Monday, February 26, 2007

Poet . . .

Copyright © 2007 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

$ign$ of the times . . .

Copyright © 2007 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Friday, February 23, 2007

write me!

Copyright © 2007 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

El escritor revolucionario . . .

“Yo creo, y lo digo después de haber pesado largamente todos los elementos que entran en juego, que escribir para una revolución, que escribir dentro de una revolución, que escribir revolucionariamente, no significa, como creen muchos, escribir obligadamente acerca de la revolución misma. Por mi parte, creo que el escritor revolucionario es aquel en quien se fusionan indisolublemente la conciencia de su libre compromiso individual y colectivo, con esa otra so­berana libertad cultural que confiere el pleno dominio de su oficio. Si ese escritor, responsable y lúcido, decide escribir literatura fantástica, o psicológica, o vuelta hacia el pasado, su acto es un acto de libertad dentro de la revolución, y por eso es también un acto revolucionario aunque sus cuentos no se ocupen de las formas individuales o colectivas que adopta la revolución. Contrariamente al estrecho criterio de muchos que confunden literatura con pedagogía, literatura con enseñanza, literatura con adoctrinamiento ideológico, un escritor revolucionario tiene todo el derecho de dirigirse a un lector mucho más complejo, mucho más exigente en materia espiritual de lo que imaginan los escritores y los críticos improvisados por las circunstancias y convencidos de que su mundo personal es el único mundo existente, de que las preocupaciones del momento son las únicas preocupaciones válidas.”

(Julio Cortázar, “Algunos aspectos del cuento.”)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Be the Pink Panther !?!

“The Pink Panther imitates nothing, it reproduces nothing, it paints the world its color, pink on pink; this is its becoming-world, carried out in such a way that it becomes imperceptible itself, asignifying, makes its rupture, its own line of flight, follows its ‘aparallel evolution’ through to the end.”

“Be the Pink Panther and your loves will be like the wasp and the orchid, the cat and the baboon.”

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

Signs of Art . . .

“Learning is essentially concerned with signs. Signs are the objects of a temporal apprenticeship, not of an abstract knowledge. To learn is first of all to consider a substance, an object, a being as if it emitted signs to be deciphered, interpreted. . . . Vocation is always predestination with regard to signs. Everything that teaches us something emits signs; every act of learning is an interpretation of signs or hieroglyphs.”

“At the end of the Search, the interpreter understands what had escaped him . . . that the material meaning is nothing without an ideal essence that it incarnates. . . . Now the world of art is the ultimate world of signs, and these signs, as though dematerialized, find their meaning in an ideal essence. Henceforth, the world revealed by art reacts on all the others . . . it integrates them, colors them with an aesthetic meaning, and imbues what was still opaque about them. . . . This is why all the signs converge upon art; all apprenticeships, by the most diverse paths, are already unconscious apprenticeships to art itself. At the deepest level, the essential is in the signs of art.”

(Gilles Deleuze, Proust and Signs. Trans. Richard Howard)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Unknown I-land . . .

“quero encontrar a ilha desconhecida, quero saber quem sou eu quando nela estiver, Não o sabes, Se não sais de ti, não chegas a saber quem és . . . todo o homem é uma ilha . . . é necessário sair da ilha para ver a ilha, que não nos vemos se não nos saímos de nós, Se não saímos de nós próprios, queres tu dizer, Não é a mesma coisa.”

(José Saramago, O conto da ilha desconhecida)

“I want to find the unknown island, I want to find out who I am when I’m there on that island, Don’t you know, If you don’t step outside yourself, you’ll never discover who you are . . . each man is an island . . . you have to leave the island in order to see the island . . . we can’t see ourselves unless we become free of ourselves, Unless we escape from ourselves, you mean, No, that’s not the same thing.”

(José Saramago, The Tale of the Unknown Island. Trans. Margaret Jull Costa)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Pas de sens . . .

“What comes to pass in a sacred text is the occurrence of a pas de sens. And this event is also the one starting from which it is possible to think the poetic or literary text which tries to redeem the lost sacred and there translates itself as in its model. Pas de sens – that does not signify poverty of meaning but no meaning that would be itself, meaning, beyond any ‘literality.’ And right there is the sacred. The sacred surrenders itself to translation, which devotes itself to the sacred. The sacred would be nothing without translation, and translation would not take place without the sacred; the one and the other are inseparable.”

“the sacred text . . . is the absolute text because in its event it communicates nothing, it says nothing that would make sense beyond the event itself. . . . It is literally the literality of its tongue, ‘pure language’. . . . There is only letter, and it is the truth of pure language, the truth as pure language.”

(Jacques Derrida, Des Tours de Babel. Trans. Joseph F. Graham)

On Sense and Nonsense . . .

“The name saying its own sense can only be nonsense (Nn). Nonsense is of a piece with the word “nonsense,” and the word “nonsense” is of a piece with words which have no sense. . . .”

