Room 20002 exp 5
I realize I haven't posted on here for some time. Why? I cant explain it. I simply find it almost impossible to begin things. Once I have started something, then away I go. One example is s a a very long poem The Secret Of Being Unpopular which I suddenly started as a response to a review I read when I saw a comment by Brett Cross (who edits Titus Books and the Atuanui Press) about George Meredith the 19th Century writer ( his books or some of them are mentioned in Ulysses by Joyce ): it was in relation to Bill Direen's long poem employing techniques a la Joyce say of Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake. Brett referred to the long drawn out and very clever technique of humour by Meredith in The Egoist (which I am almost certain I read as a teenager but I cant recall it). This is reflected in Bill Direen's work.
This lead me to investigate Meredith and I came across a quite strange review. This somehow was why I started writing, in 2013, when I had started to paint and renovate my house (which I am still doing, this was interrupted by sorting out and collating as well as assessing 3000 odd books I had had for sale - I went through every single one - so that is the kind of thoroughness I approach certain kinds of tasks, but my way or writing has none of that. Suddenly I had written 30 pages. I had meantime acquired about 8 novels of a certain series by Meredith (as well as some poetry). What though, fascinated me about Meredith? Well, I read the start of one of his novels, and it was good, mysterious and it urged me to read on. But I stopped. The fascination was not with Meredith, it was this complex of connections and the strange review from where what "sparked" the poem ( a long philosophical poem speculating about questions of belief or not, the existence of God or not and human existence, which has a certain ironical form, one part being completely rhyming and based on the old idea of thousands of monkeys typing until, well, they are able to type, completely, the entire works of Shakespeare. Of course, as they have infinite time, they also type everything else onto the theoretical space! Also "investigated" and or gently satirised are the ontological arguments and the argument from design. (Primo Levi finds his way into the poem as do some other 'usual suspects').
But as I was writing this thing at a feverish and insane speed as I write or have done many things, I glanced to my side, and there was a book by one Klaus Fischer, called A History of Nazi Germany. Why? Because it was there. No other reason. But by chance, it happened to fit into what I found myself doing, a kind of project. I start with a more or less conventional mode and move to "chopped up" language style and later I started mixing the Book of Job (Harold Bloom the great reader, critic, and irascible canonizer, is right in annotating this as part of his encylopaedic ouevre, as it is indeed great poetry) with passages of Being and Time by Jean-Paul Sartre.
I will "republish" the whole thing on here with other stuff another time. But the process of it all was typical, or was it. I hadn't written anything so long so quickly. What happened was typical though. I had writings perhaps or perhaps not ready to integrate into it, and various poems scrawled around but not many of them typed up or even worked on. I simply ground to a halt.
Then I couldn't bring myself to start another Blog Post. I cant really explain why, except this way of working on impulse and my chaotic, almost irrational way of working. Somehow things seem to connect up as if the ideas had an eerie proleptic origin in my mind.
Meanwhile I keep up with my reading and I started again on my house and am currently painting it, although there is a lot to still do.
What has painting a house got to do with it all? Nothing. It is just part of the things that are happening. What do I leave out? Should I not put everything in?
But no I cant explain it.
So I have decided to start with events that really had their origin, if there is such a thing as life, surely, is a kind of endless (if not unending) process, with events that occurred around my 19th year, in 1967, although these look back even earlier....It just occurs to me that I also started reading Proust's Remembrance (which in my Three Volume Penguin edition weighs in at more than 3000 words, in fact about 3600). I also, as some may know, as I read, copy sections from the many books (often library books) out as I read (I also pencil comments, even on library books, as if I am arguing with the author, myself, or a prospective reader: in fact I read so many library books of so many kinds of things, that I sometimes forget I am reading one of my own books and am frightened to write on it! As I have 3000 books in my own library, reasonably well ordered, and have more room, I have a less chaotic system and have great intentions to read many more of these before my inevitable demise....But reading books about people (such as Meredith mentioned above or recently Wittgenstein via Wittgenstein's Mistress by David Markson (I discovered him as I had found one of the latter's earlier books Dingus Magee, in my methodical assessment culling (price and or rarity and or "intrinsic" interest) of my books for sale or books I had loafing around - and thus reading the fascinating afterword by David Foster Wallace - who in fact once did a thesis attacking me....What?! What, you exclaim! Well, in fact he wrote a thesis as a student attacking Richard Taylor's book about free will etc....Richard, who was an US Philospher, and I go back a little bit, as, I knew about him, as you might well imagine: he it was I consulted when writing an essay on Descartes for Philosophy One, I think it was....then I tried to show that Descartes theoretical world engineered by an evil demon or (nowadays they talk about us all being in some kind of virtual reality game, something rather difficult to refute by the way: in fact it is in one of those Short Short books called Reality....by the way Wittgenstein's Mistress has something of this my slightly insane rambling and irrelevant "connectiveness"); but I failed according to my tutor (or was that the essay on Plato's contention about the Slave Boy who seemed to know mathematics without any training to prove his theories?...I have recently read The Republic by Plato and while it has some fascinating ideas (it was useful to read when I read an explicatory book about Derrida by Penelope Deutsche: in fact it is so good I bought a copy of it); there is much that is tendentious and some (a lot, my copy is covered with angry notes) is simply