Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Original Figures . . .

“we do not even know if an original exists in an absolute sense, apart from the primordial God, and it is already something extraordinary when we encounter one.”

“Each original is a powerful, solitary Figure that exceeds any explicable form: it projects flamboyant traits of expression that mark the stubbornness of a thought without image, a question without response, an extreme and nonrational logic. Figures of life and knowledge, they know something inexpressible, live something unfathomable. They have nothing general about them, and are not particular – they escape knowledge, defy psychology. Even the words they utter surpass the general laws of language (presuppositions) as well as the simple particularities of speech, since they are like the vestiges or projections of a unique, original language [langue], and bring all of language [langage] to the limit of silence and music.”

(Gilles Deleuze, “Bartleby; or, The Formula.”)

Great Books . . .

“But if it is true that the masterpieces of literature always form a kind of foreign language within the language in which they are written, what wind of madness, what psychotic breath thereby passes into language as a whole? Psychosis characteristically brings into play a procedure that treats an ordinary language, a standard language, in a manner that makes it ‘render’ an original and unknown language, which would perhaps be a projection of God’s language, and would carry off language as a whole.”

“A great book is always the inverse of another book that could only be written in the soul, with silence and blood.”

(Gilles Deleuze, “Bartleby; or, The Formula.”)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Speaking in tongues . . .

“Language in its entirety is indirect discourse. Indirect discourse in no way supposes direct discourse; rather, the latter is extracted from the former . . . . Direct discourse is a detached fragment of a mass and is born of the dismemberment of the collective assemblage; but the collective assemblage is always like a murmur from which I take my proper name, the constellation of voices, concordant or not, from which I draw my voice. I always depend on a molecular assemblage of enunciation that is not given in my conscious mind, any more than it depends solely on my apparent social determinations, which combine many heterogeneous regimes of signs. Speaking in tongues. To write is perhaps to bring this assemblage of the unconscious to the light of day, to select the whispering voices, to gather the tribes and the secret idioms from which I extract something I call my Self. . . . My direct discourse is still the free indirect discourse running through me, coming from other worlds or other planets. That is why so many artists and writers have been tempted by the séance table”

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

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Isolation . . .

Copyright © 2007 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Every poem an epigraph . . .

. . .

. . .

Inarticulate Words . . .

“Words move, music moves
Only in time; but that which is only living
Can only die. Words, after speech, reach
Into the silence. Only by the form, the pattern,
Can words or music reach
The stillness, as a Chinese jar still
Moves perpetually in its stillness.
Not the stillness of the violin, while the note lasts,
Not that only, but the co-existence,
Or say that the end precedes the beginning,
And the end and the beginning were always there
Before the beginning and after the end.
And all is always now. Words strain,
Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,
Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place,
Will not stay still.”

(T.S. Eliot, “Burnt Norton”)

“That was a way of putting it—not very satisfactory:
A periphrastic study in a worn-out poetical fashion,
Leaving one still with the intolerable wrestle
With words and meanings. The poetry does not matter.
It was not (to start again) what one had expected.”

(T.S. Eliot, “East Coker”)

“So here I am, in the middle way . . .
Trying to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure
Because one has only learnt to get the better of words
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
One is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate . . .”

(T.S. Eliot, “East Coker”)

“For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
But, as the passage now presents no hindrance
To the spirit unappeased and peregrine
Between two worlds become much like each other,
So I find words I never thought to speak
In streets I never thought I should revisit
When I left my body on a distant shore.
Since our concern was speech, and speech impelled us
To purify the dialect of the tribe
And urge the mind to aftersight and foresight,
Let me disclose the gifts reserved for age
To set a crown upon your lifetime's effort.”

(T.S. Eliot, “Little Gidding”)

“What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make and end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from. And every phrase
And sentence that is right (where every word is at home,
Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity,
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together)
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph.”

(T.S. Eliot, “Little Gidding”)

Monday, April 16, 2007

"steal the baby from its crib, walk the tightrope"

“A minor literature doesn’t come from a minor language; it is rather that which a minority constructs within a major language.”

“literature finds itself positively charged with the role and function of collective, and even revolutionary, enunciation. It is literature that produces an active solidarity in spite of skepticism; and if the writer is in the margins or completely outside his or her fragile community, this situation allows the writer all the more the possibility to express another possible community and to forge the means for another consciousness and another sensibility.”

“The literary machine thus becomes the relay for a revolutionary machine-to-come, not at all for ideological reasons, but because the literary machine alone is determined to fulfill the conditions of a collective enunciation that is lacking elsewhere in this milieu . . .”

“There isn’t a subject, there are only collective assemblages of enunciation, and literature expresses these acts insofar as they are not imposed from without and insofar as they exist only as diabolical powers to come or revolutionary forces to be constructed.

“How many people today live in a language that is not their own? Or no longer, or not yet, even know their own and know poorly the major language that they are forced to serve? This is the problem of immigrants, and especially of their children, the problem of minorities, the problem of a minor literature, but also a problem for all of us: how to tear a minor literature away from its own language, allowing it to challenge the language and making it follow a sober revolutionary path? How to become a nomad and an immigrant and a gypsy in relation to one's own language? Kafka answers: steal the baby from its crib, walk the tightrope.”

(Deleuze & Guattari, Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Correspondences . . .

“La nature est un temple de vivants piliers
Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles
L'homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles
Qui l'observent avec des regards familiers.”

(Charles Baudelaire, “Correspondances.”)

“Nature is a temple whose living pillars
Sometimes give forth a babel of words;
Man wends his way through forests of symbols
Which look at him with their familiar glances.”

(Translated in Benjamin, Walter. Illuminations. Trans. Harry Zohn)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

autobiographics . . .

