil

Sunday, July 08, 2007

(Modern) Poetry and the Word . . .

“it is the Word which gratifies and fulfills like the sudden revelation of a truth. To say that this truth is of a poetic order is merely to say that the Word in poetry can never be untrue, because it is a whole; it shines with an infinite freedom and prepares to radiate towards innumerable uncertain and possible connections . . . . it is like a monolith, or pillar which plunges into a totality of meanings, reflexes and recollections: it is a sign which stands.”

“Thus under each Word in modern poetry there lies a sort of existential geology, in which is gathered the total content of the Name . . . . Each poetic word is thus an unexpected object, a Pandora’s box from which fly out all the potentialities of language”


(Roland Barthes, Writing Degree Zero)

To Picture Writing As Such . . .

“But is it quite beyond doubt that the development of writing will not indefinitely be bound by the claims to power of a chaotic academic and commercial activity; rather, quantity is approaching the moment of a qualitative leap when writing, advancing ever more deeply into the graphic regions of its new eccentric figurativeness, will take sudden possession of an adequate factual content.

In this picture writing, poets, who will now as in earliest times be first and foremost experts in writing, will be able to participate only by mastering the fields in which (quite unobtrusively) it is being constructed: the statistical and technical diagram. With the foundation of an international moving script they will renew their authority in the life of peoples, and find a role awaiting them in comparison to which all the innovative aspiration of rhetoric will reveal themselves as antiquated day-dreams.”


(Walter Benjamin, “One Way Street.” Trans. Edmund Jephcott)

Friday, July 06, 2007

Writer's Block

Copyright © 2007 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Friday, June 29, 2007

i . . .

Copyright © 2007 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Birthday Blues . . .

. . .

"You say it's your birthday
It's my birthday too, yeah
They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you"

(John Lennon & Paul McCartney, "Birthday")



"This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper."

(T.S. Eliot, "The Hollow Men")

Monday, June 04, 2007

One OR OtheR . . .

Copyright © 2007 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

I told you so what !?!

les non dupes errent le nom du père pour le non du père



– I told you so!
– What?

– I told you . . .
– So what?

– I told you so what !?!
– Oh . . . I know . . .

– No, you don’t.
– Yes I do.

– You know you don’t.
– You know I do.

– No, I don’t.
– Yes you do.

– I know I don’t.
– I know you do.

– What?
– I told you so!

– Hey . . . say what . . .
– I told you so what !?!


Copyright © 2007 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira


Sunday, June 03, 2007

the message is a medium . . .


LCD: Turn on, log in, zone out . . .

The Three Virtues: Imperceptibility, Indiscernibility, and Impersonality

“To be present at the dawn of the world. Such is the link between imperceptibility, indiscernibility, and impersonality – the three virtues. To reduce oneself to an abstract line, a trait, and to find one’s zone of indiscernibility with other traits, and in this way enter the haecceity and impersonality of the creator. One is then like grass: one has made the world, everybody/everything, into a becoming, because one has made a necessarily communicating world, because one has suppressed in oneself everything that prevents us from slipping between things and growing in the midst of things.”

(Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus. Trans. Brian Massumi)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Præcisio, præcisio, what art thou præcisio ?!?

“We often fail to recognize the purity of nothing. The purity of nothingness. . . . & it is this simplest of things (the nonthing) that is the quiddity of speechlessness. Why we can’t speak. Or, more distinctively, why we refuse to speak while ensuring that people realize we are definitely not speaking. & doing this (not-speaking a message) is the figure of speech called præcisio . . .”

“We refuse to speak (that refusal being our plaster cast of nothingness), & we fold our arms & turn away. The silence of our nonspeech is the nothing we want to convey, & our bodies, the rise & fall of our chests, the twitching of our skin are all the framing of this nothing. Because without framing, præcisio is merely nothing. & we are not capable of that.”

“Præcisio isn’t merely silence—it is motioning that we are going to be silent, an enveloping of silence that makes that silence more real & experiential . . . . Præcisio is a message. It is not just not-speaking; it’s not-speaking as a means of speaking what is impossible to speak.”

“What else we can say about præcisio is how it means, what it requires, something about the various forms it can take . . . . Always we will discover how there is really something to be said for nothing.”


(Geof Huth, “An Introduction to Præcisio.” http://dbqp.blogspot.com/)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Poetics and Scholarship . . .

“Art students used to be told that the fundamental requirement for drawing or painting was to accurately render figures. But this confused one modality of representation with the entire process of visual aesthesis. It might have been better to say you can’t draw if you can’t see but it would be even better to say you can’t draw if you can’t perceive. Correlatively, we might say, you can’t write if you can’t think. Scholarship requires poetics.”

