"Rye stalk, swan's neck."
It is an hour. One
of those hours.
The hours. Hour
after hour. Hours.
The light. Sunlight.
The walls. On the
Light and shade.
Light is shape.
Form. The form
Without the forms where would the light fall.
What is the light.
Where is the light.
name and the light.
The name of the city
at the end of the land.
What land. What light
in the land is the land.
The light, not the land.
There is a land.
There are lands.
The form in the room
the wall. It is a wall.
On the wall, prints
of blue flowers, patterns
in the mesh of the white
filament, for the light
to let the light fall on
the wall, the flowers
the prints of blue flowers.
Snow on the hills. China.
The name of the land
the hills the snow the white
signs, sounds, lines, not
the land. There is no land.
The land is not a thought.
China is not a thought.
Russia is not a thought.
The East is not a thought.
There is land. There is a land.
The land has not been named.
What is the name of the land
the light on the wall belongs
to no one. The light is ours.
Where we are. What we are.
Light the hours. The light
is the hours, the days, the years
without light, without heat,
the blue sky, cloudless, today.
The wings of the birds write
in the sky without clouds.
Here clouds are memory.
The clouds mean memory.
There are no clouds in the sky.
The blue sky. Snow on the hills.
Magnitudes. The words return.
The hills around the city.
The hills surround the city.
The valley. The paint on the walls
of the buildings in the city.
Green and yellow and blue.
Poverty. City of poverty.
The price of food. Hunger.
Beggars. There are beggars
in every city in the world.
Kabul. Calcutta. Cleveland.
The world is light, in light.
The light escapes the writing.
These are words writing
the light in Chita, Russia.
Words writing the blue sky.
Cloudless hours, days.
Snow on the hills. The names
China, Chita, a cup of water.
Hot water. Is there hot water.
Where are the farmers.
Bird on my windowsill now,
just now, writing, yellow
breast green wings. It flies away.
The hills, snow on the hills.
China. Where are the farmers.
Where are my people. China.
Snow. Flowers. Blue sky.
For the farms, the farming,
for the land producing
food for people to eat.
"People are starving."
What is a song. Why sing.
What are tears. People?
"People die." Peasants.
The peasantry. The lands,
the fields, milk and cheese.
The music falls silent.
Misere. The writing
is quiet, words, white
as snow, the first snow
on the hills facing China
or Chita. It is only a letter.
One letter. The sign,
the name, the country,
the land, the fields,
the words. Only words.
There is nothing
in these words.
There is something
in the words for
The light is yellow.
The light on the wall
has changed from
white to yellow.
How would you know.
Do you know how
the light changes
white to yellow
in Chita, Russia?
What is light.
Light is paint.
in the museum
in Moscow. The
walls were painted
with light. The light
painted the walls.
On the walls. Pavel
Gorod. City. The siege of a city.
Starve them out,
make them starve.
What is a loaf of bread.
How does the light
fall on the price of bread.
The light in the room
moves to the window.
The light in the window.
The light on the window
less yellow, more blue.
Blue lacquer, white fabric.
The voice of the one singing
at the end of the music.
The rise of the voice
falls on silence, like light.
The light on the walls.
A voice is singing. Vocal
weights and durations
rise and fall in shadows
on the shadows in the song
the singing, the snow
on the hills, the blue sky
and singing, and price
the price of bread, and time.
The hay in the fields
viewed from the train
from Irkutsk stacked
the same way as the century
the last one, the century
the one that has passed.
Past. History is the time
in the light on the walls
in the room on the prints
of the flowers that grow
in the fields, amidst hay.
Не звенит лебяжьей
шеей рожь. Сенокос.
Ton travail, mon amie, c'est encore toi, longtemps, depuis longtemps,
comme l'accent dans les mots tes mots pour moi dans mon oreille, et ton
visage, la mémoire, comme la musique ce matin, Bach, dans cette
chambre, ici, qu'est-ce que possible que je dois faire, contre les six
mille - combien kilomètres? Les deux images, ton visage et l'autre
de plusieurs couleurs, et plaisir, dans le sens, ils m'aideras ces images
à penser vers le moment dans lequel tu m'écris, tous les
jours de travail.
J'avais compris, sept heures du matin maintenant. Le ciel comme les
heures, les ombres. Le temps qui passe comme j'te l'écris. Le soir.
