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Monday, February 18, 2008

Room 223z

SOME OF THE INCREDIBLE IMAGES AND WORK OF ALAN SONDHEIM

I began EYELIGHT prior to "meeting" Alan (in fact before I had a computer or a PC. I may have owned a type writer when I started this project, but I didn't use it very much - from 1989 to about1994 I hand wrote most things). I did have an Amiga computer I used as a word processor, but by and large I was not very interested, at the time, in computers as such, and had no experience of the internet until 2000) but this work of Alan's has further inspired me in spirit and enthusiasm - and the brilliance of his writing - if not in detail - I don't have his deep knowledge of philosophic theory (of say Derrida - and the various phenomenologists and existentialists etc) but also of film and computer theory and "communications" theorists) and technical know how etc or - quite - his fascination-immersion in the Internet - but else there are certain points of conjunction - certainly his writing - and indeed his total project - has greatly inspired me as it did, I have since found, Gabriel Gudding, who was inspired almost directly by Alan to to do his recently published "Rhode Island Note Book" ...

See links on my Blog to Alan's sites and Blog. Dark? Perhaps disturbing and provoking and stimulating? yes.... Fascinating yes! Alan sees himself like me as a writer and working in multimedia (perhaps in Bernstein's "hypertextual space") - he has been associated with the Langpos but more recently has gone off at certain "angle" to them - although again there is a "tradition" or a connection...

Even in the fairly obvious "starting point" here of an eye....

It is a pity Ron Silliman (another inspritation, as was Charles Bernstein, Susan Howe etc) (or others of his ambit ... ) doesn't celebrate his work more - albeit the latter is very busy with so much else he does... but we surely seeing the work of an American literary and textuationalistic genius here....this is only a minute fraction of Alan's awe filled work.







PLEASE NOTE:

My webpage is no longer http://www.asondheim.org but
http://www.alansondheim.org
Thank you.



