Fragments on Absence

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I.

“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” — 2 Corinthians 4:18

“My hunch is that the affective outline of what we’ve lost might bring us closer to the bodies we want still to touch than the restored illustration can. Or at least the hollow of the outline might allow us to understand more deeply why we long to hold bodies that are gone.” -Peggy Phelan (1997)

 

I have been thinking about presence and absence. More specifically, my attention has been drawn to the more phenomenological-oriented concepts of presence and absence, the experiencing of the absence, experiencing the more potent presence within the absence.

The death of a loved one can create an emptiness around which their daily routines and possessions continue to orbit. The hairbrush, the favorite chair, preferred groceries unopened, their own private rituals (of which only the ephemeral remain but not long), knitted blankets, books, photograph albums, medical supplies, etc. Everything that populates a world, even if that world is mostly contained in only a few rooms, remains and points to the emptiness that has taken the place of the body.

My family has experienced two deaths within as many months. We were left reeling, shocked by the loss. Still unable to fully process the loss of Anna’s mother, Linda, we were given the news of Eleanor’s dad, Austin. Everything seems to point toward the emptiness in the universe left by their departure.

St. Augustine Lighthouse on the day prior to Eleanor’s birth

 

In 2013, there was a sinkhole that opened up in Seffner, a small town east of Tampa, that swallowed a man, pulling him into the unending fissure. He was never found. The earth took him. One moment, he was sleeping in his bed. The next, he was lost completely. The man’s brother claimed that he heard his voice calling out to him from the chasm. Then, it went silent.

At around 8 p.m. on Good Friday, Eleanor spoke with her father on the phone. They talked about Easter plans and family. Conversations with three-year olds can be difficult when video is not involved. Disembodied voices. At approximately 11:30 p.m., her father was gone. His disembodied voice was the last communication with her. Then, silence.

Now, silence.

 

II.

How do you create the foundational supports needed for a toddler to grieve? You share stories. You read to her, provide analogous situations with characters she trusts. You listen to her. She is going to move quickly from one idea to the next, and within that motion, she will say something that stops you. She’ll ask for you to draw Christmas trees that represent both her great grandmother and her father. She’ll want to see both of their names, their full names, written next to her full name. Then, she will just play.

 

Austin, Eleanor, and Kaylla in 2014

 

The next day, she’ll tell you that she thinks you need to grow hair “just like daddy’s.” She’ll forget that her daddy is not picking her up from school, and you’ll have to open the wound again. You’ll reread age-appropriate books about loss and grief that have characters that are elephants, pigs, and fish. She’ll depend on these stories sometimes. Other times, she will not want to hear these at all. Most likely, this will be because she doesn’t want to stare directly at the absence. The absence is too painful. It is too painful even when it involves elephants, pigs, and fish.

How do you support your wife through her grieving? You listen to her. You share stories. You read to her. You give her space to think. You watch her heart break into pieces, knowing there is nothing you can do about it. You listen.

Even when she is silent, you try to listen.

 

III.

I keep thinking of the visual, of language and story, because it is what I have that I can understand. We all need some balance for our equilibrium during times of stress, and these are my balances. However, these things are insignificant concerns when experiencing the loss of a loved one. They only serve to help put my mind on something other than the loss.

I keep thinking of works of art that famously confront the absence, like Rauschenberg’s Erased de Kooning Drawing (wherein the artist actually erased a drawing by Willem de Kooning in 1953). The erased work was mounted in a gold-leaf frame, its absence made iconic, an almost religious object.

I am remembering Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Wrapped Reichstag, Berlin(realized in 1995). The Reichstag, wrapped in a womb-like white sheet, was rendered absent but not invisible. The fact that the prominent and historically significant building was “hidden” made it more present.

I am remembering the power of the fourth photograph snuck out of Auschwitz by members of the Sonderkommando (described and analyzed by Georges Didi-Huberman), blurry with foliage and empty of the human figures of the other three photos. Yet, their absence (and the absence of the brave photographer) seems more like presence, with the knowledge of history.

Easter marked just over a month since Linda’s death. It was the first major holiday since she left us. I try to see her mother through Anna’s memories of childhood and her father’s memories shared while she was in the hospital. I want to see a true picture of her. There is a photograph of Linda and Anna walking together on Easter Sunday. Anna looks to be about Eleanor’s age and smiling, and her mother looks elated and confident. John described her as a tough lady, someone that would fight for what she loved. Linda loved her family. She loved her family more than herself.

