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Producing language, we wank, we eat, we regurgitate, we research, we demonstrate, we expel; with what has been expelled we repaper our bodily walls, and this wallpaper is intricate, befouled, and potentially asemic—nonsignifying scratches without a linguistic system backing them up, scratches we nominate as words by agreeing together that this scratch means wank, that scratch means cang, this scratch means diatomaceous, that scratch means masks… Literature—the respite of the fallen—is the process of making do with mask and task, diverting ourselves with tasks that mask our disenfranchisement. We are disenfranchised, regardless of our station, because we belong to an earth that will continue to bear our presence only if we remain adequate custodians of this material envelope, fragile, in which we dwell, an envelope consisting of just a small interval of habitable temperatures. To unmask the systems that will destroy our possibility of inhabiting the earth is the task of a language that operates through masks and the avoidance of tasks.”

-Wayne Koestenbaum
The Writer’s Obligation

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And once again I am, I will not say alone, no, that’s not like me, but, how shall we say, I don’t know, restored to myself, no, I never left myself, free, yes, I don’t know what that means, but it’s the word I mean to use, free to do what, to do nothing, to know, but what, the laws of the mind perhaps, of my mind, that for example water rises in proportion as it drowns you and that you would do better, at least no worse, to obliterate texts than to blacken margins, to fill in the holes of words till all is blank and flat and the whole ghastly business looks like what it is, senseless, speechless, issueless misery.”

 

-Samuel Beckett
Molloy