savaged code

ps ml r yr ml an yt ml j hz ml uh ml aml ml af c ml ag uh an ah af an ah
ah c ah am j ah ap aag b ag ag baaiah bb ap ah bb b aibb bb am bb ch ap bb
d aw bb dd babb ds cc bb ecubb edd cc eeech eef cueg dd e gg ds egz eeeh g
eehb gz eehb hb f hb huff hb igg hb jj h hb jk hh hb jl ihb jl jj hh jl jl
hujl jn ijl jp iijl jq jk jl jr jm jl js jo jl js jq jm jt js jn jt jujojt
jw jq js jx jr js jy jt js k jv jt kajx jt kakajukakb jv kakd jx kakf k
kakg kb kakh kd kakh kf kb kh kh kc kikj kd kh kl kekh km kg kh kn kikh
kokk kikp km kikp kokj kp kq kk kp ks kl kp kt kn kp kukp kp kv kr kp kw
kt kp kw kv kq kw kx kr kw kz kt kw lakukw lb kw kw lc ky kw lc lakx ld lc
ky ld lekz ld lf l ld lh lb lc lild lc lj lf ld lk lh ld lk lj lelk ll lf
lk ln lg lk lolilk lp lk lk lq lm lk lr lolk lr lq ll lr ls lm lr lulolr
lw lp lr lx lr lr ly lt lr ly lv ls lz lx lt lz lz lulz malv lz mc lx lz
md ly lz mem lz mf mc lz mf mem mf mg mamf mimb mf mj md mf mk mf mf mm mh
mf mn mj mg mo mm mg momomh momq mj momr mk mn mt mn mn mump momumr momv
mt mp mv mv mq mv mx mr mv mz ms mv n mumv namw mv nb my mv nb n mw nb nc
mx nb nd my nb nf n nb ng nb nb nh nd nb ninf nc nj nh nc nj nj nd nj nl
nenj nm ng nj noninj np nk nj nq nm nj nq nonk nq nq nl nq ns nm nq nunn
nq nv np nq nw nr nq nx nt nq nx nv nr ny nx ns ny nz nt ny oanv nx ob nw
nx oc ny nx od ony oeoc ny oeoenz oeog ooeoh ob oeoj od oeok of oe ol oh
oeol oj of ol ol og ol on oh ol op oiol oq ok ol or om ol os oool ot oq om
ot os on ot ouooot ow op ot ox or ot oy ot ot oz ov ot p ox ot p oz oup
paov p pc ox p peoy p pf p p pg pb p pg pepaq pg pb q rh pc q s pd pg sk
pf pg sl q pg sp s q t sk q t sp rh t tt s t uusc t xl sl t yl t t z ut zz
xl t zz z tt zz pk uzz em xl zz y yl zz ----------- zz zz
--------------------------------------------------------------------- se
zz ---------------------------------------------------------------------
pt pk ad ----------- sead ad em ad bk pt ad di----------- ad fr
--------------------------------------------------------------------- ad
ac bk ad gc diad gc ac -jugc fabk gc ea/ gc tr fr gc ab gc gc us begc detr
fadeus fahehebeheretr dehw ab dest dedetibl detihw he bh st bl bh bh rebh
pr hw bh ak in bh sh tibh at um bh ar ribh ar at um ar av pr ar al riar wt
sh ar ex ar ar pl al ar es wt av cr pl av cr cr al cr et sw cr biex cr
jees cr ul ed cr tp bicr tp jeed tp tp et tp tubi tp gr witp sn ul tp _
qutp roaotp rosn qurc roturc dw aorovasn roge_ roterc rososarc im terc im
im dw im db saim as geim ur so im wh woim tm as im tm ur wotm tm db tm en
as tm iv citm ep wh tm it tx tm weeg tm weep tx auween aucp eg auis iv
audr it weay auauby ce auwr dr auwr by cp wr cy cewr cl dr wr br by wr
buwr wr sb cl wr sb br cy un sb taun cacl un iovisb ic busb ss un sb ph
ioun er ic un er ph caer ck ioer godaer hoss er ct er er iasuer vehoer
veiack veha suvefuhovers ct ve_of veve_th cove_th rn hae_re_th coe_re -..>
fue_rex rn e_refe_of _th ir e_re_th dy x e_redm fee_redm dy -..> dm il x
dm gh dodm el ir dm ek dm dm fieidm dp el dm dp fiil rt rt eirt gl el dp
ry ek dp ev dp dp yoth dp yoeort ug ev th ug ug gl ug dueoug ez ry ug wn
youg ty poug fohv ug foty poform dufofs hv fo rg wn fod- fofogivl foft rg
rm ws girm ws ws vl ws gafs ws aad- ft tn ft ft gb jiws - aaws - tn ji- -
ga- id aa- gj tf - sigb - gn tv - if cs - if sitv ieif id iegucs if hisiif
rr gn if ec ieif cg hiie i-biec iei-bii-bigui-bism up i-bivorr i-birl cg
i-biig n/ i-bi ht voi-biht rl n/ ht ht sm ht hy voht rufl ht rd ig ht tw
fm ht zora ht zord fm hn zohy hn -s rahn ut rd zoyw tw zoi/ hn zoputohn
boyw hn bobo-s bozitobov yw bogy pubopizibozev bozegy zizeze gf dc eb v
zepp ew zewapizeax dc zepw tb dc _pr wadc _pr pw eb _pr e/ tb _pr hp pp
_pr rp ax _pr vu_pr _pr fc ys _pr hq rp _pr hq fc e/ hq uays hq rv rp hq
dl vuhq yehq hq sy az hq sy dl uatc sy az tc eh rv tc _vt yatc i_cn yesy
f/ tc sy i_in _vt tc i_loi_cn tc i_loi_in eh i_lo g/ _vt i_lot/
i_bii_loi_tx f/ i_lots i_loi_louii_pv i_lotl i_tx i_lotl uig/ tl aq i_pv
tl uc i_tx tl uets tl sf tl tl ux eq tl ux ud aq uy sf eq uy uy uc uy ef
ud uy wl sf uy ip ux uy xv vv uy ps wl uy ps xv vv ps yr ef ps hz w ps ip
ps ps ps yt ps yr yr yt



Memory of a Walk


I walked last Wednesday night from the Modern Culture and Media building
at Brown University to the train station downtown. I took the 6:16 to New
York. It arrived around 9:50 at Penn Station. On the way I remembered the
walk. I followed myself step by step, reconstructing as I went along. This
was six days ago. Now again I remember.

