Artefact, Recursiveness, Focus

Anne Carson in Eros, the bittersweet draws on the work of Eric Havelock postulating a shift in the Greek mind with the coming of literacy. She evokes this line of thought in the following terms:

At the same time, a more private revolution is set in process by the phenomenon of alphabetization. As the audio-tactile world of the oral culture is transformed into a world of words on paper where vision is the principal conveyor of information, a reorientation of perceptual abilities begins to take place within the individual.

An individual who lives in an oral culture uses his senses differently than one who lives in a literate culture, and with that different sensual deployment comes a different way of conceiving his own relations with his environment, a different conception of his body and a different conception of his self. The difference revolves around the physiological and psychological phenomenon of individual self-control. Self-control is minimally stressed in an oral milieu where most of the data important for survival and understanding are channelled into the individual through the open conduits of his senses, particularly his sense of sound, in a continuous interaction linking him with the world outside him. Complete openness to the environment is a condition of optimum awareness and alertness for such a person, and a continual fluent interchange of sensual impressions and responses between the environment and himself is the proper condition of his physical and mental life. To close his sense off from the outside world would be counter-productive to life and to thought.
I quote at length to make a few points: self-control is not alien to an oral culture, indeed regulation of information received is important for sorting out life and thought. Carson's individual could be a tool maker or a creator of artefacts — and would there not be need for periods of introspection to build and create?

Substitute tool-making for reading and writing in the continuation of her account to see that all that is ascribed to the power of reading and writing can and does exist in prior oral cultures.
When people begin to learn reading and writing, a different scenario develops. Reading and writing require focusing the mental attention upon a text by means of the visual sense. As an individual reads and writes he gradually learns to close or inhibit the input of his senses, to inhibit or control the responses of his body, so as to train energy and thought upon the written words. He resists the environment outside him by distinguishing and controlling the one inside him. This constitutes at first a laborious and painful effort for the individual, psychologists and sociologists tell us. In making the effort he becomes aware of the interior self as a entity separable from the environment and its input, controllable by his own mental action. The recognition that such controlling action is possible, and perhaps necessary, marks an important stage in ontogenic as in phylogenetic development, a stage at which the individual personality gathers itself to resist disintegration.
What I do grant is that reading and writing permit affordances that enhance recursivity. It is easier in writing to inscribe the writing moment into itself. And easier for the reader to be aware of his or her own reading. But self-relexivity is not alien to an oral culture.

Instead of a historiography of rupture between literate and oral eras, one can following Carson's own triangulation of beloved, lover and the distance between the two, propose a schema between environment, interior self and the distance between them. The structure may vary from historical instance to historical instance but it is not totally absent from any given formation. I still maintain that storytelling in an oral culture demands self-control and writing as a practice can lead the self to disintegrate along lines of flight. In either situation, one can take on or resist voices. Voice-distance-self.

And so for day 1875

"wild starlight"

It is no wonder that in a book of poems entitled Light-crossing Michael Redhill makes us attentive to starlight.

starblown night, scattered salt thrown for good luck over a shoulder
That was from "Night Driving"
This is from "Mahoney Point"
But the Milky Way is a chalk mark
erased against blackness
And the title to this blog entry is derived from the final words of "Allen's Hill": wild starlight.

What is remarkable for me in these examples is the pairing of a celestial figure with a human gesture. In some ways, one would expect such treatment to result in a domestication of the phenomenon. However, the impulsiveness of the gesture releases a sort of sublimity.

And so for day 1874

Semagraphic Thought

Ted Chiang "Story of Your Life" — the linguist Louise explaining her acquisition of the writing system of the Heptapods …

As I grew more fluent, semagraphic designs would appear fully formed, articulating even complex ideas all at once. My thought processes weren't moving any faster as a result, though. Instead of racing forward, my mind hung balanced on the symmetry underlying the semagrams. The semagrams seemed to be something more than language; they were almost like mandalas. I found myself in a meditative state, contemplating the way in which premises and conclusions were interchangeable. There was no direction inherent in the way propositions were connected, no "train of thought" moving along a particular route; all the components in an act of reasoning were equally powerful, all having identical precedence.
once. though. semagrams. mandalas. interchangeable. precedence.

