Unreal Nature

January 24, 2016

The Force of the Beginning

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:58 am

… There is … in the genesis of the work, a moment where the work is still nothing but an indistinct violence …

This is from A Voice from Elsewhere by Maurice Blanchot, translated by Charlotte Mandell (2007):

… The future is rare, and every day that comes is not a day that begins. Even rarer is speech that, in its silence, is the reserve of a speech yet to come, which turns us, even if it’s close to our finish, toward the force of the beginning.

… Speech that does not repeat itself, that does not make use of itself, that does no say things already present, that is not the tireless come-and-go of Socratic dialogue, but speech like that of the Lord of Delphi, speech that is the voice that has said nothing yet, that wakes and awakens, a voice that is sometimes harsh and demanding, that comes from afar and summons afar.

… Every beginning speech, although it is the gentlest and most secret impulse, is because it moves us infinitely forward, one that upsets and demands the most: like the most tender break of day in which all the violence of a first clarity is declared, and like oracular speech that dictates nothing, forces nothing on us, that does not even speak, but makes this silence into the finger imperiously pointing toward the unknown.

… There is, in the experience of art and in the genesis of the work, a moment where the work is still nothing but an indistinct violence tending to open up and tending to close, tending to exalt in a space that opens up and tending to withdraw into the profundity of dissimulation: the work is then the struggling intimacy of irreconcilable and inseparable moments, communication torn between the measure of the work that established a certain power and the measurelessness or excess of the work that strives toward impossibility, between form where it grasps hold of itself and limitlessness where it rejects itself, between work as beginning and the origin on the basis of which there is never any work, where the eternal absence of work [désoeuvrement] reigns.

My previous post from Blanchot’s book is here.

-Julie

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