“I have long, indeed for years, played with the idea of setting out the sphere of life – bios – graphically on a map.”

“For autobiography has to do with time, with sequence and what makes up the continuous flow of life. Here, I am talking of a space, of moments and discontinuities. For even if months and years appear here, it is in the form they have at the moment of recollection. This strange form – it may be called fleeting or eternal – is in neither case the stuff that life is made of. And this is shown not so much by the role that my own life plays here, as by that of the people closest to me . . . whoever and whenever they may have been. The atmosphere of the city that is here evoked allots them only a brief, shadowy existence. They steal along its walls like beggars, appear wraithlike at windows, to vanish again, sniff at thresholds like a genius loci, and even if they fill whole quarters with their names, it is as a dead man’s fills his gravestone.”

(Walter Benjamin, "Berlin Chronicle." Trans. Edmond Jephcott)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

becoming art . . .

“Is painting, in each of its acts of creation, engaged in a becoming as intense as that of music?”

“In no way do we believe in a fine-arts system; we believe in very diverse problems whose solutions are found in heterogeneous arts. To us, Art is a false concept, a solely nominal concept; this does not, however, preclude the possibility of a simultaneous usage of the various arts within a determinable multiplicity.”

“Can it be that literature sometimes catches up with painting, and even music? And that painting catches up with music?”

“No art is imitative, no art can be imitative or figurative. . . . Thus imitation self-destructs, since the imitator unknowingly enters into a becoming that conjugates with the unknowing becoming of that which he or she imitates. One imitates only if one fails, when one fails. . . . Becoming is always double, that which one becomes becomes no less than the one that becomes.”

“Becoming is never imitating. . . . One does not imitate; one constitutes a block of becoming. Imitation enters in only as an adjustment of the block, like a finishing touch, a wink, a signature. But everything of importance happens elsewhere . . .”

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

here (be)comes everybody . . .

“The fish is like the Chinese poet: not imitative or structural, but cosmic. François Cheng shows that poets do not pursue resemblance. . . .They retain, extract only the essential lines and movements of nature . . . . It is in this sense that becoming-everybody/everything, making the world a becoming, is to world, to make a world or worlds, in other words, to find one’s proximities and zones of indiscernibility. The Cosmos as an abstract machine, and each world as an assemblage effectuating it. If one reduces oneself to one or several abstract lines that will prolong itself in and conjugate with others, producing immediately, directly a world in which it is the world that becomes, then one becomes-everybody/everything. Kerouac’s dream, and already Virginia Woolf’s, was for the writing to be like the line of a Chinese poem-drawing.”

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

Friday, April 06, 2007

Deleuze and Guattari on Drugs . . .

“It is our belief that the issue of drugs can be understood only at the level where desire directly invests perception, and perception becomes molecular at the same time as the imperceptible is perceived.”

“Drug addicts continually fall back into what they wanted to escape: a segmentarity all the more rigid for being marginal, a territorialization all the more artificial for being based on chemical substances, hallucinatory forms, and phantasy subjectifications. Drug addicts may be considered as precursors or experimenters who tirelessly blaze new paths of life, but their cautiousness lacks the foundation for caution. So they either join the legions of false heroes . . . . Or, what is worse, all they will have done is make an attempt only nonusers or former users can resume and benefit from . . . discovering through drugs what drugs lack. . . . Is the mistake drug users make always to start over again from ground zero, either going on the drug again or quitting, when what they should do is make it a stopover, to start from the ‘middle,’ bifurcate from the middle?”

“To reach the point where ‘to get high or not to get high’ is no longer the question, but rather whether drugs have sufficiently changed the general conditions of space and time perception so that nonusers can succeed in passing through the holes in the world and following the lines of flight at the very place where means other than drugs become necessary. Drugs do not guarantee immanence; rather, the immanence of drugs allows one to forgo them.”

“Drugs are too unwieldy to grasp the imperceptible and the becomings-imperceptible; drug users believed that drugs would grant them the plane, when in fact the plane must distill its own drugs, remaining master . . . .”

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

Thursday, April 05, 2007

multicomplexification . . .

“The two of us wrote . . . together. Since each of us was several, there was already quite a crowd. Here we have made use of everything that came within range, what was closest as well as farthest away. We have assigned clever pseudonyms to prevent recognition. Why have we kept our own names? Out of habit, purely out of habit. To make ourselves unrecognizable in turn. To render imperceptible, not ourselves, but what makes us act, feel, and think. Also because it's nice to talk like everybody else, to say the sun rises, when everybody knows it's only a manner of speaking. To reach, not the point where one no longer says I, but the point where it is no longer of any importance whether one says I. We are no longer ourselves. Each will know his own. We have been aided, inspired, multiplied.”

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

experiment ! ? !

“If the experimentation with drugs has left its mark on everyone, even nonusers, it is because it changed the perceptive coordinates of space-time and introduced us to a universe of microperceptions. . . .”

“Schizoanalysis: or pragmatics, has no other meaning: Make a rhizome. But you don’t know what you can make a rhizome with, you don’t know which subterranean stem is effectively going to make a rhizome, or enter a becoming, people your desert. So experiment.”

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

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Sim! / Yes!

“Tudo no mundo começou com um sim. Uma molécula disse sim a outra molécula e nasceu a vida. Mas antes da pré-história havia a pré-história da pré-história e havia o nunca e havia o sim. Sempre houve. Não sei o que, mas sei que o universo jamais começou.”

(Clarice Lispector, A Hora da Estrela.)

“Everything in the world began with a yes. One molecule said yes to another molecule and life was born. But before prehistory there was the prehistory of prehistory and there was the never and there was the yes. It was ever so. I do not know why, but I do know that the universe never began.”

(Trans. Giovanni Pontiero, The Hour of the Star.)