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4.21.14

Everything is a sort of simulacrum for the word, everything a shifting phantasmagoria. The leaves more than language. I grow tired of the old descriptions. I step outside the page when night descends and see them align—a sound, a syllable—between two skies. The leaves, the stars hung low there with the weight of cold. The leaves don’t exist to be named. 

6:50 pm  29 notes

Within the trees I no longer can see any trees.
The branches are bare of leaves, carried off by the wind.
The fruits are sweet, but empty of love.
They do not even satisfy.
What shall happen?
Before my eyes the forest flees,
bird song no longer reaching my ears,
and for me no pasture will become a bed.
I am full with time
yet hunger for it.
What shall happen?

Nightly upon the mountains the fires will burn.
Shall I prepare myself to draw near to them all again?

I can no longer see on any path a path.

— Ingeborg Bachmann, “Estrangement”

6:29 pm  86 notes

Still it’s too early for sowing. Fields
surface in rain, March stars appear.
Like an afterthought, the universe submits
to familiar equations, such as the light
that falls but leaves the snow untouched.

Under the snow there will also be dust
and, what doesn’t disintegrate, the dust’s
later nourishment. O wind, picking up.
Again the plows rip open the darkness.
Each new day will want to be longer.

It’s on long days that we are sown,
unasked, in those neat and crooked rows,
as stars sink away above. In fields
we thrive or rot without a choice,
submitting to rain and also at last the light.

— Ingeborg Bachmann, “March Stars”

6:24 pm  22 notes

“There is no true love save in suffering, and in this world we have to choose either love, which is suffering, or happiness. And love leads us to no other happiness than that of love itself and its tragic consolation of uncertain hope. The moment love becomes happy and satisfied, it no longer desires and it is no longer love. The satisfied, the happy, do not love; they fall asleep in habit, near neighbor to annihilation. To fall into habit is to begin to cease to be. Man is the more man—that is, the more divine—the greater his capacity for suffering, or, rather, for anguish.”

Miguel de Unamuno, The Tragic Sense of Life

7:39 pm  63 notes

“The temporal structure of the subject is chiasmic: in the place of a substantial or self-determining “subject,” this juncture of discursive demands is something like a “crossroads,” to use Gloria Anzaldua’s phrase, a crossroads of cultural and political discursive forces, which she herself claims cannot be understood through the notion of the “subject.” There is no subject prior to its constructions; it is always the nexus, the non-space of cultural collision, in which the demand to resignify or repeat the very terms which constitute the “we” cannot be summarily refused, but neither can they be followed in strict obedience. It is the space of this ambivalence which opens up the possibility of a reworking of the very terms by which subjectivation proceeds—and fails to proceed.”

— Judith Butler, Bodies That Matter

7:19 pm  81 notes

"Not to have one meaning is to have no meaning" (Aristotle).

Thus communication between men is possible only if words have a meaning, i.e., one meaning.

— Paul Ricoeur, Freud & Philosophy: An Essay on Interpretation

1:15 pm  21 notes

4.18.14

I. Mathematics is not the study of objects but instead the relations between them.

II. Semiotics is not the study of words but instead the relations between them.

III. Everything consists of nothing. The space between infinities.

12:10 am  202 notes

In this world of solitude and misconstruction, I have always found your passion for Literature and Critical Theory immensely moving, even more so when every new finding seems to lead to aporia, and no discourse, whomever the author, and whatever their efforts, seems to be able of escaping the limitless elusiveness of language. As long as I can obtain the resources to keep on this same path – which I, too, chose to cross –, you will always be a professional inspiration for me.
by Anonymous

How kind. Thank you, this made my day.

9:30 pm  9 notes

“[I]n Nietzsche, individualism is accompanied by a lively critique of the notions of “self” and “I.” For Nietzsche there is a kind of dissolution of the self. The reaction against oppressive structures is no longer done, for him, in the name of a “self” or an “I.” On the contrary, it is as though the “self” and the “I” were accomplices of those structures.”

— Gilles Deleuze, "Nietzsche’s Burst of Laughter: Interview"

5:22 pm  146 notes

“In the end, what the realists desire when they speak of the real thing, which for Derrida goes under the name tout autre, will always be to come (à venir), always lie beyond our reach, will belong to a structural future that keeps the present open. Indeed I would say that the hyper-real for Derrida, the tout autre, acquires its strongest and most decisive sense in the structure of the à venir, which is the most important sense of the impossible. For the impossible does not mean a simple logical contradiction, but that whose coming shatters the present horizons of intelligibility and possibility, that whose coming takes us by surprise and leaves us bewildered, wondering how that was possible, how the impossible was also possible, how it was possible to go where we cannot go.”

— John D. Caputo, ”For the Love of Things Themselves: Derrida’s Hyper-Realism

5:12 pm  36 notes

Today consists of too much coffee & too much Schopenhauer, thus the strange combination of a jittery sort of melancholy.

4:53 pm  38 notes

Today consists of too much coffee & too much Schopenhauer, thus the strange combination of a jittery sort of melancholy.

4.15.14

To exist only in the silence between sign and signifier.

6:16 pm  40 notes

Joseph Massey, “December,” Exit North

4:01 pm  14 notes

Joseph Massey, “December,” Exit North

“In all her intercourse with society there was nothing that made her feel as if she belonged to it. Every gesture, every word, and even the silence of those with whom she came in contact, implied, and often expressed, that she was banished, and as much alone as if she had inhabited another sphere, or communicated with the common nature by other organs than the rest of human kind.”

— Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

3:57 pm  71 notes

“My curiosity, alas, is not the kind that can be satisfied by objective knowledge. Plato said that opinion is worthless and that only knowledge counts, which is a neat formulation. But melancholy men from the northern mists understand that opinion is all there is. The great questions transcend fact, and discourse is a process of personality. Knowledge cannot respond to knowledge. And wisdom? Is it not opinion refined, opinion killed and resuscitated upward? Maybe Plato would have agreed with this.”

— Hayden Carruth, Reluctantly: Autobiographical Essays (via heteroglossia)

8:52 pm  68 notes

s.t.