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.”

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


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)