 

Anna and Linda on Easter Sunday

 

We received the call from Anna’s brother that she had died . We had just visited her two days prior. Her brother and his wife were visiting that evening just before she died. We did not see it coming. She was making a much quicker recovery than had been anticipated.

Linda was excited to see everyone, wanted to not waste time. She kept saying that she had a second chance. When we were not able to be there with her at the rehabilitation center, she was using Facetime throughout the day with John to keep connected while recovering.

Then, Linda was gone.

Our daughter, Kendyl, and I went to the room to collect her things, photographs, Eleanor’s drawings, her clothes.

The staff had a difficult time producing her phone, which seemed inexplicable to me. She was tethered to the device. It was her connection to the world outside of her room. It carried her voice to those she loved.

The staff found the phone. Linda was still gone.

 

IV.

Maybe presence is more potent after the loved one has left their recognized form? In their absence, we truly see them, recognize them, miss them. The total awareness of the fact that they will not be returning stops thought.

Anna shared that she felt her mother’s absence this last weekend while at a family gathering. The feeling was intense and stayed with her the entire evening. There were no real words to convey the intensity or to define the feeling any better. There was a break in language that morning, no one knew what to say when her mother’s ashes were spread. Wittgenstein wrote, “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” The limit of our known world is the end of life. When confronted with death, we can lose our ability to communicate.

“What does it mean to write what is not there. To write absence.” -Kate Zambreno, Book of Mutter (2017)

When confronted with the unknown, I grow more obsessive. It is a defense mechanism, a protection from the fear of the unknown, the chaos. It is a way to escape acknowledging the absence directly. So, my mind tries to reach for references, ones that seem to circle the trauma:

Derrida’s concept of “trace,”

Blanchot’s “always-already past,”

Or Barthes’s search for feeling/connection in a photograph of his deceased mother.

We are language. Our language, whether in image or text, creates a picture of our world. When we are very young, we begin to learn how to use language to control our environment. We ask for things, and if we use our manners, we sometimes get those things. We learn to name things. We learn our own names. We can identify things and potential things. We develop the ability to effectively predict things. Progressively, we begin to formulate our identity with language.

Sometimes, the very same language that connects us, that creates our world, fails.

I can’t truly write about Linda’s absence, just as I can’t truly write about Austin’s absence.

I can’t write about these things, because I don’t know if I can handle looking directly at them, giving words to them. So, I write their presence instead. I write their presence, and I write around the absence.

 

V.

“Out of this same light, out of the central mind,

We make a dwelling in the evening air,

In which being there together is enough.”

–Wallace Stevens, Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramou

 

From the moment Anna introduced me to her mother, she accepted me, loved me. Linda immediately recognized something about our relationship, something she understood.

 

“Signs are arbitrary because language starts with a negation of loss, along with the depression occasioned by the mourning. ‘I have lost an essential object that happens to be, in the final analysis, my mother,’ is what the speaking being seems to be saying. ‘But no, I have found her again in signs, or rather since I consent to lose her I have not lost her (that is the negation), I can recover her in language.’” — Julia Kristeva, Black Sun (1992)

 

I remember Linda’s voice, the rhythm and dynamics of her speech. I remember her mannerisms, her countenance when she was completely engaged and when she was obviously not. Anna and her siblings have so much of her captured in their memories, a complex tapestry of their perception of their mother. I remember her joy at our wedding, during the final moments of daylight, the blue hour. In my handful of perfect moments that define and capture Linda for me, I see her and John watching me marry their daughter, listening to our vows, witnessing our commitment to one another.

 

I see her sitting in her chair, sharing her recipes with Anna one Christmas, written on aging paper, crumbling from touch. I can picture Linda directing the baking, John performing the action under her guidance. I didn’t actually witness this. I have only ever heard of the stories from Linda and John. But, it sits as part of my memory just as if I were there.

 

I remember their personal stories, their shared life. When they arrived home after their wedding, their refrigerator was full, John’s parents providing this appreciated gift. They have told me this story more than once. They both acknowledge it as one of the sweetest gestures they received.

 

John and Linda

I remember how gentle John and Linda were in the hospital when she was finally able to speak again. I remember how their hands touched and how they held one another closely. I will always remember how he whispered to her after she had left her body.