C'est pas pour rien que tu les m'a envoyé, ces choses que nous
avons eu avec plaisir, l'un et l'autre, ensemble. Mais, à l'avenir,
au travail, dans un an, si nous travaillons bien, entre deux villes, deux
pays, paix, paille, mais l'avenir, dans quel avenir, les jours militaires,
comme la nuit passée, ce qui se passait dans la nuit anonyme, la
mort des autres,
in a saffron land,
the yellow sands
a song by Khayyam
EVEN NOW / EVER MORE
"I am multiplied in my sentence
as a tree unfolds its branches."
Edmond Jabes, Yukel
"Thank you for taking us to see the Nagasaki and Hiroshima world war
memorials where John prayed for your dead."
Alice Coltrane, 1973
The innate historicity of jazz (diachronic) - it's reliance on a
progression of notes - not spatial relations (inaugerated by 12 tone?)
"True thoughts question, and to question is to think by interrupting
oneself." "An idea so sure of itself that it would no longer take into
account other ideas is dead before it is born."
Hegel: objects raised to their most conscious form - the form of a concept
- (conception, to conceive) - the mood of the essay as Lukacs once
described it, a form of longing for an idea not yet born - an open
conception of expression - not the subjectivity that refers to 'my
perception' of being, existence, identity, etc. - it is the way they are
conceived - if it is to live and 'to live' meaning to exert transformative
effects across the spectrum of cultures -
Power depends on the object - dominates it and contains it - the arrival
of a book in the world, its approach to power - "We can learn a lot about
the demands of a culture - any culture, but in particular 'our' culture,
by looking to the relation of the Third Reich to expressionism and
atonality and to Soviet Realist monumentalism. What were the terms of the
demand placed on works there? How 'culture wants finished works that, in
their immobility of eternal things, can be admired as perfect and
contemplated in the preserves of civilization." (Profane Illumination,
"The fragmentary work - the fragmentary exigency of the work - has a very
different meaning depending on whether it appears as a renouncing of the
act of composing, as an aggressive imitation of pre-musical language
(which expressionism attempted to arrive at with sophistication) or, as
the seeking of a new form of writing that would render the finished work
"I don't expect anything more from life than a succession of sheets of
paper to blacken with ink. It feels to me as though I were crossing an
endless solitude, going I know not where. And I am at once the desert, the
traveler, and the camel." (Flaubert to George Sand, March 27, 1857).
The difficulty we encounter when we try to describe a 'real' or 'ordinary'
or 'literal' character or figure since the mimetically conceived figure
does not tend to go off in allegorical directions (composite, or layered,
meanings - being able to mean more than one thing) - nor does the 'real'
or 'ordinary' or 'literal' character or figure perform a number of other
figurative (metaphorical) actions.
"Allegory affirms the arbitrariness of the sign, and constitutes a more
adequate discourse than romantic symbolism, which cultivates a metaphysics
Obscurity, the 'enshadowment' of meaning, is essential to allegorical
theory in the Middle Ages: writers as different as Augustine and Boccaccio
stated that all writing is figurative or 'umbral' in the Platonic sense of
necessity, that all experience is shadow.
The umbral or dangerous surface of the allegorical text
fastening on moments of textual fissure or dislocation
a vision of the whole supplanting details
the absence of relation between details
"The will to gain historical knowledge of the text in its otherness, in
its own moment of production . . ."
She wants the writing to inhabit and belong to the moment in which it is
written. WRITING IN TIME. How do you imagine this kind of writing would
What only a voice that is other could tell the time in which I am writing.
SPACE OF PARADOX: How does the time of the writing in the fictive work
intersect with historical time?
Remembering a woman writing (Cixous) "I look for myself across the
centuries and I can't find myself anywhere," I would say that my own
writing is compelled by enabling identifications, not geneologies, no
record of descent.
Jerome McGann: "But the text, any text, every work of literature that we
read today is embedded in a particular and explicable history, and we
cannot even begin to read with intelligence and clarity the books we hold
in our hands unless we understand the history those books pass across and
incorporate." (No book contains history, the time of the writing moves
across historical time).
Pierre Macherey: "The artist produces works, in determinate conditions;
the work as that which escapes its maker in so many ways, and which never
belongs to the writer until after it is made, and even then it belongs in
name only, the signature, which identifies the author."
History is a hard voyage
in a millenium, the light of the telos
A conversation neither travels far nor
preserves much of anything
[or] Voice neither travels far nor
preserves much of anything
[or] Voice never leaves the place
of its production
[or] Voice emits a signal that cannot be detached from the body of the
individual or collective producing it
[or] Voice cannot be exported
the mass of superimposed detail
given the uncertainty of the identification of persons
their number, incalculable
all the limitations of life in a human body
and purpose by chance encounter
hundreds of thousands of legible impressions
I am not sure that one can enter a written work.