What did you think you were doing?

Memory and reconstruction worries me. I wanted to follow myself. I didn't
think of this at the time, that is the time of the walk itself, but only
later. I conductor asked if I were a philosopher; I think I appeared deep
in thought. I wanted to remember as much as possible. Later, several times
in the past six days, I thought I would try and remember again, try to
write everything down. But I thought this would take too much effort; it
wasn't until now, Tuesday, that I've had the energy to proceed.

What did you take with you?

I'm clearing my belongings out of Leslie Thornton's office. This trip I
took, in addition to what I brought up, a Cambodian bowed instrument, a
pair of slippers, some extra toiletries, a white towel. The towel and a
plastic bag were wrapped around the instrument and inserted into a cloth
bag. It was damp out. I added a polka-dotted umbrella as well, in case I
needed it.

Where did you go?

I went down the stairs and out the front door. Susan and Ellen were in the
office talking. I didn't say anything to them. I walked out the door and
turned right.

What did you do then?

I walked to the corner. I thought about going straight down as usual, but
instead crossed the street. I began walking up a slight hill to the Brown
Quadrangle. I passed two people as I turned into the Quadrangle. I took a
diagonal left, which would leave me out between two libraries.

Wait, I remember crossing the first intersection. I think there was little
or no traffic.

Then?

Then I walked diagonally through the cold mist, almost but not quite a
rain. I went through the gates to the top of the street. I didn't notice
the sculpture on the left; usually I look at it. I crossed the street. I
was surprised there was no traffic. I thought that usually there was
traffic. I began the descent of the hill. I passed the location of the old
Brown Music Department, where I had played several times; I thought about
that. I didn't think about the arts building that replaced it. I went
straight down the hill. I arrived at Benefit Street.

At Benefit Street you had several choices. What did you decide here?

I crossed Benefit street; I believe there was some traffic, but I'm not
sure. I continued going down the hill. I passed a corner building and
looked in a window. I wondered whether the window was where my studio at
Rhode Island School of Design used to be. I thought again about the
accusation I had stolen equipment and wondered how S. could possibly think
that since I had no place to take it but the school itself. I looked in
other windows on the way down; they were studios. I think they might have
been drawing studios; I'm not sure. I reached the bottom of the hill.

Now you're into the city itself, or at least the outskirts of the city, by
Providence River. What did you do?

I crossed the intersection here. This one I remember being easy. I arrived
at the bank of the river, the bank nearest the hill. I thought that the
time before I had crossed and taken the other bank. I found that the river
split, and that I was thrown off-course, that I ended up guiding myself by
the Statehouse dome. This time I felt tired, and stayed on the nearer
bank. I looked into the water as I walked towards the train station; I
couldn't see anything. I reached the next corner.

Then there was traffic?

There was a lot of traffic. I ran across the street; I was almost hit. I
continued on the other side.

Did you press the button for the traffic signal?

I remember a button, but it might have been farther on. I didn't press it,
I think. Perhaps I did.

And then?

Then I continued walking. I think it was either this block or the next,
possibly the end of this block, still by the river, that I heard foot-
steps. Or possibly saw someone ahead of me. But I think it began with the
footsteps. At the next intersection.

We're then at another heavily trafficked one?

Yes, the footsteps belonged to a woman, I think possibly a student, carry-
ing a backpack or small suitcase of some sort. I didn't see her full-on; I
couldn't identify her, but thought she might be blond.

What happened?

She had crossed the street and I crossed as well, somewhat behind her.
This was the second time I was almost hit; I wanted to make the light,
since the signals were long.

And then?