These are the terminal words of the sentences in the paragraph. They enact the very thing/event that is described. They work as a syntagm either forwards or backwards. All-at-once time is given.

And so for day 1873

Codeword Repetition

Way earlier in the sequences

between kisses
now no one can clearly recall
the colour of silence
before the alphabets intersected
A long ways toward the end, in fact the last words to the last of the last
it will have been
an idea of flight and passion
light in breaking waves of time
sea as volume
in the alphabet and the present
Nicole Brossard Ardour translated by Angela Carr

The word "alphabet" seems to stand in for the world of language but we are none too sure of this metonymic interpretation. It could all be a set of letters before coalescing into words.

And so for day 1872

Syntactical Tactics

The ending of "Not Without" in Mark Doty's Deep Lane stretches the word order so that the reader is invited to linger and puzzle over the word order and the linkages between the elements.

Even that. Endless gratitude,
for the thing I would without be no one I know.
It is the absence of commas that intrigues. It reminds me of a passage in Robert Lowell's "Skunk Hour" where commas and assorted punctuation abound.
And now our fairy
decorator brightens his shop for fall;
his fishnet’s filled with orange cork,
orange, his cobbler’s bench and awl;
there is no money in his work,
he’d rather marry.
It took me a while but that second "orange" finally registered in my brain as a proleptic positioning of the adjective to modify the cobbler's bench and awl. Marry for money? Marry rather than burn? All we readers are left with is a character without — no money, no marriage, but a nicely decorated shop.

And so for day 1871

Two Portraits From Miller

George Miller. 30 (some odd) poems. Toronto: Three Tree Press, 1977.

"Padraig O'Broin"

In the tundra between the lines
we eye each other guardedly
"John of Glasgow"
There is still among the dying
more life than among the dead

star blood
         earth bone
part light
         part stone

Our breath hangs in the air
like evidence for the soul
and there are countries we
have not seen which will taste
like crisp apples
when we go to them
in the morning
Ever alert to the traces of life and its enjoyments in a land of cold.

And so for day 1870

Even A Few More From Miller

George Miller. 30 (some odd) poems. Toronto: Three Tree Press, 1977.

Conclusion to "Gambit"

He practised madness
in front of his mirror
and when the mirror broke
he found he had perfected it.
A male version of "The Lady of Shallot" and its "mirror crack'd from side to side"?

And so for day 1869

A Few More From Miller

George Miller. 30 (some odd) poems. Toronto: Three Tree Press, 1977.

"Back to Back — LSD"


A flower is a lesson in celestial
I smell its colour
The flower and my vision of it
in an obscure but marvellous
act of procreation
A dog is running
and I become its motion

The poem races off and we are left with the marvellous obscurity of colour and scent mingling.

And so for day 1868

Even More From Miller

George Miller. 30 (some odd) poems. Toronto: Three Tree Press, 1977.

One of the thirty odd is a poem entitled "30th Birthday Testament"

a gaggle of friends
who rejected the dance
in favour of
learning how to limp
Remark how the enjambement ("in favour of / learning how to limp") reproduces that very limp.

And so for day 1867

More From Miller

George Miller. 30 (some odd) poems. Toronto: Three Tree Press, 1977.

Has the most glorious cover: a cheque (remember those?) made out to "whomever" is written out in the currency of "poems" in the amount of 30 (some odd) signed by the poet.

In those some odd thirty is "Poem for My Daoughters 2" which plays with symmetry
Run away with me

we will forget
what we thought we had
to remember


Run away with me

we will remember
what we thought we had


We will hold each other
's hands when we cross the street
and maybe we will hold each other
's hands when we do not cross the street

That splitting of "other's" over the line break is a mark of virtuosity and silliness combined to great effect in a poem we deem addressed to children. It's a cheque we can endorse.