I remember the day Eleanor was born, the smile on Austin’s face. I picture his singing to Kaylla as she was in labor. I didn’t witness this either. I was in the waiting room. Anna recounted this to me more than once. She held onto this memory, maybe because it showed his true nature. Young men are difficult to understand, their actions are usually at least part mystery, even to themselves. Austin had a young man’s temper, a young man’s frustration with the world. He also had a young man’s dreams and a drive to create his world in the appearance of these dreams. He was a rich tapestry of memory, and on the night of Eleanor’s birth, he was profoundly gentle. This memory and the memory of him with Eleanor, patient and hopeful, are how I think of him.

 

Austin and Kaylla, July 2nd, 2014

There is a lightness in being able to articulate these thoughts, being able to commit them to language. I don’t know how the next few months or years will unfold. I know that our family has become closer, more protective of one another. We are discussing more, working to understand one another daily. Language, like life, can end abruptly, without warning.

I have no idea what I set to write here, and I don’t think it’s finished or complete.

I know I need to start thinking about presence more than absence.

I need to hold time for a little longer, be completely present.

 


 

 

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You Can’t Go Home Again (Notes on Twin Peaks: The Return, Part 1)

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1.1. Obsession as Fuel

David Lynch always returns to important influences in his art, as evidenced by the childhood memories found in the text and imagery of his paintings, the obsessive focus on stark contrasts of light and shadow in his photography and cinema, and a deep reservoir of knowledge of the space in which he works. As a director, for which he is arguably most known (although he is a musician, writer, painter, photographer, and more), Lynch creates what appears to be a complete vision that incorporates references as disparate as jazz (think, Fats Waller in 1977’s Eraserhead), Transcendental Meditation (Dale Cooper in the first season of Twin Peaks), and unexpected and extreme violence. He mixes many iconic but superficial images of the American Dream (Blue Velvet’s white picket fences, the cherry pies of Twin Peaks, and the factories associated with progress and drive and American innovation of another era) with actual dreaming, including a large dose of dream logic included in all of his narratives.

Note: Although Twin Peaks: The Return is essentially two creative artists in David Lynch and Mark Frost, I often refer to the elements discussed as originating with Lynch. This decision is made due to the repetitive occurrences of these elements in Lynch’s other work.

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This phrase is repeated in The Return (2017) by Al Strobel as Mike.

Lynch brings beacons associated with the cultural consciousness into every work he creates. Two of the most often referenced are The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Sunset Boulevard (1950), which bookend the violence of WWII and the atomic bomb. Anyone who watched or heard anything about the newest season of Twin Peaks recognizes the influence of this example of extreme violence in Lynch’s work. Wild at Heart (1990) is a kind of fractured homage to The Wizard of Oz, and characters embody the attributes associated with the original. Echoes of Sunset Boulevard are found throughout his Mulholland Drive (2001). These cinematic obsessions are connected. Both deal with time and the loss of it. In Sunset, the main character is no longer a screen icon. She watches as time moves on without her. To console herself, she weaves a dream narrative of her own identity. In Oz, the character has lost time completely. Dorothy is transported to another world that operates with a completely different set of rules. When she eventually gets back home, she tells her family that they were all there in the dream world with her. Time moves but is also stuck. In the world of Oz, Dorothy is trapped for days. In our reality, she is just out cold for a short while.

The character and actor names of both films are used for much of the cast of Twin Peaks. Norma Desmond, the name of the aging actress of Sunset, can be found in Norma of the Double R and Agent Desmond of Fire Walk With Me (1992). The name of Dorothy Gale’s actress, Judy Garland, can be found in the Judy associated with evil and Major Garland Briggs. Even the name of Lynch’s own agent, Gordon Cole, was revealed to have been pulled from a line in Sunset Boulevard from this newest season of Twin Peaks.

kansas - wizard of oz

Both The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Twin Peaks: The Return (2017) begin in muted sepia or B&W.

Twin Peaks: The Return contains many allusions to The Wizard throughout, including the red shoes we have come to associate with Audrey being worn by many female characters, including minor players such as the waitress at Judy’s in episode 18. There is the fact that both The Wizard and Twin Peaks: The Return both begin in muted tones of sepia or B&W. This, in the 1939 film, indicates the reality that often lacks the color of our imagination. In Twin Peaks, it may indicate something similar. That means one would need to decide whether the series is taking place in a dream (as Gordon Cole would plainly express later in the series) once we see the world washed in color or if it’s taking place in reality. Maybe it’s both.