The road curved up ahead. Wait, there was a four-way stop intersection.
She continued up the curve on the left. I walked part of the way across
the bridge, crossing the Providence River. I stopped and looked down in
the water. I was looking for the herring or shad family fish I had seen
there before, in large schools. It was dark out; I looked for ripples in
the water. The week before I was guided by ripples. This time there were
none. I couldn't remember the name of the fish, something like mulhagen; I
still can't remember. I was frustrated, worried that I couldn't remember.

After looking in the water for a while?

I crossed the street. There was hardly any traffic. I looked up ahead to
see if the student was heading to the train station. I thought I saw her;
I couldn't be sure. I stopped on the other side of the street, which was
the other side of the bridge. I looked again down at the black water; I
was looking for the fish on the other side. Most of the time I had seen
them on this, the other side. This time again there was nothing, no
ripples, at least none visible. But wait.

Wait?

On the first, left-hand side of the bridge, I saw a leaf in the water; it
was large, and looked like one of the fish on its side; I wondered if it
was in fact one that was dying. When I looked on the other, right-hand
side of the bridge, I saw several more, and it was clear that they were
leaves, slowly going down the river.

Which way were they going?

I'm not sure; the river flowed slowly, but I believe from the right-hand
side to the left-hand side and beyond.

And then?

Then I began walking up the hill towards the train station. I had again to
go out into the street because the sidewalk was partly closed due to
construction. I walked past a number of parked cars on the right, in this
fashion. I noticed the construction was coming along, and remembered
hearing that apartments were to be built here. As I walked up the hill I
walked over a recently-asphalted entrance to the construction site, or
near the entrance. I wondered why the asphalt had been poured; it could
only be temporary and didn't seem to serve any purpose. I continued up the
sidewalk.

Did you see any birds?

No, often in the daytime, particularly in the spring, I had seen birds
around the site and in the trees directly to the left of the train
station. But this time there was nothing. I looked down into the huge
excavation beyond the immediate construction and noticed for the second
time, the train platform, I think it was the platform for the number 1 and
2 tracks, jutting out into it. The platform looked oddly spacious and
beautiful in the dark. I continued walking past the trees.

This was near the taxicab stand?

This went directly past the taxi stand. I saw a number of drivers standing
around; they were speaking a language I didn't understand. At first I
thought, this might be Pakistani, but then I thought Italian; I couldn't
hear well enough. The drivers all seemed to know one another. I wondered
what would happen if a new driver came along, who didn't speak the
language - would he or she be accepted in the group? Would the group, on
occasion, speak English to him or her? Would the driver be ignored? This
went on only for an instant. I reached the station doors and went in.

Just went in?

I remember looking at my cellphone on the way, at least twice, checking on
the time. I was early as usual; I think I arrived at 5:34, for the 6:16,
but I'm not sure. I was hungry.

How long did the walk take?

I think it took about twenty-one minutes, but I couldn't be sure. If I had
gone directly, it would have taken between seventeen and eighteen.

You were hungry? Were you hungry the whole time?

I was hungry the whole time; I had only breakfast at Louie's, a #1 with
orange juice extra, I think, beforehand. I was going to drink some Red
Bull to keep me going through the day, but had a large coffee with skim
milk instead; the Red Bull is still in the office.

So what did you do?

I went to the small cafe inside the train station. The man who served me
wasn't there; the woman was. I had often wondered about their relation-
ship; they seemed tight. I ordered, I think, something with apricot; I'm
not sure. I do remember eating it without getting sticky; I didn't have to
wash my hands afterwards.

And this whole time you were carrying both your camera bag with various
things you had brought with you, as well as the cloth bag contraption with
the Cambodian instrument and other things?

Yes. I believe I also took back a copy of The Structure of Reality with me
on this trip. I had a copy of Claire's demo DVD, since I'm writing a
recommendation for her. I remember I didn't change clothes; the clean ones
were still in the bag. I had some trail mix left over from the ride up. I
didn't want to order anything on the train.

And you were reading?

