Unreal Nature

November 8, 2015

… And Makes Them Thoughts of Other Thoughts

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:36 am

… to each operation there corresponds a meaning; and to these operations as a group, there corresponds that other meaning that there is no distinct meaning for each of them …

This is from the essay ‘From Dread to Language’ found in The Gaze of Orpheus and other essays by Maurice Blanchot, translated by Lydia Davis (1981):

… Childishness anticipates its failure by taking upon itself a mode of being too slight for it to be sanctioned by success or lack of success.

… [The writer] tries to escape his creative intelligence, experienced as chance, by surrendering himself directly to chance. He appeals to the dice of the unconscious because he cannot play dice with extreme consciousness. He limits chance to chance. this is the basis of his quest for texts ravaged by randomness and his attempt to come to terms with negligence. It seems to him that by doing this he is closer to his nocturnal passion. But the point is that for him, the day is still there next to the night, and he needs to betray himself through fidelity to the norms of clarity, for the sake of what is without form and without law.

… Words give to the person who writes them the impression of being dictated to him by usage, and he receives them with the uneasy feeling of finding in them an immense reservoir of fluency and fully staged effects — staged without his power having had any part in it.

… If I read, language, whether logical or completely musical (non-discursive), makes me adhere to a common meaning which, because it is not directly connected to what I am, interposes itself between my dread and me. But if I write, I am the one who is making the common meaning adhere to language; and in this act of signification I carry my forces, as much as I can, to their highest point of effectiveness, which is to give a meaning.

[line break added to make this easier to read online] Everything in my mind, therefore, strives to be a necessary connection and a tested value; everything in my memory strives to be the recollection of a language that has not yet been invented and the invention of a language that one recollects; to each operation there corresponds a meaning; and to these operations as a group, there corresponds that other meaning that there is no distinct meaning for each of them; words have their meaning as the substitute for an idea, but also as a composition of sounds and as a physical reality; images signify themselves as images, and thoughts affirm the twofold necessity that associates them with certain expressions and makes them thoughts of other thoughts.

-Julie

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