wrong, as the logic, seemingly right, is not so, and his vision is ultimately frightening: but fascinating as is his image of the Cave and the reflected ideas and his Ideal Forms etc....but Richard Taylor's metaphysical treatise on free will, which I think denied we have any (not actually a new or even invalid idea in new or old philosophy or human thought) was angrily attacked by the young Foster Wallace....but I wrote out some of the extraordinarily beautiful writing, pages of it, by Proust (I saw in a book shop a book about reading Proust by Clive James (who I have only slightly read as unfortunately his TV series made me think he was another "TV personality or a comedian" and such people I cant take very seriously, which may be my problem in the same way I have an aversion to comics of pop music although sometimes comics fascinate me: it is a conflict my parents induced in me: but I still read them, but I have difficulty with comics and pop music although I am trying to "cure" myself of this...much in the same way, distantly, by allowing spiders to make webs in my bathroom and watching them, I am now less frightened of them...it is indeed one reason or rationale I might give for not having ever been to Australia as, inter alia, they have very large spiders and dangerous snakes, but apart from fiscal restraints (I have no passport), this is probably not the reason: but I feel I might one day visit my brother who has lived there for many years....in the land of Patrick White whose The Vivisector I read with fascination, as well as The Tree of Man and A Fringe of Leaves (more accessible). No matter how many books I have read I feel there are thousands more I should read....I just read a book about Hobbes, which was interesting: a much misunderstood man who concentrated on language....he was not an atheist (he was a fundamental Anglican who wanted a state run by a Monarch, and his rationale for this is more intelligent than many might suppose) but believed there was no soul: he was a materialist considering God to be "body" although this is in Latin (he wrote in Latin it is assumed to avoid censure as in his time, he was more or less contemporary with Shakespeare, it wasn't easy to express too open views that were unorthodox): however the main thing about this is my constant urge to write things from books I am reading (which practise evolved from my first beginning of The Infinite Poem which underlies this very text or so-called project called EYELIGHT): in which practise I took things at randome wanting to see how the resulting fragments or small or large samples reacted or interacted each to each and thus the creation of further sematicisms: I wanted a multiplex poem or project, and in many cases was not particularly interested in what was being said, partly as the way things were said was what interested me rather than what was said, and also as I felt it was futile to derive one "certain" idea or set of ideas about anything especially as I often didn't understand much of what I read except in a kind of intuitive way, or possibly not at all also, and also as I felt that everything, more or less, had been written: hence all and everything intercanceled all and everything else. None of this makes sense is probably true and I am talking in an empty room....Who knows? But as it evolved or proceeded, I started simply loving the process of writing things out of books. Where others write journals, my "journals" are not about much in my own life, they are records of my reading with long or short samples. I re-read these as I laboriously transcribe them back on line.
You might well interject at this point: why don't you use a small computer or say use a copying device of some other way to do your "uncreative writing" [I have read Kenneth Goldsmith re his uncreative writing and he does some interesting stuff: he in fact nowadays uses copying, copy and paste and say scanninng: as far as I know. I knew about his work from quite a long time ago, he now runs or is part of the very interesting Ubu Web (or it was last time I looked at it so I assume it is still goin): however in my case I did consider getting a small computer to have in bed (where I read and mostly write if I do write except nowdays I alternate between the computer and my bed....however most reading, almost all, I do in bed with a good light. I have a note book which I write on with a pen, which has to be a particular pen, either a blue or black Hi Techpoint Pilot pen (0.5) as this is reasonably fine. I did indeed consider a small device, but although I was in telecommunications I refuse to own a cell phone as this computer is enough (I have stopped watching the television entirely, and the only radio if I do listen to it is the Concert Program as there is generally less talking, although I may stop that as they are letting the ordinary people contribute text messages and input and they are getting too chatty, also, many of the announcers seem quite ignorant of things, connected to literature etc and history; albeit they indeed know a lot about music and languages of course, something I don't, although I have been listening to that station most of my life since I was about 8 but so 60 years: then it was called IYC, and it was one of three radio stations, and we, of course had no television in NZ which was a good thing: but IYC seems to have declined somewhat to an informal, almost chatty place: I hope they stop the rot, if it gets more so that will mean I jsut listen to Bach CDs or old records my father had since the 60s, mostly bought from Marbecks: but ultimately silence is the best thing if one wishes to read, for me, in any case)
But it has become important for me to write pages out of many books into journals. These I have numbered and there are about 20. It doesn't matter quite so much to me what what I write out means anything as I might write a sentence or several pages...I should correct that, my main reason is not to learn things but to gain pleasure from reading and the very physical act of copying things out...it was wonderful to copy out about 20 pages of Proust's great book Remembrance of Times Past, but almost every book, and much else that is writing, or things overheard, I write down. Originally this was done in a random way. However, while that continues for the other categories mostly except for my "reading project" aspect of EYELIGHT I will copy even whole Wikipedia articles or biographical notes, obituaries etc, anything. As obviously, the facility of copying and pasting (actually it was Jack Ross who drew my attention to the copy and paste facility) is greatly useful.
