Adorno:
..immer von Beckett ist eine technische Reduktion bis zum außersten
…always from Beckett is a technical reduction to the extreme
Aber diese Reduktiion ist ja wirklich das was die Welt aus uns macht
…das heißt die Welt aus uns gemacht diese Stümpfe von Menschen also diese Menschen die eigentlich ihr ihr ich verloren haben
but this reduction is really what the world makes out of us …that is the world [has] made out of us these stumps of men so these men who have actually lost their I
die sind wirklich die Produkte der Welt in welche wir leben
are really the products of the world in which we live.

It appears to be an activity that is (1) free, (2) separate, (3) uncertain, (4) unproductive, (5) regulated, and (6) fictive.

bigger coupe croppedIf I said to you, “I want to return to 1940 and have a big coupe with big running boards and drive it drunkenly and carefully along dirt roads never causing harm except for frightening chickens out of the road, and I want you standing there on the running board saying Slow down, or Let me in, and laughing, but I don’t stop, because of course you don’t mean it, you think as I do that a big 1940s coupe and careful drunk driving and one party outside the car and one inside and both laughing and chickens spraying unhurt into the ditches is what life was then, is what life was before it became ruined by us and all our crap,” and if I said to you, “I have an actual goddamned time machine, I am not kidding, we can get in the coupe inside 30 seconds if we take off our clothes and push the red button underneath that computer over there, come on, strip, get ready” – would you get ready to go with me, and go? Would you ask a lot of questions? Or would you just say, “shut up and press the button”?

accumulation of images2Things come and depart: the soul comes back to the body, fever is driven away. An attempt is made to make sense of an accumulation of images.

become like something else2Nature creates similarities. The highest capacity for producing similarities, however, is man’s. His gift of seeing resemblances is nothing other than a rudiment of the powerful compulsion in former times to become and behave like something else.

variablesThe personal pronouns in my work very often seem to be like variables in an equation. “You” can be myself or it can be another person, someone whom I’m addressing, and so can “he” and “she” and for that matter “we”; sometimes one has to deduce from the rest of the sentence what is being meant and my point is also that it doesn’t really matter very much, that we are somehow all aspects of a consciousness giving rise to the poem and the fact of addressing someone, myself or someone else, is what’s the important thing at that particular moment rather than the particular person involved.

deprivatized zoneTo awaken from the dream, we must learn to read it as a text; but to become such readers, we must distill from it a language that is outside it as well as inside. Only through a language born in the deprivatized zone of quotation, a political language finally adequate to the mystifications of capitalism, can we acknowledge and confront the alarming identity between the text of the nineteenth century and that of the twentieth.

clinamen When atoms move straight down through the void by their own weight, they deflect a bit in space at a quite uncertain time and in uncertain places, just enough that you could say that their motion has changed. But if they were not in the habit of swerving, they would fall straight down through the depths of the void, like drops of rain, and no collision would occur, nor would any blow be produced among the atoms. In that case, nature would never have produced anything.

your very own wordsThe poets are supposed to liberate the words – not to chain them in phrases. Who told poets they were supposed to think? Poets are meant to sing and to make words sing. Poets have no words “of their very own.” Writers don’t own their words. Since when do words belong to anybody? “Your very own words,” indeed ! And who are you?

a text whose erasure croppedI was in search of a text whose erasure would somehow be a continuation of its creation.

unintelligibility croppedThe unintelligibility of the words is a basic condition of most of the opera. At the same time the words are always there, always being articulated: so you get words that you can hear but not understand, or words that approach the condition of music.

can you feel it?Can you feel it? Does it hurt? Is this too soft? Do you like it? Do you like this? Is this how you like it? Is it alright? Is he there? Is he breathing? Is it him? Is it near? Is it hard? Is it cold? Does it weigh much? Is it heavy? Do you have to carry it far? Are those the hills? Is this where we get off? Which one are you? Are we there yet? Do we need to bring sweaters? Where is the border between blue and green? Has the mail come? Have you come yet? Is it perfect bound? Do you prefer ballpoints? Do you know which insect you most resemble? Is it the red one? Is that your hand? Want to go out? What about dinner? What does it cost? Do you speak English? Has he found his voice yet? Is this anise or is it fennel? Are you high yet? Is your throat sore? Can’t you tell dill weed when you see it? Do you smell something burning? Do you hear a ringing sound? Do you hear something whimpering, mewing, crying?

Antoinette Beckett in hayWhen he wrote the letter Beckett admitted that he had not yet found a way of producing “the literature of the unword, which is so desirable to me … an assault against words in the name of beauty.”

“In the mean time,” he confessed to his friend, he was “doing nothing at all.”

 

georgie grace