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Lynch’s reference of the red shoes or ruby slippers throughout Twin Peaks: The Return (2017)

If there is one thing I have gleaned from watching Twin Peaks and the rest of his work, I don’t believe David Lynch has the ability to compartmentalize. Even if he does have this ability, he does not use it. Anything is possible, and connections are everywhere.

Time and memory are important considerations when viewing any of Lynch’s work, but I found them vital with The Return.

1.2. We Have Always Lived In the Castle

Listen

to the sounds.

It is in

our house now.

Dale Cooper listens closely to a small sound, maybe a scraping or clicking sound. This sound is repeated in the very last scene of the series, when Cooper and Laura Palmer (or Carrie Page) are at what we thought was the Palmer residence. Perhaps these scenes take place at the same point in time, separated only in our perception of the events. Perhaps it is just a foreshadowing of what will come.

Either way, the past and future are completely intertwined. Allusions to the first “version” of Twin Peaks show up in every aspect of the new series. The new characters are often distorted reflections of former characters, street names in new cities reflect important characteristics of the Twin Peaks of Seasons 1 and 2, and much of the dialogue feels out of time. The whole series is constructed in a way that that makes linear narrative hard to discern. But, it works. It moves through repetition or echo of imagery and dialogue.

Sometimes there is no action, only sound, in a frame for long stretches of time (like at the Palmer residence, where the camera stays in the living room, but the audience clearly hears some disruption off screen/out of frame). This is jarring and uncomfortable, and the director knows this. We are supposed to feel like we are losing something, like we are entering an uncertain narrative.

There is a deep sense of mystery because, as the Fireman states at the start, “it all cannot be said aloud now.” It also cannot be shown completely. The clues come in backwards speaking and hosts of visual signs. The recurring “seed” or “birth” symbols come in the forms of tiny gold spheres and larger egg-like atomic bombs. Mostly, there is no rationale or narrative conclusion for why these occur…but the mid-season episode that was just the actual dropping of an atomic bomb and the birth of evil was completely unexpected.

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The atomic bomb (b. July 16, 1945, New Mexico, USA): pic.twitter.com/65SyGQPnR8
— Brandon Shimoda (@brandonshimoda) July 17, 2017

The journey back to Twin Peaks for Cooper, and later for Laura, is an impossible one. Like Homer’s Odyssey (by the way, Odessa is the feminine for Odysseus), the return home will not be easy. There are challenges.

When they return, are they really the same? Odysseus wasn’t recognized by Penelope upon return, and Laura/Carrie is only recognized by Agent Cooper. The Man from Another Place (AKA The Arm) has explained (at the end of Season 2 of the original run) that the next time we see him, it won’t be him. Not only is that true for The Arm, which came back as a tree with an amorphous head…but, all characters have changed. The new residents of the Palmer home, Alice Tremond, we have seen before. In another form, she was a resident (with her grandson) at the trailer park and the apartments in the original run of the show. She has been called “Chalfont,” but both identities have been references to the same person.

The uncertainty of reality and dream, the unreliable “main characters,” and the non-linear narrative make this run of the series hard to navigate.

There is so much to consider. That’s what art should do, propel our thinking, open our minds to critical reflection. In the examination, we may even learn something about ourselves. I can’t make sense of much of what I’ve seen in the series, but there are plenty of signs to return to for the next few months. Much of what I have shared here is rambling, and I think that is much of what I have read about the current work. But, there are some great critical essays out there. Here are a couple of places to find some help deciphering what you may have watched this summer:

Poem Beginning and Ending with Lines from The Doobie Brothers

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Somewhere back in her long ago

Every station moves to create

Time not made of now leaves life

She’s everywhere and nowhere


Swells sing above the static

Of pop songs misremembered

As oracles   dream lovers   dis

Associated       disappeared


She doesn’t identify us apart

From viscid evenings spent

Outside of one another again

Echo rises to her apology

A Partial Record of My Education

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“Those who love wisdom must investigate many things.” – Heraclitus

“I write-and talk-in order to find out what I think.” – Susan Sontag

In 2014, I graduated with my doctorate in education, and this seemed miraculous to me. A sustained focus, logical arguments, and the synthesis of an area of literature were inherent in the task of writing a dissertation, and I didn’t feel like I’d ever be able to live up to this challenge. As a child, I felt most comfortable with image and sound based communication. Music and visual art are such a large foundation for my thinking. I’m pretty certain this had to do with my mother taking me to museums and libraries, playing records in the living room regularly, and encouraging my growing interest in drawing.