Yes, I had books with me, but I'm not sure I remember them. I definitely
had Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey, which I had read; now I wanted to
finish Sanditon which was in the same Penguin volume, which of course I
did. And I had a copy of David Hume's Enquiry with me as well; I had been
reading about miracles. But I think there might have been a third book.
The week before I had carried a relatively medieval history of the tantric
schools of Tibet, but I don't think I had it with me this time.

What else were you carrying?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As I said this is only a minute example of the vast work he is continuing - code is important for Alan - code ~ to words or modes of signaling I suppose. Codes in telecommunications practice have always been very important (I was involved in this area as a Telecommunications Tech; but not so much from the computer end - more from device "end" of transmission and digital electronics (although the computer/internet level (principles applied to telegraphy and telephony were / are transferred to the internet which is/was really just an extension of the already huge telecommunications network) was rapidly becoming more and more important at the time I moved out of that field in about 1987) - PCM etc or any signal sent (esp by a digital means) requires a code, error correction and there are "recognition procedures" as signal from one computer say reaches a server or whatever and passwords are exchanged as if a unit of soldiers were approaching a military encampment at night say in war or not.... Now these "codes" are everywhere (they are seen in nature when animals meet) and extend from electronics communications to animal and human communications; and Alan brings them together in his work.

But there are many "strands" or "waves" [long and short] as Alan calls them: as if he has generated a huge multi-dimensioned conscious field of reality-irreality which hangs almost in some eternal cyber space. Here in the code and the description below I think first (for me) of Beckett's use of codes (remember Beckett was in the resistance in France - see Wittgenstein's Ladder by Marjorie Perelman); Bernstein's description of a new kind of written or textualised hyperspace (a 'hypertext') as in his essay "Writing and Practice" in In the Americain Tree ed. Ron Sillman But simultaneously the "self-interrogation" reminds me of Beckett again, Ray diPalma in his "January Zero"; the method of the N.Z. experimental musician John Cousins (in a work where he starts by interviewing himself as I suppose in Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape); even eerily of Ulysses, and obliquely of the innovative Canadian writer Kenneth Goldsmith's works; and, because writers work by subtle means and we readers need to be alert, and as his last paragraph talks of his reading so much - which I believe - one "suspects" quotation" (a valid method but whether or not collaging or palimpsest (techniques that I use quite frequently but not exclusively) etc is method of of Alan's I am not sure - I think most (if not all) is written by him only - thus the small piece on rivers recalled to my mind the opening lines and paragraphs of The Diviners by Margaret Laurence, and her opening description in that great novel of a
Canadian river:


The river flowed both ways. The current moved from north to south,
but the wind usually came from the south, rippling the bronze-green
water in the opposite direction. This apparently impossible contradiction,
made apparent and possible, still fascinated Morag, even after the years of
river-watching.
The dawn mist had lifted, and the morning air was filled with
swallows, darting so low over the river that their wings sometimes
brushed the water, then spiralling and pirouetting upward again. Morag
watched, trying to avoid thought, but this ploy was not successful.
Pique had gone away. She must have left during the night. She had
left a note on the kitchen table, which also served as Morag’s desk, and
had stuck the sheet of paper into the typewriter, where Morag would be
certain to find it.


Now please do not get all uptight, Ma. I can look after myself. Am
going west Alone at least for now If Gord phones, tell him I’ve
drowned and gone floating down the river, crowned with algae and
dead minnows, like Ophelia.