And so for day 1866

Catching the Allusion

First I came across a book with a long title:
Oats, Peas, Beans & Barley Cookbook by Edyth Young Cottrell

Which I later encountered as a song
Oats, peas, beans, and barley grow,
Oats, peas, beans, and barley grow,
Can you or I or anyone know
How oats, peas, beans, and barley grow?
And the song takes you through the sowing of seed, watering, weeding and harvesting. Apparently there are actions to accompany the lyrics.

And so for day 1865

Tastes of Years Past

Denied my Proustian moment by the vagaries of the marketing machine that displaces product lines…

Memories of

  • Twinings Prince of Wales tea — no longer available in Canada
  • Zoubrovka (buffalo grass scented black tea) from Kousmichoff (now Kusmi Tea)
  • Black Cat Bubble Gum
  • Toronto's Clafouti produced an excellent buttery croissant — the shop has closed its Queen Street location — coffee and croissant at Clafouti before proceeding to Type to browse and buy books had become a ritual …
I'm lucky to have a nephew who can approximate his grandmother's sugar pie. He has the touch.

I can still tuck into fish tacos at Tacos El Asador or halloumi döner at Otto Berliner and I do have the grand city of Toronto to pursue other culinary adventures: markets, grocers, butchers, restaurants, bars and cafes, food trucks. Some adventures are unique and others repeatable pleasures. And the great conversations centred on pure hedonism whether recalled or anticipated.

And so for day 1864

Elegance of Wit - Safe Sex Messaging

Back in the 90s.

I think this guy looks like the Planter's Peanut Man. Put out by the Scarborough Health Department in association with others across Metro Toronto (before the city was amalgamated), its rhymes underscore that practising safe sex is a class act: Evening Wear for Lovers Who Care.

Our next example hails from Ottawa and is bilingual. And as with all good campaigns eschews clunky translations for two totally different was of expressing a similar message. All in one dual purpose pamphlet.




I do particularly like the appropriation of the popular disco tune... And in French note the savvy wordplay on loosing one's head which shares the same signifier for the slang for condom.

And so for day 1863

Not So Long Ago

First a description of the product and its cross-cultural appeal.

Known as croccante to the Italians, praline to the French and turrón to the Spanish, such a golden nutty sweetmeat is better known here in Britain as brittle or, occasionally, cracknel. Although methods and results differ slightly from country to country, the marriage of warm, freshly roasted nuts and glistening caramel lives up to its name. The nuts are cracked, then snap and spit in the caramel. The brittle will crackle as it cools and then shatter as you break it into shards for crunching between the teeth.

Nigel Slater Real Good Food, 1995
Given Slater's praise of the nut and caramel confection, it is no surprise that I was attracted to a little pamphlet from the Green Orchid in New Orleans presenting the "Story of the Praline". Its cover should have alerted me but I thought it was similar to pancake mix from Aunt Jemima.

A search for "Green Orchid + New Orleans" led me to the blog of Dave DeCaro who was tempted then put off:
Anyone care to sample Ma-Lou's Pralines? I wouldn't mind some crumbled over vanilla ice cream. This one is from June 1962

My inner sign-geek is telling me to get a closer look at the signage of the Green Orchid:

In case, you may wonder about judging by covers, consider this from Creating the Big Easy: New Orleans and the Emergence of Modern Tourism, 1918-1945 by Anthony J. Stanonis
New Orleans businesses capitalized on the mammy image. The Green Orchid, a prominent French Quarter store, offered tourists a booklet that explained how the "outstanding candy of the old Negro mammies, has become synonymous with New Orleans." Delicious pralines, loyal mammies and the Crescent City were tightly bound together. Léda Plauché, who operated the Green Orchid, named the confections "Ma-Lou Pralines," an abbreviation for "my old Negro mammy, Marie-Louise." The shortened version, done for "commercial purposes," not only stripped the black figure of a name suggestive of her Creole roots — and possibly mixed bloodline — but also presented her as motherly. Playing on tourists' curiosity, Plauché had cooks don costumes and opened the kitchen to the public, providing "the only place in New Orleans where you may see mammy making pralines." The Green Orchid was not alone in manipulating the mammy image for financial gain.
We learn more about Ms Plauché from Omnivore Books and their catalogue
(New Orleans) Plauché, Léda. Ma-Lou's Creole Recipes.

