glukupikron

It is a deadly stinginess by which the nonlover eludes desire. He measures his emotions out like a miser counting gold. There is no risk entailed in his transaction with eros because he does not invest in the single moment that is open to risk, the moment when desire begins, ‘now.’ ‘Now’ is the moment when change erupts. The nonlover declines change, as successfully as the cicadas do, enclosed in a carapace of sōphrosynē. He is secure in his narrative choices of life and love. He already knows how the novel will end, and he has firmly crossed out the beginning…

The point of time that Lysias deletes from his logos, the moment of mania when Eros enters the lover, is for Sokrates the single most important moment to confront and grasp. ‘Now’ is a gift from the gods and an access onto reality. To address yourself to the moment when Eros glances into your life and to grasp what is happening in your soul at that moment is to begin to understand how to live. Eros’ mode of takeover is an education: it can teach you the real nature of what is inside you. Once you glimpse that, you can begin to become it. Sokrates says it is a glimpse of a god.”

-Anne Carson
Eros, The Bittersweet

2020 reads

* novels and non-fiction

Eros, The Bittersweet – Anne Carson
The Immortality Key – Brian C. Muraresku
Demons – Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Labyrinth of Solitude – Octavio Paz
My Year of Rest and Relaxation – Ottessa Moshfegh
Wild Milk – Sabrina Orah Mark
Summer Solstice – Nina MacLaughlin
Wake Siren – Nina MacLaughlin
The Complete Stories – Clarice Lispector
The Complete Stories – Leonora Carrington
Grove – Esther Kinsky
Molloy – Samuel Beckett
America – Jean Baudrillard
The Symposium & The Allegory of the Cave – Plato
Boy Swallows Universe – Trent Dalton
The Obscene Madam D – Hilda Hilst
The Lover – Marguerite Duras
Multitudes – Lucy Caldwell
Year of the Monkey – Patti Smith
Gratitude – Oliver Sacks
The Plague – Albert Camus

*

2019, 2018, 2017

vanity and void

The story of my life doesn’t exist. Does not exist. There’s never any center to it. No path, no line. There are great spaces where you pretend there used to be someone, but it’s not true, there was no one. The story of one small part of my youth I’ve already written, more or less—I mean, enough to give a glimpse of it… Nowadays it often seems writing is nothing at all. Sometimes I realize that if writing isn’t, all things, all contraries confounded, a quest for vanity and void, it’s nothing. That if it’s not, each time, all things confounded into one through some inexpressible essence, then writing is nothing but advertisement. But usually I have no opinion, I can see that all options are open now, that there seem to be no more barriers, that writing seems at a loss for somewhere to hide, to be written, to be read. That its basic unseemliness is no longer accepted. But at that point I stop thinking about it.”

-Marguerite Duras
The Lover

blue + grey

On my walk with the camera I had lost my cable release. The golden cemetery island in the air went unphotographed. At first, I was distressed not by my loss of cable per se, but of the cable as witness to one day two years ago in winter—the grey, mild, mistletoe-winter, a winter without abnormalities—when we wandered through the streets, thinking about ‘next year’ and ‘in two years’ and the ‘future’ in general and I bought it at a shop with used camera accessories, to replace a lost one. We both ran our fingers through the slack knot of cable releases, which lay in a basket, twisted into one another like half-hibernating, languid, fearless snakelets, and M. eventually pulled out this especially robust, light-grey coated one, which I took and used and now had lost. My distress over the cable falls under one of the potential curses of bereavement that I gradually became familiar with: weighting objects qua testimony. The attribution of participation in a moment past. A small piece of back-then, which should act as if it could moor the past tense onto the broken-off banks of the present. Idle lists of a forlornness that knows not what to do with itself.”

-Esther Kinsky
Grove

possessed

I speak a lot, I mean, a lot of words, and I rush, and it always comes out wrong. And why is it that I speak a lot of words and it comes out wrong? Because I don’t know how to speak. Those who know how to speak well, speak briefly. So, there you have my giftlessness—isn’t it true? But since this gift of giftlessness is natural to me, why shouldn’t I use it artificially? And so I do. True, as I was preparing to come here, I first had the thought of being silent; but to be silent is a great talent, and is therefore not fitting for me, and, second, it’s dangerous to be silent, after all; well, so I finally decided that it would be best to talk, but precisely in a giftless way, I mean, a lot, a lot, a lot, to be in a great rush to prove something, and towards the end to get tangled up in one’s own proofs, so that the listener throws up his hands, or, best of all, just spits and walks away without any end.”

-Fyodor Dostoevsky
Demons

vanishing point

For the desert is simply that: an ecstatic critique of culture, an ecstatic form of disappearance. // Like a fibrillation of muscles, striated by the excess of heat and speed, by the excess of things seen or read, of places passed through and forgotten. The defibrillation of the body overloaded with empty signs, functional gestures, the blinding brilliance of the sky, and somnambulistic distances, is a very slow process. Things suddenly become lighter, as culture, our culture, becomes more rarefied. And this spectral form of civilization which the Americans have invented, an ephemeral form so close to vanishing point, suddenly seems the best adapted to the probability—the probability only—of the life that lies in store for us. The form that dominates the American West, and doubtless all of American culture, is a seismic form: a practical, interstitial culture, born of a rift with the Old World, a tactile, fragile, mobile, superficial culture—you have to follow its own rules to grasp how it works: seismic shifting, soft technologies. // Everything here testifies to death having found its ideal home.”

-Jean Baudrillard
America

little phantom trip

Someone has invented this sinister plan: a return to the archaic gaze, a going toward the expectation figured by two blue eyes in the black dust. Silence is temptation and promise. Finale of my initiation. Beginning of every end. It’s of myself I speak. It happens to be necessary to go only once to see if just once again you’ll be granted the vision. We die of fatigue here. We’d rather not move. We’re exhausted. Each bone and each limb recalls its archaic sufferings. We suffer and crawl, dance, we drag ourselves. Someone has promised. It’s of myself I speak. Someone can’t take it anymore.”

-Alejandra Pizarnik
The Galloping Hour

a poem of crows

And I remember thinking, Oh, I’m watching a poem. I’m watching a poem made of crows. I’m watching a poem of no words. And that’s when things really shift, and I’m edging up against infinity, which means I’m as close as I’m ever going to be to death until I’m in it. Thereness and goneness. Total propulsion. And this is when sight doesn’t matter. And this is when language doesn’t matter. Oh god, this is especially when language doesn’t matter at all. Like maybe that’s one of the main parts about it. There’s no language. No words. And there’s no language to describe it. No words right now. I mean, these words aren’t even close. In these nights, I’m telling you, it’s unreal, like—an end to the limits of the self. And then you emerge. Having touched something very very big. I come out of it something else. I come out New.”

-Nina MacLaughlin
Wake Siren

Eliminating herself was a sort of aesthetic project. One can’t go on anymore, she said, electronics seems so clean and yet it dirties, dirties tremendously, and it obliges you to leave traces of yourself everywhere as if you were shitting and peeing on yourself continuously: I want to leave nothing, my favorite key is the one that deletes.”

-Elena Ferrante
The Story of the Lost Child

transpartisan

The truth is that you don’t have the truth; and you never will. And even if you turn out to be right about something, there will always be a time when your opinion is outdated or at least incomplete. Whatever direction you move in, it will lead to a contradiction, self-destruction and decay, sooner or later. Your perspective or opinion always has a systemic limit, a breaking point; it always breaks down under its own weight, just like any engine, organism or economic system.”

-Hanzi Freinacht (Emil Ejner Friis and Daniel Görtz)
The Listening Society: A Metamodern Guide to Politics