Well, you had to give the girl some marks for style of writing.
Slightly derivative, perhaps, but let it pass. Oh jesus, it was not funny.
Pique was eighteen. Only. Not dry behind the ears. Yes, she was, though.
If only there hadn’t been that other time when Pique took off, that really
bad time. That wouldn’t happen again, not like before. Morag was pretty
sure it wouldn’t. Not sure enough, probably.
I’ve got too damn much work in hand to fret over Pique. Lucky me.
I’ve got my work to take my mind off my life. At forty-seven that’s not
such a terrible state of affairs. If I hadn’t been a writer, I might’ve been a
first-rate mess at this point. Don’t knock the trade.
Morag read Pique’s letter again, made coffee and sat looking out at
the river, which was moving quietly, its surface wrinkled by the breeze,
each crease of water outlined by the sun. Naturally, the river wasn’t
wrinkled or creased at all—wrong words, implying something unfluid like
skin, something unenduring, prey to age. Left to itself, the river would
probably go on like this, flowing deep, for another million or so years.
That would not be allowed to happen. In bygone days, Morag had once
believed that nothing could be worse than killing a person. Now she
perceived river-slaying as something worse. No wonder the kids felt them-
selves to be children of the apocalypse.
No boats today. Yes, one. Royland was out, fishing for muskie.
Seventy-four years old this year, Royland. Eyesight terrible, but he was
too stubborn to wear glasses. A marvel that he could go on working. Of
course his work did not depend upon eyesight. Some other kind of sight
A water diviner Morag always felt she was about to learn something of
great significance from him, something which would explain everything
But things remained mysterious, his work, her own, the generations, the river.
Across the river, the clumps of willow bent silver-green down to the
water, and behind them the great maples and oaks stirred a little, their
giant dark green tranquility disturbed only slightly by the wind. There
were more dead elms this year, dry bones, the grey skeletons of trees.
Soon there would be no elms left.

The swallows dipped and spun over the water, a streaking of blue-
black wings and bright breastfeathers. How could that colour be caught
in words? A sort of rosy peach colour, but that sounded corny and was
also inaccurate.

I used to think words could do anything. Magic. Sorcery. Even
miracle. But no, only occasionally.


- but this last piece of his,** in "Memory of a Walk," here, is only one of tremendous range of styles and strategies that Alan utilises - ranging from the lyrical to the disjointed and or repetitive, the eerie, the fuzzy and so on. And there are thousands of texts and images - all of them can be read on their own as if not connected to the total work (a practice utilised by me in EYELIGHT) - many start - as in Nick Piombino's "philosophic" "essay-poems" - say as in his book Theoretical Objects (by Nick Piombino) as a kind of theoretical 'argument' but modulate into what Scott Hamilton has termed "poessays" - or that is one "take" on them - they are all beautiful and interesting, as are Alan's. Not all are "beautiful - the purpose is stimulation, disgust, dread, fascination, density, decay, difficulty or clarity, greater or lesser degrees of what Bernstein calls "absorption" (in A Poetics ); revulsion, convulsion, desire, enactment, process, disturbance and so on...Seen also is the range and restlessness of Alan's very wide reading - he is reading or would read almost anything...


And as in Bernstein's concept - here philosophy or its mode of discourse - interchanges with poetry and its mode of "philosophic" inquiry - research or investigation. Alan's inquiry inlvolves his great variety of modes of writing - that is - his structures....

This strategy of constant shifting and non-normative writing challenges the hierarchical 'tyranny' of received or transparent narational writing where the challenging of that writing - the enactment of that challenging and experimentning and indeed, of
play, is in itself a method of philosophy - as with Zukofsky and as in Bernstein's essay. (Dont worry I don't see Bernstein as some great infallible guru ordering all these things - but I DO greatly acknowlelgde the L=A=N=G=U=A=N=G=E poets and Bernstein et al for their great theoretical and creative contribution of which Alan was a part - although this so-called movement has, and perhaps always was, quite fragmented and diverse - and Alan feels, while he has published in Language, the Langpo Magazine in the past, that he is oblique to this 'tradition" group or what you will. The easy way out - if a little misleading - would be to call him a postmodernist. But there are so many post modernisms. [In some ways there are many aspects of my view of Alan's work that apply to myself but of course we diverge greatly also.]

EYELIGHT has similarly vast intentions if not executions (strange and loaded term!)
and there are intersections but no direct connections between Alan's work and my own... and very strong influence perhaps on my side.

Clearly the mind-body thing is going on here all the time (can we evade it?)