  46 pp. Pictorial wrappers. First Edition. New Orleans: Green Orchid Gift Shop, c.1940's. Inscribed & SIGNED by the author on front free endpaper. Léda Hincks Plauché (Mrs. Henry Plauché) was born in New Orleans in 1886. She designed her first Carnival ball for the Krewe of Nereus in 1916 and, over the next forty years, she included the krewes of Rex, Proteus, Comus, and Momus among her clients. Mrs. Plauché was also the proprietor of the Green Orchid gift shop in the French Quarter. She died in New Orleans in 1980. In 1958, Léda Plauché donated a large collection of Mardi Gras costume and float designs and a smaller collection of photographs to the Louisiana Department (now Division) of New Orleans Public Library. Fine. $65

So the little pamphlet on pralines originates somewhere between the 1940s and the 1960s. But parts of its text still sting (well beyond the appropriation signalled by Stanonis). This for me is simply eye-popping:
These faithful old darkies loved to adopt family names and to mimic what the "Boss" did so mammy named her candy Praline, feeling quite sure that if what came from Paris was good enough for her "Missus", it was good enough for her. So the Praline, outstanding candy of the old Negro mammies, has become synonymous with New Orleans!
Having explored the discourse surrounding this sweet I have a greater appreciation for what "normalizing" means in an American context.

And so for day 1862

The Insanity of Poetry

From the Republic of Childhood, a tool? a weapon? a field?

We call these children's games, not children's work, but isn't a child precisely one who doesn't yet observe a clear distinction between what counts as labor and what counts as leisure? All children are poets in that sense. I'm asking you to locate your memory of that early linguistic instability of language as a creative and destructive force. I have done the reading, and the reading suggests that we always experience this power as withdrawing from us, or we from it — if we didn't distance from this capacity it would signal our failure to be assimilated into the actual, adult world, i.e., we would be crazy.
It seems an echo of Kristeva's chora here in Ben Lerner The Hatred of Poetry.

And so for day 1861

Just a Little Off the Top

This passage in a piece by Darren O'Donnell "Social Practice, Children and the Possibility of Friendship" in Blast Counterblast ed by Anthony Elms and Steve Reinke (Toronto: Mercer Union, 2011) reminds us of the importance of audience.

This displacement of critical categories away from notions of craftsmanship and virtuosity allows for an easier involvement of the nonartist, children and young people, particularly populations who may be marginal to the dominant culture and thus less conversant with the language and postures of art.
Consider the various productions of Haircuts by Children mounted by Mammalian Diving Reflex (with which O'Donnell is associated): a performance about trust, children’s rights, generosity and vanity, where ten-year-olds offer free haircuts to the public. This has been mounted in several cities around the world.

And so for day 1860

Finding Place Finding Story

I am intrigued by the progression. A skip to the past (the boy he was) to traverse some fiction production (the lives of the strangers) to land in the present (place). It seems as if the boy himself is a stranger to himself.

Ask the boy he was if he must invent
the lives of the strangers to find his place.
Bruce Bond. "Homage to a Painter of Small Things" in Raritan Vol. XXXV No. 3.