I am unsure whether a written work can be entered.
The return to origins - exhuming written
"sources" - is built over the empire that,
with printing, is permitted by indefinite
reproduction which conquers space by multiplying
the same signs
The letter is anonymous.
It is a sound and a sign.
Ernst Bloch: "In the heights of the building they [the 'problematics of
the soul'] will be combined with the Church - with a necessarily and a
priori socialist-oriented church facing new contents of revelation.
Nothing else can create the space for community, for a freely self-chosen
community above society (which merely lifts the burden), and above a
social economy thoroughly organized along communist lines, in a classless,
and therefore non-violent, order."
De Certeau: "History is homogenous to the documents of Western activity.
It credits them with a 'consciousness' that it can easily recognize.
History is developed in the continuity of signs left by scriptural
activities: it is satisfied with arranging them, composing a single text
from the thousands of written fragments in which already expressed is that
labor which constructs time, which creates consciousness through
The question of what it means to be human, how deeply it signfies, the
19th century - where the concentration on subjectivity led to the horror
of death the experience of death as individual annihilation - nihilism -
"the bells of annihilation boom in my ears" (Nietzsche) - and this is the
void of singularity, of identity, where non-identity means, must mean,
death (Melville). Death only returns to its proportion and horizon - a
biological horizon - when the meaning of life becomes the experience of
life in the collective, when we live in the collective, our individual
instance a contributon to the future, to generation in the strongest
"The future of architecture is biological" (MW). The site. The
The unassignable interstice between bodily space and bodies-in-space.
MOMENTS conceived of as points of rupture, radical recognitions of
possibilities of intense euphoria
MOMENTS such as the day the Paris Commune was declared
"What I have in mind is to show Baudelaire as he lies embedded in the
nineteenth century. The imprint that he has left behind upon it must stand
out as clearly and as untouched as that of a stone that is one day rolled
from its place after having lain there for decades."
WB (Passagen-Werk, 405)
All his life he had known that long cornfield,
the years when his eyes had been level with
its ears, the years he had risen over it,
foot by foot, which in harvest now stood
to his waist. He knew it, red and purple
under disc and plow, shadowed. He knew it
stripped and emptied and gathered
together and bowed assemblies of itself.
Then the cornfield held him, as tree
and flower made him wait. He crossed it,
slowing down where later the corn
would set to partners with the wind.
S.H. on Emily Dickinson (Berkeley, 1/28):
A ruin at the site of immediate revelation
an unknown number of lines are lost beyond the tear
sheltering in some random mark
the catastrophe of their recognition as cultural icons
locating IMPROVISATION in E.D.'s
transcription of her work from the
draft to text / improvisation in
the marks, the
locating 'commentary' in the
the metronome 'hymnal'
stanza is a fabrication
The expressivity is in the marks
The dashes are doing
different things -
again, where improvisation
occurs - immediacy
Immediacy cannot be trans-
lated into print
The breaking down into
allowed, even forced
Nor is this subjectivity merely caprice
The construction of proofs in infinite series
on setting a purpose
unless it gains some kind of content
completely external to it
muscular or nervous reactions
awareness of a word's content
does not bring about any necessary
or we are purely theoretical
"a rigid conception of the calculation of means"
impulsiveness and emotional intensity -
improvisation, their life work
returns of one series the whole series another
series the next series
when no element is either first or last
(who would measure all objects mercilessly)
an instrument of function
continuous cohesion and strict causality
The scandal of the expressiveness of jazz
The insistence of jazz on expression
Where are all the thoughts that keep kept keeping
me awake. The misnomer: "my thoughts"
("What a comrade is human thought") E.D.
The way the scenes fade in and out you can almost
count them. You can count them. Count them.
At the end the film is declared an IMPROVISATION
"This film was an improvisation"
Recording music, the awareness of time.
Minute, second. A book. Ambition for a book that would theorize
class without having to resort to a discourse.
Autobiography mutated through conceptualizations
and lyricism. De Certeau, Speech as the Space of the Other
- foreign phenomena originating elsewhere -
The interviewer's English was not always clear.
What would you say to people who claim that they cannot understand your
"I don't feel there's an answer to that. It is either saying a person, who
does not understand, will understand in time from repeated listenings, or
there are things that the listener will never understand. There are many
things in life that we don't understand."
Do you have some comment about the Vietnam war?
"I only know it should stop." What about religion?
"The truth itself does not have any name on it."