Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Definitions and Prepositions

Tasked to write an autobiographical essay about "secret spaces of childhood". This is an issue for me, as I do not have memories, or choose not to remember, these things. Perhaps as a consequence of this, I frequently experience the feeling of deja vu. An excursus into the Oxford English Dictionary provided the following:

Deja vu, An illusory feeling of having previously experienced a present situation; a form of paramnesia.

Paramnesia, Memory that is unreal, illusory, or distorted; spec. the phenomenon of deja vu, an instance of this. Also: loss of memory for the meaning of words.

This last sentence fascinated me immediately; sans punctuation but with the connector for it can be read two ways:
1. That one cannot remember what words mean, or
2. To indicate that the meaning of words is given at the cost of memory.


Memory like a void, or the bottom of the well where water seeps into ground. A black hole of experiences. An obsession with words in exchange for memories. Ambivalence towards a belief in the unconscious.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Slightness of sound and then its dissipation, inaudible mouth hissings. The woman said something about the representation of wholeness and my first thought was of the circle of a mouth, lips to form an O.

Even so, this mouth-circle is less a whole than a hole, and I have the distinct feeling that I am missing something important.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Intrigue, n.

:To excite the curiosity or interest of; to interest so as to puzzle or fascinate.

Mysteries like the hollowness of a womb. No one home.

A balancing act of lurid dreams and formidable conceptualizations.
I am waiting for some(one)thing.


Reading "Elders and Betters" by I. Compton-Burnett, first published in 1944. Examining the characterizations and positions of women, as conceived by a woman writer. I am seeking to understand dialogue, as I usually find myself entrenched in description.

In the beginning, in a move to a new house, a bag has gone missing:
"Well, does it matter so much?" said Anna. "It will follow by itself."
"Cook had it with her in the compartment, Miss Anna."
"You mean it had no address? Why did you not bring it in the cab?"
Jenney's eyes went from Anna to Ethel, as if to measure their mutual effect.
"We only brought what was needed for the night, Miss Anna," said Ethel, throwing some light on this.
"Did you leave the bag to speak for itself at the station?" said Esmond. "A label would have saved it the trouble."
Ethel met his eyes in silence.
"You must know what you did with it," said Anna.
"We thought it would come with the other luggage, Miss Anna."
"It would have been wiser and kinder of it," said Bernard.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Panel on Embodiment:

Interdisciplinary conversation on the subject (substance?) of the body. This is where everything gets a little tangled; how do we discuss the body as a material thing? What has happened to the substance, the subject?

How do we return to the question of an ethically informed politics of substance? This substance is an anchor of certain formations of power. The question is of theorization; how to theorize various formations of bio-politics, sovereignty, etc. How do those theorizations help us to understand why the critique of the body was so important in the 1970s and 80s?

Discursive formations of the body. Or has the substance been abandoned?

Thinking in circles. Physical ellipses. The body as simply an imprint of discursive formations. Torture shatters the substance so that it is unable to do a politics anymore - except be shattered.


the gap.

Disassociation from the body. My body. Or yours.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Triolets and Turing Machines

If I write one line, it will repeat three times in the form. The second line will repeat twice.

These are the rules for writing a triolet: first, make sure the line can be repeated without becoming stagnant. Second, make sure the second line is interesting. Third, know where the repetitions fall.

I wanted to write a triolet, and so I did. Perhaps I will show you sometime.


Am currently reading Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing by Helene Cixous. When I described it to M. she aptly described it as one of those books where each sentence feels like an indisputable truth. I couldn't figure out why, though I had read more than 100 pages, each page seemed like I had read it only one page ago.

"I will talk about truth again, without which (without the word truth, without the mystery truth) there would be no writing. It is what writing wants. But it "(the truth)" is totally down below and a long way off. And all the people I love and whom I have mentioned [Writers: Clarice Lispector, Kafka, Ingeborg Bachmann, Tsvetaeva] are beings who are bent on directing their writing toward this truth-over-there, with unbelievable labor; they are fighting against the elements and principally against the innumerable immediate and exterior and interior enemies." -Helene Cixous, Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing, 6

Only one of many passages I could quote, and only one of many passages I have taken deeply to heart. M. is away and I wish she was here so I could share this with her.

"Writing is learning to die. It's learning not to be afraid, in other words to live at the extremity of life, which is what the dead, death, give us." 10

I desire death, which is to say, I desire to write, and that is all.