And so for day 1859

Morphemes Metastasize

pages and pages apart is found a description to describe language under pressure

The wire, the wire, the why are, the why are. The why are we here? Listen there was time.
which instantiates what our poet earlier expressed in a finely allitertive phrase: "tumorousness of nurture"

Sina Queyras Lemon Hound

And so for day 1858

How Language Travels Bodywise

Desire of the body, desire of the language

something like wait for me
in the braille of scars
tonight can i suggest a little punctuation
circle half-moon vertical line of astonishment
a pause that transforms
light and breath
into language and threshold of fire
Nicole Brossard Ardour translated by Angela Carr.

i like the little "i" — to announce a suggestive soupçon of a pick up line

And so for day 1857

Portals via Allegory

One of the best explanations of allegory and its talismanic appeal to Walter Benjamin…

Allegory was a preeminent aesthetic mode in Christian visual and literary art of the Middle Ages, and its primary role was one of spiritual edification. Like holy relics and statuary, allegorical images or texts were thought to offer portals through which the holy realm outside the senses could be directly experienced.
Victoria Nelson "Walter Benjamin and the Two Angels" Raritan Vol. XXXV No. 3.

And so for day 1856

Chasing Flavour Enhancing the Moment

After an evening feasting on creamy St. Simon oysters from New Brunswick on offer at Oyster Boy, I encountered this tantalizing passage in Sina Queyras Lemon Hound

moments sliding like oysters on the tongue, salty and filled with dreams of whales
Much like the succulent St. Simon …

And so for day 1855

Space and Place Mediated by Language

Or at least this is what I think this is aiming at:

What is the connection
between belonging to a place
moving through a space
+ vocabulary at hand
That question mark hooked onto vocabulary or all that goes before ?

I am put in mind of the words propelling attitudes of gay liberation and lesbian-feminist revolution that prompted us to set up an openly gay and lesbian household back in 1982 on Aberdeen Street in Kingston, in the heart of the student ghetto — it was called appropriately Sappho-Wilde House.

And so for day 1854

Whistle While You Work

Link this to Audre Lorde's concept of biomythography.

the lifework of every gay man has been the transformation of the loathed into the loved
John Preston, "Goodbye to Sally Gerhart [1981] in Mark Blasius & Shane Phelan (eds.), We Are Everywhere: A Historical Sourcebook of Gay and Lesbian Politics, pp. 511-520 (1997) also in Michael Denney, Charles Ortleb and Thomas Steele (eds.), The Christopher Street Reader, pp. 368-80 (1983).

And so for day 1853

Positionality Disturbed

Rosalind Coward and John Ellis Language and Materialism

On S/Z, Barthes's study of Balzac's Sarazine

On the level of the writing itself, the identity between the signifier and the signified is disturbed. Then, the sexual opposition which is necessary for reproduction is displaced by the entry of a third, troubling term. Finally, gold is shown us being a troubling form of wealth, a new form that is no longer simply the index of physical wealth. These three forms of disturbance are three 'routes of entry' into the symbolic code, 'none of which is privileged'. They are equally the three major forms of exchange by which society reproduces itself (language, sexuality and economics), each of which requires a fixed positionality (addressor-addressee; masculine-feminine; buyer-seller). The disturbance in this text originates in the area of sexual positionality, but its effects are felt equally and necessarily in each of these areas: positionality is disturbed, so each of these modes of reproduction becomes impossible.
This excerpt was found in a folder containing another sheet referencing three types of action in the business sphere: propose, give away, add value.

And so for day 1852

For the Love of Teleroman

If I were to write a soap opera …

The Brash and the Beloved
I think I will stick to blogging.

And so for day 1851

Social Hieroglyph to Decode

Chantal Mouffe and Ernesto Laclau. Hegemony and Socialist Strategy

We begin with remarks on predetermination and representation:

But because it is at the same time a fiction and a principle organizing actual social relations, representation is the terrain of a game whose result is not predetermined from the beginning.
Which leads to a consideration of other openness:
Between the logic of complete identity and that of pure difference, the experience of democracy should consist of the recognition of the multiplicity of social logics along with the necessity of their articulation. But this articulation should be constantly re-created and renegotiated, and there is no final point at which a balance will be definitely achieved.
Drawing "representation" into the ambit of "logics".