“One could object that all this means nothing. It is a bad play on words to suppose that nonsense expresses its own sense since, by definition, it has none. But this objection is unfounded. The play on words would be to say that nonsense has a sense, the sense being precisely that it hasn’t any. This is not our hypothesis at all.”

“Nonsense is that which has no sense, and that which, as such and as it enacts the donation of sense, is opposed to the absence of sense. This is what we must understand by “nonsense.”

“And how could we not feel that our freedom and strength reside, not in the divine universal nor in the human personality, but in these singularities which are more us than we ourselves are, more divine than the gods, as they animate concretely poem and aphorism, permanent revolution and partial action? What is bureaucratic in these fantastic machines which are peoples and poems? It suffices that we dissipate ourselves a little, that we be able to be at the surface, that we stretch our skin like a drum, in order that the ‘great politics’ begin. An empty square for neither man nor God; singularities which are neither general nor individual, neither personal nor universal. All of this is traversed by circulations, echoes, and events which produce more sense, more freedom, and more strength than man has ever dreamed of, or God ever conceived. Today’s task is to make the empty square circulate and to make pre-individual and nonpersonal singularities speak – in short, to produce sense.”

(Gilles Deleuze. The Logic of Sense. Trans. Mark Lester)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

On Words and Things . . .

Must a name mean something?” Alice asked doubtfully.

“Of course it must,” Humpty Dumpty said with a short laugh: “my name means the shape I am – and a good handsome shape it is, too. With a name like yours, you might be any shape, almost.”

. . .

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, ‘’it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more or less.”

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that’s all.”

(Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass)

On Riddles without Answers . . .

“The Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hearing this; but all he said was, ‘Why is a raven like a writing-desk?’

‘Come, we shall have some fun now!’ thought Alice. ‘I’m glad they’ve begun asking riddles.– I believe I can guess that,’ she added aloud.

‘Do you mean that you think you can find out the answer to it?’ said the March Hare.

‘Exactly so,’ said Alice.

‘Then you should say what you mean,’ the March Hare went on.

‘I do,’ Alice hastily replied; ‘at least – at least I mean what I say – that’s the same thing, you know.’

‘Not the same thing a bit!’ said the Hatter. ‘You might just as well say that "I see what I eat" is the same thing as "I eat what I see"!’

‘You might just as well say,’ added the March Hare, ‘that "I like what I get" is the same thing as "I get what I like"!’

‘You might just as well say,’ added the Dormouse, who seemed to be talking in his sleep, ‘that "I breathe when I sleep" is the same thing as "I sleep when I breathe"!’

‘It is the same thing with you,’ said the Hatter, and here the conversation dropped, and the party sat silent for a minute, while Alice thought over all she could remember about ravens and writing-desks, which wasn’t much.”

. . .

‘Have you guessed the riddle yet?’ the Hatter said, turning to Alice again.

‘No, I give it up,’ Alice replied: ‘what’s the answer?’

‘I haven’t the slightest idea,’ said the Hatter.

‘Nor I,’ said the March Hare.

Alice sighed wearily. ‘I think you might do something better with the time,’ she said, ‘than waste it in asking riddles that have no answers.’”

(Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A Revolutionary Dream . . .

“There are therefore two errors which in truth are one and the same: the error of reformism or technocracy, which aspires to promote or impose partial arrangements of social relations according to the rhythm of technical achievements; and the error of totalitarianism, which aspires to constitute a totalization of the signifiable and the known, according to the rhythm of the social totality existing at a given moment. The technocrat is the natural friend of the dictator – computers and dictatorship; but the revolutionary lives in the gap which separates technical progress from social totality, and inscribes there his dream of permanent revolution. This dream, therefore, is itself action, reality, and an effective menace to all established order; it renders possible what it dreams about.”

(Gilles Deleuze, The Logic of Sense. Trans. Mark Lester)


“But then, even if we suppose that the premises A and B are true, we can only conclude from this the proposition in question (let us call it Z) – we can only detach it from its premises and affirm it for itself independently of the implication – by admitting that Z is, in turn, true if A and B are true. This amounts to a proposition, C, which remains within the order of implication, and is unable to escape it, since it refers to a proposition, D, which states that ‘Z is true if A, B, and C are true. . . ,’ and so on to infinity.”

(Gilles Deleuze, The Logic of Sense. Trans. Mark Lester)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

La vida . . .

“Tal vez la vida consistía para los hombres en una serie de costumbres consentidas y continuas. Si alguna llegaba a quebrarse, probablemente se producía el desbarajuste, el fracaso. Y los hombres empezaban entonces a errar por las calles de la ciudad, a sentarse en los bancos de las plazas, cada día peor vestidos y con la barba más crecida. La vida . . . por lo tanto, consistía en llenar con una ocupación cada minuto del día.”