I am contemplating a project where I give myself a set number of "moves" in either my own library here or and at the local library, to force myself to read right across the library or spectrum. This will entail reading things I avoid. This I think will be an interesting project. Someone did this on a few shelves, but she chose a shelf in her field which was literature.
Here I will insert some more or less relevant images:
I am not sure that what I am doing is literature. I am not sure what I am doing in fact, or why. But to re-emphasise, it is the process of copying which I loved doing as a child with tracing maps and doing painting by numbers: something I wish I could do again. I have never felt more creative than when I painted by numbers, and it was marvelous how those pictures slowly came to life....but that was that. So I don't really know why I copy things by hand and then type them up onto a computer. Then I save them, and then I take all the other categories and mix them so to speak. It is sampling of bricolage etc etc. In theory all media are covered and in theory the permutations are infinite, or at least transfinite.
Infinity is something that fascinates me: hence my interest in Cantor and Roman Opalka who began (he was excited to start) on a journey by painting 1, then 2, and painted as far as he could towards infinity:
I hop the image of his work comes up here:
Here is a link to the artist:
What I am fascinated by with Cantor etc is the way he developed methods of counting to infinity using set theory and multiplying and carrying out the main mathematical operations on what he called Aleph Null (zero)....There are an infinite number of infinities he found. Also there are uncountable sets which can be shown to be so by a method of triangulating numbers, not as difficult as it sounds, this is in a book by an Australian mathematician who wrote on infinity and other aspects of mathematics for "the intelligent layman"....but in any case it all helps to pass the time. But the term Infinite in Infinite Poem originally was simply a rather orgulous term taken instantly and used as I was studying in stage three English Literature....but I have related the story of all that elsewhere....
* I will add one edit here, as well as the images added, that Cantor showed that there are both countable and uncountable sets to infinity. An example of what he showed is that there are more numbers in say, the infinite set between, say, 0 and 1 or 1 and 2, than there are integers or prime numbers, and equally as many (or possibly more than, although the point is that some quite paradoxical results pertain which all lead to the "Continuum Problem" which has relevance for Modernism**) as the infinitely long number line. This can be shown quite easily without any mathematics....just by drawing lines....
** See The First Moderns by
William R. Everdell http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/F/bo3634831.html
"This is just to say".....that I am intending to write, as I started saying above, about friends and a friend from the old days, and my time around the mid 60s to late 70s which are significant for me and the way things have happened. So that will soon start with, not happily, a funeral. But the person who died was very old. That person and associated persons are a part of a very significant period of my life, when I "got politics" and took to political protest etc but there is, as they say, more.....
So, this is all to show that, despite the large time lapse, I am still "in business" so to speak. I might add some images as a mass of writing is not very interesting to look at.
The images may or may not have anything to do with what I have been saying....
And I don't know what is going to happen....I am currently reading a fascinating book called 'The Boxer and the Goal Keeper' about Sartre, Camus, and de Beauvoir....by Andy Martin. Whose book or books on surfing I knew about (as when I was selling books I knew they were wanted by certain collectors, there is a kind of philosophic culture associated with surfing), but like Sartre, who although he (unlike me) was always fighting people (other boys or men, despite he was only probably light or bantam weight) and had been a boxer but (like me) deeply feared the sea as he felt that some unimaginable monster might come up and take him into the depths of that ("deathful sea" ... a phrase my ex wife criticized in 1988)....(unlike Sartre) I'm not a good swimmer as soon as I put my mouth in the water I my throat locks up in panic...otherwise I could swim quite well, but I haven't been for a swim for years and not to a beach either, something I loved as a child, so it is strange to me reading how we are all so close to the sea, of course I see the Tamaki Estuary etc and the Waitemata but I don't make an especial effort to be by the sea, it seems to me that a writer's concentration should be on words not on whether he or she is in country a b or c ...It is fairly irrelevant to me that I am a NZr, in fact, a part of me, is English. I mean that literally: my parents were English and despite never having been there....what it boils down to is that I imagine a world that is England....I am not interested in the so-called real England....but that is of no interest to anyone but it is important that the words approximate truth....whatever that is.....
So, my next post will be more concentrated.
I'll see if I am going to put some more images on here.....
I will leave all this unedited, that will be a deliberate ploy......
But, as usual, I may fiddle with the font colours etc....
The ref to Sartre was via where Martin points out his critique of Mauriac in that he allowed no indeterminancy, so I have allowed myself to be more influenced, although I did that before, now I have a Sartrean rationale....!!