There is no "anxiety" here implied that I am "the" great writer; Alan the greater or the lesser or anything so puerile... we are these days looking at many many writers throughout the world with projects etc who are contributing to the ongoing stream of human culture. Alan feels somewhat "neglected" but this existential state probably enhances his work - his work is pretty well known by many (but not enough I feel) and also his films and image work and his contribution to language experimentation, semiotics, phenomenological theory and inquiry, play, science in general and the art or science of the Internet 'debate' or 'enactment' of programming or utilisation and process etc on the internet.

Amongst his many interests and concerns include the environment - the feeling here is sometimes of "panic" (hence perhaps the domain name in his URL?); that we are self destructing perhaps (and killing tigers* and other beautiful animals at our own expense - I agree on this and come close to valuing tigers and cats etc more than humans I am afraid)- and indeed, the future picture for humanity doesn't look too good overall I must concede - but then
sub speciae aeternitatis - there are no guarantees - that freedom to live and die gloriously & peacefully; or pathetically and alone, or in a terrible agony or a long drawn out godless misery or screaming horror; is perhaps our challenge - perhaps let us welcome the coming and perhaps glorious bursting brilliance of lights and glows and blacknesses and gorgeous silences and great sparking fires into all-destroying Goterdammerung annihilation and death of life and the universe itself (what do we know?) - perhaps, wonderful as it all is, with the breaths laughs cries, sweats and torchlights, faces, flowers, coal dust, songs, eggs, streets, smirks, excretions ecstasies and convulsions, it has all gone on far too long in any case) - and I can empathise with this perspective - but feel his pessimism - while it has its validity - is not something I share (or I believe or I am in "being in the now" so much that pessimism is perhaps merely a chemical reaction in my brain and irrelevant) - of course this depends on where I am in my own head at any time!! - - his interests extend into areas such as mycology (my greatly loved friend Leicester Kyle was fascinated by this subject also) and other sciences: and art, music, the technology of imaging and of computer methods and modalities; and the technical and philosophic implications both of the use of that technical media as an conventional artist or film maker etc has to be aware of the many materia he or she is using - paints, charcoal, fixatives, colour, film speeds and so on; and of the implications human interaction on the internet and face en face...but his work is too vast for me to give anything more than sketch of here.


** Laurence's style is "normative" but note the self questioning by the protagonist - of writing - and while this "challenging I am discussing is an important technique the critique of other more 'normative' methods is not that they have no validity - of course they do - but as vital as other modes of writing are, the style of the "challenging" writing (however defined) also has an essential place in the constant revitalisation and radical continuance of of writing and human thought.

* The Siberian tiger is the largest tiger. The Chinese and other bastards are mercilessly killing them off for stupid things such as aphrodisiacs - and there are no such things....

10 comments:

tertius said...

perhaps the world needs a billion more animals and a billion less humans, to be devoured by a majestic tiger rather than a swamp of human ants would indeed be an honour.

Richard Taylor said...

tertius - thou art too dark!

tertius said...

Your call has been recieved so let the concert of properity play on. So happen not again thrust in capital motion, with a deal from a webbed hand spun by poisoned lotion.

Richard Taylor said...

tertius - have a close look at Alan's writing -his philosophy is a kind of poetry - I don't grasp it in the way he no doubt does (or thinks he does!) but it fascinates me - like a kind of symbolic and mysterious code...[definition of poetry!] His ideational flow skirts the abstract - Orwell by contrast (I just read his "Homage to Catalonia" -very good) necessarily writes with clarity - this is what I meant by different writing strategies - his 1984 is powerful because in fact, while the writing appears to be (and mostly is "normative"* - it is "transparent" ... but his "message" is challenging. Challenging then - but a strategy of different kind is perhaps necessary today and in certain writing modes or "directions" -

I can switch from various styles quite easily and enjoy them all...if this "hypertext" I talk of was the norm it would be self defeating.

[It doesn't mean that any one mode is "better" - there are just more approaches...]

The complex Derridean etc approach counterattacks clarity as the only way but also allows him and others like him (me!) a way of evading strictures of various kinds.