Images could convey ideas that were both at the surface of my thinking and buried in my subconscious. Painting or creating something visually interesting and potentially communicative was something that came naturally. The imagery did not have to mirror reality. It could be completely conceptual. I was driven by the need to play with things that had an uncertain end. Not being driven to an actual destination, instead being propelled forward with intuition and curiosity, liberated me from having to make any sense of what I might be feeling in a way that would communicate to another. It was a drive to create.

This drive has pulled me in many directions at once. I have obsessively composed with sound, painted primarily textural (if not always aesthetically pleasing) images, and sometimes incorporated sound with paintings. Notes and small drafts of “diary” or journal entries have always been included as well. The outcome of these experiments was a amalgam of forms. I’m never quite certain how a thing may turn out…what form or hybrid it may take finally. I don’t even know if the outcome is the final version of a thing.

My default thinking is in fragments. If there are connections between the ideas or works, I have no knowledge of it during the process. It is always a dive into the unknown.

The past two months have included more than a few occurrences of fragmented thinking and organization that has not yet solidified into a coherent statement or group of thoughts. My regular lists of reading, listening, and watching have increased. I have rapid and incomplete connections between ideas and forms (text, image, sound, memory, etc.).

notebook march 2017

March-April 2017 Notebook, Thinking in Lists (more)

Recently, I have been reading Sloterdijk’s Spheres trilogy (Bubbles, Globes, and Foams) that have finally been translated, Hito Steyerl’s The Wretched of the Screen (2013), Kate Zambreno’s Book of Mutter (2017), Kafka’s late writings, Wittgenstein’s late writings on culture and aesthetics, Kadinsky, Susan Sontag, a biography on Eric Dolphy, so many disparate essays, and massive amounts of poetry.

Lately, I have been awed by the visual artwork of Rosy Keyser, Titus Kaphar, Fernando Zobel, Hito Steyerl, Julie Mehretu, Rebecca Horn, and Agnes Martin.

As I have written before, my sister told me once that whatever I put into my head must eventually come out. In what form will it arrive?

It eases my mind to know that others seem to have the same attraction to this process of discovery (like Sontag’s diary entry below).

From Sontag’s As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980 (with my scribbles)

Probably due to the Sloterdijk, the fact that Eleanor is beginning to trace the letter O, and my attraction to the simplicity of the ensō, circles and spheres have dominated my visual thinking. I seem to find them everywhere. From the Book of Genesis to NASA’s documentation of space trash, I seem to collide with imagery that represents a circular/spherical containment or a cyclical process.

 

Day 5 of Creation (Book of Genesis Illustration, 1493 Nuremberg Chronicle)

From Alberto Manguel’s Curiosity (2015)

Iannis Xenakis- from Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition (1992)

Iannis Xenakis- from Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition (1992)

Quotes re: Phenomenology, Body, & Language

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“Saying that I have a body is thus a way of saying that I can be seen as an object and that I try to be seen as a subject, that another can be my master or my slave.” – Merleau-Ponty, The Phenomenology of Perception (1962)

“This is why I write: to unfold the electrical mat of my nervous system.” – Bhanu Kapil, Ban En Banlieue (2015)

“The enlightened man says: I am body entirely and nothing beside.” -Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)

“Our own physical body possesses a wisdom that we who inhabit the body lack. We give it orders which make no sense.” -Henry Miller, Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymous Bosch (1957)

“My favorite arts are the ones that can move your body or make a new world.” -Anne Boyer, Garments Against Women (2015)

“Writers…were out there creating a new language, one that I intuitively understood, to analyze our art, our world. This was, in and of itself, an argument for the weight and beauty of our culture and thus of our bodies.” -Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me (2015)

“The fluidity of the injured body’s referential direction is here manifest in the verbal habit of evoking all casualties as a single phenomenon once the war is over.” -Elaine Scarry, The Body in Pain (1985)

“There is only one antidote to mental suffering, and that is physical pain.” -Karl Marx

