December 2008

the godforsaken …

– Gal Costa, ‘Tuareg,’ 1969 [lyrics Jorge Ben]

infemmarie
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Y I heart Manea … life, …sentences

I saw her again in the week before my return to Romania. We were walking together in the streets of Bucharest. She was talking to me about Mihai Eminescu, the national poet, and tell me how dearly he would have liked to be with me again. She was animated, focusing on matters that seemed to give her pleasure, but that were mainly intended to please me, when suddenly she fell into a deep trench along the edge of the sidewalk, a kind of shaft where workers were repairing the sewage system. It happened in an instant, leaving me no time to catch her. But she had held on to my arm, and her old, heavy body was hanging suspended over the pit, while I lay flat on the sidewalk, gripping her with my left hand, so that she would not drop into the abyss. With my right hand I clutched the edge of the sidewalk, while my left hand gripped her bony fingers. I could feel myself slipping, I couldn’t hold on to the burden of her body swinging desperately above the void, her thin pale legs thrashing helplessly in the air.

There were men working in the bottom of the hole below. I could see their white helmets, but they could not see me or hear my vain cries for help. I was screaming as loud as I could, but I didn’t produced a single sound. I was suffocating, I could feel my strength draining. I was being pulled down by the bony clasp of the old hand into the black void. I was slipping toward the edge of the sidewalk, ready either to let go of the burden or to let myself be dragged into the bottomless depth, over which my mother was writhing. I had just found her again, I had been talking to her, and I could not bear to lose her again.

– Norman Manea, The Hooligan’s Return: A Memoir, trans. Angela Jianu, p. 55

– photo by Joseph Gallus Rittenberg, Heiner Müller, 1982 [Heiner Müller appears here for no reason as somebody’s mother escaping via manhole]

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Leaving the Book of Disquiet … still, …

Love, sleep, drugs and intoxicants are elementary forms of art or rather elementary forms of producing the same effect as art. But love, sleep and drugs all bring with them their own disappointments. One grows sated or disillusioned with love. We wake from sleep and whilst we slept, we did not live. The price of drugs is the ruin of the very body they were used to stimulate. But there is no disillusion in art because its illusory nature is clear from the start.

– Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet, trans. Margaret Jull Costa, pp. 258-259

At this moment I have so many fundamental thoughts, so many truly metaphysical things to say that I feel suddenly tired and decide not to write anymore, not to thing anymore, but to let the fever of saying lull me to sleep whilst, with closed eyes, I gently stroke as I would a cat all the things I might have said.

– Ibid., p. 260

Nothing, nothing, just part of the night and the silence and of whatever emptiness, negativity and inconstancy I share with them, the space that exists between me and me, a thing mislaid by some god…

– Ibid., p. 262

N-exile
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theatricality

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destiny = the terrible certainty that the thing we have gone to such efforts to avoid will come back but at another level, perhaps the greater, perhaps the lesser for having been denied

Consider what we call repetition within a life – more precisely, within a spiritual life. Presents succeed, encroaching upon one another. Nevertheless, however strong the incoherence or possible opposition between successive presents, we have the impression that each of them plays out “the same life” at different levels. This is what we call destiny.

– Gilles Deleuze, quoted in Levy Bryant, Difference and Givenness, p. 122

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Objective proof, Or: The full-blown illusion

detraque
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resolution

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Europe lead climate change

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Trans-European Express

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Jean Batten bin

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Spume

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T Bone Burnett’s Tooth of Crime – with Sam Shepard – [released on NONESUCH, 2008]

– Sam Shepard, c. 1972

They’re all wrong, all two of them, Rolling Stone and BBC. Although, I see that it’s a BBC Folk and Country Review. And the Independent‘s Andy Gill has some handle on what he’s listening to. Because Henry Burnett’s 2008 album lifts off of and not from Sam Shepard’s The Tooth of Crime, 1972. It clatters along about a foot above the ground, having reconvened after shaking itself to bits. The product of a fortuitous collaborative encounter. And, so Burnett’s album note suggests, the future’s an apocalypse you can buy as good today as back in 1972. Best thing, I say, best thing T Bone Burnett’s done since his name. Or ‘Humans from Earth.’

– T Bone Burnett

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moins en plus – note to <>

Is there a form of social conflict which is not terrorism and not capable of being delayed and repeated – represented – and which does not exemplify, provide a situation, a theatre for operations – with the suffering of people serving as backdrop to an ’empty space,’ from which bursts of monologue?

And this is not to ask again whether terrorist acts serve as backdrop to capitalism, seen as some kind of homogeneous system of the world, in the theatrum mundi … but to get at what Simon Biggs called ‘complicity.’

Media work in what Deleuze called a theatre of repetition, reliant on recognition, the habit of the first passive synthesis. Acts / encounters which aim to break the deadlock, rock the status quo, engender thought, lose / have lost particularity in what used to be the anodyne of media commentary and is now the acid bath. They are habitual and become general. Virilio’s image, his analogon, is that they are total, turning the mirror on the work of art, on aesthesis, to give us the full immersion media-experience of their Ganzfeld virtuality. This gaze is pitiless.

Where I mean to draw attention to a ‘complicity’ is not only with the Image of thought-as-representation, rather than Deleuze’s thought-of-thought, of the media and its (re)mediation of spectacular terrorism, but also with art – as a disctinction-without-difference. I mean that the Crisis of Representation has left us with this legacy on the one hand and that on the other we have the past-futurity, the futurism, of a global Crisis of Values, which rests on the complicity of art, capital and terror, to the power of a ‘triplicity,’ and is that show in which this triunity is spectacularly confirmed.

In the circle of repetition of the selfsame there is no drama because it consists in what Neal Stephenson called a ‘consensus cluster.’ Conflict resolves before it arises: and its resolution is High Definition. The Society of the Spectacle … is also this … is also that … terror / capital … art / terror … art / capital … in endless combination, at rates of oscillation and substitution (exemplification) invisible to the naked eye …

– João Magueijo, cosmologist

… another sense is needed, beyond the habitual five, or six – the sixth being death, in which the creative act shall have no dominion – in answer to the problem of light which is faster than light.

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resolution

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