I cant stay in this mode (complex or "challenging") for too long (and that is why there are even greater range in EYELIGHT than in Alan's work - but there is no doubt of his different genius in my view - I am maybe wrong.

Re Stravinksy -I really got big "buzz" from the Rite of Spring" but indeed mostly these days Bach and your Handel are for me! Certainly music (and society) needed Stravinsky, Diagahliev, Nijinksy and so on - Charles Ives I also like a lot.

tertius said...

Looked at his work and those images are remarkable esp for me what seems to be an ancient idol or artifact distorted with protruding breasts then read your matters and have connected again to the stream of consciousness that lead to the language poetry which considers the merging of many aspects and fields

tertius said...

Consider the structure or design of life in the laws which govern the universe such as gravity or the natural world. Apply the four seasons to the human condition such as the joyful spring of youth, the radiant fulfillment of summer, then the autumn or fall in its preparations for the chilling winter and cold of death. This model from literature to Vivaldi to an ancient or modern empire is an enduring truth and gives us a simple but profound insight into 'infinity', because the cold of winter ends with the renewal of a new spring. This I hope is not so dark. The concept of the infinite poem and your eyelight work is compelling by its very nature regardless of the content Merci

Richard Taylor said...

"Looked at his work and those images are remarkable esp for me what seems to be an ancient idol or artifact distorted with protruding breasts then read your matters and have connected again to the stream of consciousness that lead to the language poetry which considers the merging of many aspects and fields"

Yes - this is a good summation - son I am going to explicate further. Partly for my own benefit and of others. Of course this is also a "learning" project - almost as if I was doing a PhD ...

This is only one side of the genral cultural project or investigation - into and inside aesthetics or whatever - as Wystan Curnow said once "There is no 'Social contract'" - there is perhaps a social obligation somewhat but we writers/poets whatever are somewhere in between - the writing of Penthouse a tourist guide, Children's book, or Mills and Boons, are all as valid as an advanced mathematics treatise or say philosophy of Derrida or 'tertius'! Potentially anyone or all media may or could be involved... given limitations of technology, time, resources, energy etc

I read a lot of Alan's writing and it has the power to "pull" me into it but I may not understand all that he is doing but that is ok... as long as we don't pretend to - or as long as we realise in most cases we don't need to...completely...may never in fact.

PLay and process are used a lot but I am right into those ideas...! Children's play is deeply serious and deeply joyful!

"The child is father of the man"

(And I am sure WW would want to include his sister and all women also...)

Cheers, RT

Richard Taylor said...

tertius - quite sincerely your comments are written in a way that -if not always "clear" are quite 'lateral' and interesting - to me they have an idiosyncratic tone that is definitely for me a sign of quite some high quality of writing in itself...that is beyond the subject dwelt on - a kind of strange and interesting poetry...

It 'shouldn't' work but it seems to have a kind of semi-surreal beauty yet avoids the usual slide into the hyper Gothic that often happens...

I am interested in including comments as a part of main Blog entries as it shows the progress and process going on (it is a large part of what The I.P. and EYELIGHT are "about") - do you object if I use your comments at some later stage? I can "sign" those of yours "tertius" if you want - or not - as you want.

I kind of wait until - after I have reflected as deeply as I can on my next "entry" (or sometimes it comes almost by an "intuitive leap" and I attempt to tie it into the main "narrative" on here - such as it is - or the "music" - you will have seen my use of repetition in images and phrases etc - even words of course...

[ I also would potentially include all other' comments as that is part of my project - my including "negative" comments is not a revenge - reaction it is consistent with what I am doing - "negative" comments - some of them are written by personages who are pretending to be other than who they pretend they are not!! Or some of them are "sincere" - but they are all welcome - I suppose I would draw the line at very "bad" obscenities or death threats etc...!! But...I'm talking of inclusiveness v exclusiveness - I waver betwixt! ]

Anonymous said...

Tertius = Hamish Dewe


?

Richard Taylor said...

Anon - no tertius non est Hamish Dewus -

He is stranger than that personage!

But he is known to me...

Salve!

RT