Education within the context of oppression includes “teachers talking about reality as if it were motionless, static, compartmentalized, and predictable. Or else he expounds on a topic completely alien to the existential experience of the students. His task is to “fill” the students with the contents of his narration-contents which are detached from reality, disconnected from the totality that engendered them and could give them significance. Words are emptied of their concreteness and become a hollow, alienated, and alienating verbosity…Education thus becomes an act of depositing, in which for the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor. Instead of communicating, the teacher issues communiqués and makes deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize, and repeat. This is the “banking” concept of education, in which the scope of action allowed to the students extends only as far as receiving, filing, and storing the deposits. They do, it is true, have the opportunity to become collectors or cataloguers of the things they store. But in the last analysis, it is the people themselves that are filed away through the lack of creativity, transformation, and knowledge in this (at best) misguided system. For apart from inquiry, apart from the praxis, individuals cannot truly be human. Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.” -Paulo Freire, The Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970)

“Shifting how we think about language and how we use it necessarily alters how we know what we know.” -Bell Hooks, Teaching to Transgress (1994)

“We take the oppressor’s language and turn it against itself. We make our words a counter-hegemonic speech, liberating ourselves in language.” -Bell Hooks, Teaching to Transgress (1994)

“We reconstruct for ourselves the order of the world in an image, starting from limited, countable, and strictly defined data. We work out a system for ourselves, establishing connections and conceiving of relationships between terms that are abstract and for that reason possible for us to deal with.” -Simone Weil, “Forms of the Implicit Love of God” (from Waiting for God, 1951)

“This is the crime of which I accuse my country and my countrymen, and for which neither I nor time nor history will ever forgive them, that they have destroyed and are destroying hundreds of thousands of lives and do not know it and do not want to know it.” -James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (1963)

“Let us keep in mind the speech of the depressed- repetitive and monotonous. Faced with the impossibility of concatenating, they utter sentences that are interrupted, exhausted, come to a standstill. Even phrases they cannot formulate. A repetitive rhythm, a monotonous melody emerge and dominate the broken logical sequences, changing them into recurring, obsessive litanies. Finally, when that frugal musicality becomes established on account of the pressure of silence, the melancholy person appears to stop cognizing as well as uttering, sinking into the blankness of asymbolia or the excess of an unorderable cognitive chaos.” – Julia Kristeva, Black Sun (1989)

Fragments as Compositional Style

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Composition as Fragments- List and Thoughts (January 2015)
  • Maggie Nelson- Bluets
  • Susan Sontag– anything, but the second diary is the best. To pair that with her essays of the period re: photography, film, and visual art is mind-blowing.
  • Jenny OffillDept. of Speculation
  • Emily DickinsonEnvelope poems. The essay by Susan Howe is worth the price of the book. Just Google the terms “Dickinson” and “envelope poems”…you’ll be amazed.
  • Wittgenstien– especially his writings around culture and value…but the Tractatus and Investigations are both consumed with language and are basically amazing.
  • And of course…some others I’m thinking of as I write…Emil Cioran, Paul Valery,

Maybe, we are writing more like we think. This is my thinking about any postmodernistic trend that has turned to many individuals writing in fragments. I believe the fluidity of the writing tool (computer) and the publishing tool (internet) have allowed writers to start creating as the thoughts come. That is not always a good thing…bad writing, etc.

Also, it could be the result of really looking at our collective cultural history in a fragmented way. This is how history is largely taught, completely separate from art, from mathematics. We spend a great deal of our lives (if we are even interested in these things) in realizing that Van Gogh was painting his masterpieces at the same time as Jack the Ripper was murdering (thanks to Patton Oswalt’s new book, Silver Screen Fiend, for this reference). What we have from the past prior to publishing seems to disappear.

Even film and music succumb to decay in memory and in practicality-

Example 1 (film created from the destruction of the actual film…like a distorted memory)- Bill Morrison’s Decasia

Example 2 (disintegration of tape, played as it self-destroys)- Basinski’s Disintegration Loops
As usual, I’m just jotting these thoughts as they arrive, with little to no editing…and, this will make little to no sense to anyone else. It is probably just a map of my thinking about random ideas. Obviously, fragments and decayed artistic works and memory are possibly linked but not in any really tangible way. At least, I can’t communicate well enough to make the link tangible at this time.