And so for day 1850

The long way round to fast

Odd fragment of a dialogue

… precipitously

I don't know what that word means.

Take your time finding out.
I like the tension that is introduced by precipitous and taking one's time.

And so for day 1849

Angels: Lines of Flight

Freda Guttman at A Space

In Memoriam consists of three 1930-40's upright radios, large and ornate, their inside workings removed. The radios have a metaphorical role — presences, speakers, ghosts of the past, warning voices that remember Walter Benjamin's life and work, and remind us of his prescient understanding of the revolutionary significance of new technologies, as well as their impact on the production of art. Five large Jacquard tapestries will be hung on the walls in a relationship to the three radios. Thematically, they refer to instances in the 20th century of violent events, such as the coup in Chile in 1973, the Hitler era, the bombing of cities in World War II.
One radio in particular attracts attention. It bears a reproduction of Klee's "Angelus Novus".

Guttman presents us with a recontextualization of Klee's "Angelus Novus". This rendition and in the particular manner in which is mounted makes one return the ninth of Benjamin's Theses on the Philosophy of History.
A Klee painting named 'Angelus Novus' shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing in from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such a violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.
On its own, the depicted angel doesn't quite look as if it's looking backwards and indeed a rereading highlights the suggestiveness of Benjamin's prose which indicates that the angel appears to be about to turn away from something. (That something is the viewer which via Benjamin comes to occupy the position of the past.)

It is not just having a reproduction of the Klee painting at hand that leads to a reappraisal of the relations between the angel from the painting, the angel from the excerpt from poem by Scholem which Benjamin places as an epigraph to the ninth thesis and the angel caught in Benjamin's storytelling whose image is taken up again by artists such as Laurie Anderson in her music (Strange Angels).
My wing is ready for flight,
I would like to turn back.
If I stayed timeless time,
I would have little luck.

Mein Flügel ist zum Schwung bereit,
ich kehrte gern zurück,
denn blieb ich auch lebendige Zeit,
ich hätte wenig Glück.

Gerhard Scholem
'Gruß vom Angelus'
It is very much having a partition over the reproduction — Guttman places the tapestry as the speaker screen in a refurbished radio (an older model from the period when radios were items of furniture) — that guides the viewer to be attentive to the position of the feet and the orientation of the eyes of the depicted figure. Just what counts as backwards is very much a question of "as though".

In the A-Space take away, Peter White comments on the status of "Klee's painting Angelus Novus, the pivotal figure of Benjamin's famous ninth thesis on the conception of history":
For my part, I seem to want to think about this image of Benjamin as an analogue, but in reverse, for his angel of history. Faced with the accumulated wreckages of history, it is the angel's fate to be forcibly propelled into the future. I wouldn't want to describe Benjamin or anyone else for that matter, as an angel, but he is perhaps as close to a prophet as the twentieth century produced. If you think of him in this piece as he imagined the angel, back turned to the future, what is pictured is not so much his era as what he feared so deeply, its perpetuation.
A note on technique:
Ivan Jurakic, "Notes for the 20th" Cambridge Galleries, 2007

Benjamin never so much wrote about his own times as he wrote through it. His writing was constructed in layers and he approached it as means of "drilling" for the truth.* If our postmodern condition tends towards the use of appropriation, pastiche and sampling as the norm, then the foundations of this condition can be traced back to Benjamin's use of citation and montage as a means of intellectually capturing the vicissitudes and complexities of the Modern age. Guttman not only understands this, but wisely uses this same oscillation as a means to propel her own project effortlessly from present to past and back again.