“Todo parecía detenerse, eterno y muy noble. Eso era la vida. Y había cierta grandeza en aceptarla así, mediocre, como algo definitivo, irremediable. Mientras del fondo de las cosas parecía brotar y subir una melodía de palabras graves y lentas que ella se quedó escuchando: ‘Siempre’. ‘Nunca’...Y así pasan las horas, los días y los años. ¡Siempre! ¡Nunca! ¡La vida, la vida!”

“Puede que la verdadera felicidad esté en la convicción de que se ha perdido irremediablemente la felicidad. Entonces empezamos a movernos por la vida sin esperanzas ni miedos, capaces de gozar por fin todos los pequeños goces, que son los más perdurables.”

(María Luisa Bombal, “El árbol”)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Borges y yo and I . . .

Después reflexioné que todas las cosas le suceden a uno precisamente, precisamente ahora. Siglos de siglos y solo en el presente ocurren los hechos; inumerables hombres en el aire, en la tierra y el mar, y todo lo que realmente pasa me pasa a mí...”

(Jorge Luis Borges, “El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan.”)

“Then I reflected that all things happen to oneself, and happen precisely, precisely now. Century follows century, yet events occur only in the present; countless men in the air, on the land and sea, yet everything that truly happens, happens to me. . . .”

(Jorge Luis Borges, “The Garden of Forking Paths.” Trans. Andrew Hurley)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Where Truth Lies . . .

“One can say right off that the search for a way, for a truth, is not absent from our experience. For what else are we seeking in analysis if not a liberating truth?

But we must be careful. One must not always trust words and labels. This truth that we are seeking in a concrete experience is not that of a superior law. If the truth that we are seeking is a truth that frees, it is a truth that we will look for in a hiding place in our subject. It is a particular truth.”

“At the level of the unconscious, the subject lies. And this lying is his way of telling the truth of the matter.”

(Jacques Lacan, The Ethics of Psychoanalysis)

Monday, February 05, 2007

On Intention and Literary (Re)Creation . . .

“Art . . . posits man’s physical and spiritual existence, but in none of its works is it concerned with his response. No poem is intended for the reader, no picture for the beholder, no symphony for the listener.”

“The task of the translator consists in finding that intended effect [Intention] upon the language into which he is translating which produces in it the echo of the original. . . . translation does not find itself at the center of the language forest but on the outside facing the wooded ridge; it calls into it without entering, aiming at that single spot where the echo is able to give, in its own language, the reverberation of the work in the alien one.”

“to regain pure language fully formed in the linguistic flux, is the tremendous and only capacity of translation. In this pure language – which no longer means or expresses anything but is, as expressionless and creative Word, that which is meant in all languages – all information, all sense, and all intention finally encounter a stratum in which they are destined to be extinguished. This stratum furnishes a new and higher justification for free translation; this justification does not derive from the sense of what is to be conveyed, for the emancipation from this sense is the task of fidelity. . . . It is the task of the translator to release in his own language that pure language which is under the spell of another, to liberate the language imprisoned in a work in his re-creation of that work.”

(Walter Benjamin, “The Task of the Translator.” Trans. Harry Zohn)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

O mistério das coisas / The mystery of things

“O mistério das cousas, onde está ele?
Onde está ele que não aparece
Pelo menos a mostrar-nos que é mistério?
Que sabe o rio disso e que sabe a árvore?
E eu, que não sou mais do que eles, que sei disso?
Sempre que olho para as cousas e penso no que homens pensam delas,
Rio como um regato que soa fresco numa pedra,

Porque o único sentido oculto das cousas
É elas não terem sentido oculto nenhum,
É mais estranho do que todas as estranhezas
E do que os sonhos de todos os poetas
E os pensamentos de todos os filósofos,
Que as cousas sejam realmente o que parecem ser
E não haja nada que compreender.

Sim, eis o que os meus sentidos aprenderam sozinhos:
As cousas não têm significado: Têm existência.
As cousas são o único sentido oculto das cousas.”

(Alberto Caeiro / Fernando Pessoa)

“The mystery of things – where is it?
Why doesn’t it come out
To show us at least that it’s mystery?
What do the river and the tree know about it?
And what do I, who am no more than they, know about it?
Whenever I look at things and think about what people think of them,
I laugh like a brook cleanly splashing against a rock.

For the only hidden meaning of things
Is that they have no hidden meaning.
It’s the strangest thing of all,
Stranger than all poets’ dreams
And all philosophers’ thoughts,
That things are really what they seem to be
And there’s nothing to understand.

Yes, this is what my senses learned on their own:
Things have no meaning; they exist.
Things are the only hidden meaning of things.”

(Trans. Richard Zenith)

O Outro / The Other

"Eu não sou eu nem sou o outro,
Sou qualquer coisa de intermédio:
Pilar da ponte de tédio
Que vai de mim para o Outro."

– Mário de Sá-Carneiro

I am not myself or another,
I am something of a medium:
Pillar of the bridge of tedium
That spans from me to an Other.

– gringocarioca