“Paratactic writing, thinking by association, is no less cogent or persuasive than hypotactic exposition, with its demands that one thought be subordinated to the next. Poetics reminds us that the alternate logics of poetry are not suited just for emotion or irrational expression; poetics lies at the foundation of all writing.”

“The importance of poetics for scholarship is not to decree that anything goes but rather to insist that exposition is an insufficient guarantor of reason. Poetics makes scholarly writing harder, not easier: it complicates scholarship with an insistence that the way we write is never neutral, never self-evident.”

“Clarity in writing is a rhetorical effect not a natural fact. One man’s eloquence can be another’s poison; one woman’s stuttering may be the closest approximation of truth that we will ever know.”


(Charles Bernstein, “Poetics.” Introduction to Scholarship in Modern Languages and Literatures)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

braZil . . .

Copyright © 2007 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

The Archaeology-Poem . . .

“Instead we wonder if there are not certain thresholds, for example aesthetic ones, which mobilize knowledge in a direction that is different to that of science, allowing us to offer a definition of a literary text, or a pictorial work, while remaining within the discursive practices to which they belong.”

“These elements lead us to the formation of the archaeology-poem, made up of multiple registers, but equally of the particular inscription of an articulation linked in turn to events, institutions and all sorts of other practices. The essential point is not that we have gone beyond the duality of science and poetry . . . or that we have found a way of treating literary texts scientifically. Above all, what we have done is to discover and survey that foreign land where a literary form, a scientific position, a common phrase, a schizophrenic piece of non-sense and so on are also statements, but lack a common denominator and cannot be reduced or made equivalent in any discursive way. This is what had never before been attained by logicians, formalists or interpreters. Science and poetry are equal forms of knowledge.”


(Gilles Deleuze, Foucault. Trans. Seán Hand)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Para lá / Over there

"a montanha insiste em ficar lá, parada
a montanha insiste em ficar lá,
para lá, parada"

(Arnaldo Antunes / Adriana Calcanhotto)


the mountain insists on being there, still
the mountain insists on being there
over there, still

(gringocarioca)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

nothing ever appears to never disappear . . .

. . .
. . .

Speaking of Writing . . .

“To write is certainly not to impose a form (of expression) on the matter of lived experience. . . . Writing is a question of becoming, always incomplete, always in the midst of being formed, and goes beyond the matter of any livable or lived experience. It is a process, that is, a passage of Life that traverses both the livable and the lived.”

“To write is not to recount one’s memories and travels, one’s loves and griefs, one’s dreams and fantasies. It is the same thing to sin through an excess of reality as through an excess of the imagination.”

“We do not write with our neuroses. Neuroses and psychoses are not passages of life, but states into which we fall when the process is interrupted, blocked, or plugged up. . . . Moreover, the writer as such is not a patient but rather a physician, the physician of himself and of the world. The world is the set of symptoms whose illness merges with man.”

“Health as literature, as writing, consists in inventing a people who are missing. It is a task of the fabulating function to invent a people. We do not write with memories, unless it is to make them the origin and collective destination of a people to come still ensconced in betrayals and repudiations. . . . The ultimate aim of literature is to set free, in the delirium, this creation of health or this invention of a people, that is, a possibility of life. To write for this people who are missing . . .”

“We can see more clearly the effect of literature on language. As Proust says, it opens up a kind of foreign language within language, which is neither another language nor a rediscovered patois, but a becoming-other of language, a minorization of this major language, a delirium that carries it off, a witch’s line that escapes the dominant system. . . . Language seems to be seized by a delirium, which forces it out of its usual furrows. . . . a foreign language cannot be hollowed out in one language without language as a whole being toppled or pushed to a limit, to an outside or reverse side that consists of Visions and Auditions that no longer belong to any language. These visions are not fantasies, but veritable Ideas that the writer sees and hears in the interstices of language, in its intervals. They are not interruptions of the process, but breaks that form a part of it, like an eternity that can only be revealed in a becoming, or a landscape that only appears in movement. They are not outside language, but the outside of language. The writer as seer and hearer, the aim of literature: it is the passage of life within language that constitutes Ideas.”

“To write is also to become something other than a writer. To those who ask what literature is, Virginia Woolf responds: To whom are you speaking of writing? The writer does not speak about it, but is concerned with something else.”


(Gilles Deleuze, "Literature and Life." Trans. Daniel W. Smith and Michael A. Greco)