* "… to plumb the depths of language and thought … by drilling rather than excavating" Walter Benjamin quoted by Hannah Arendt, "Illuminations," Schocken, 1969 p 48.
And so to conclude let us juxtapose a quotation from Catherine Hume, singer-songwriter, from her 1999 album Hinges. The refrain from "Fallen Angel" …
Choose a poison, choose a weapon, walk on by the gates of heaven, a crooked door, rusty hinges, promises darker riches. So walk through, you know you want to walk through that door, fallen angel, walk through that door etc.
No knowing which way that door leads — a past? a future?

And so for day 1848


Laurie Anderson

[from liner notes to Faraway So Close! (1993)]


In this dream I'm on a tight rope
and I'm tipping back and forth
trying to keep my balance
- and below me are all my relatives -
and if I fall I'll crush them.
This line this bloodline
the only thing that binds me
in the turning world below,
and all the people and noise
and songs and shouts
this long thin line this song line
this tightrope made of sound
this tightrope made of my own blood
[from the album Bright Red (1994)]

Last night I dreamed I died and that my life had
been rearranged into some kind of theme park.
And all my friends were walking up and down the boardwalk.
And my dead grandmother was selling
cotton candy out of a little shack.
And there was this big ferris wheel
about half a mile out in the ocean,
half in and half out of water.
And all my old boyfriends were on it.
With their new girlfriends.
And the boys were waving and shouting
and the girls were saying Eeek.

Then they disappeared under the surface of the water
and when they came up again they were laughing
and gasping for breath.

In this dream I'm on a tightrope
and I'm tipping back and forth trying to keep my balance.
And below me are all my relatives
and if I fall I'll crush them.
This long thin line. This song line. This shout.

The only thing that binds me to the turning world below
and all the people and noise and sounds and shouts.
This tightrope made of sound
This long thin line made of my own blood.
Remember me is all I ask.
And if remembered be a task forget me.

Remember me is all I ask.
And if remembered be a task forget me.
This long thin line. This long thin line.
This long thin line. This tightrope.

Remember me is all I ask.
And if remembered be a task forget me.
This long thin line. This long thin line.
This long thin line. This tightrope.
From tightrope to line of memory … stretched and stretching …

And so for day 1847

Tender Comrades

Lane Reylea "Dear Radical Artist (Unforgettable You) in in Blast Counterblast ed by Anthony Elms and Steve Reinke (Toronto: Mercer Union, 2011)

Flexibility, mobility, transience and dialogue — these are no longer challenges to the system, they are the very attributes the dominant system most loudly promotes. Today's resourceful DIY artists risk glamorizing the euphemisms of entrepreneurial initiative and individual responsibility used to sell the recent neo-liberal agenda of deregulation, of rolling back state assistance programs, of "ending welfare as we know it."
Note the keyword: "risk". Autonomy is still possible.

And so for day 1846

Field Coordination

Jerome Bruner Actual Minds, Possible Worlds

These notes (a mess to a certain degree) focus on description and implies its importance for narration.

Burner introduces his analysis via a discussion of primitive syntax (topic + comment) from the more general form (given + new).

He discusses metaphor substitution from (given + new). Of course he is attempting to point out the flaws in verificationist theories of meaning. He forgets his simple or elementary expression (topic + comment). What strikes me is that topic + comment is not so simple i.e. topic implies a field or isotopy [topos or place]. Already one is caught up in coordinates. The comment is a selection among possible coordinates. It reverberates along the "hidden" structure of force fields (c.f. Arnheim on balance)
Notes which later become an overt challenge to downgrading description in favour of story:
There is slippage between mood (subjunctive) and mode (subjectivization). He has moved the question from one of reference to one of intuition. "Narrative deals with the vicissitudes of human intentions." His arguments are going to rely heavily on verbs ∴ nomination + narration almost unexamined + establishes a distance between narration & report. B presupposes (yes I'm using his vocab in a verb form) transformation as core of narrative (No surprise since he relies heavily on Iser). Description as core of narration would come closer to Pavel's extensive use of travel metaphors.
So tempted to restate: Narrative deals with the vicissitudes of human attention.

And so for day 1845