He had begun to acquire what Keats called “negative capability”. “That is”, wrote Keats, “when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after facts and reason”; Coleridge, he thought, would “let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium (sic) of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge”. W.B. Yeats went further: “The more a poet rids his verses of heterogeneous knowledge and irrelevant analysis, and purifies his mind with elaborate art, the more does the little ritual of the verse resemble the great ritual of Nature, and become mysterious and inscrutable. He (that is, the poet) becomes, as all the great mystics have believed, a vessel of the creative power of God.”
W.F Jackson Knight, Vergil’s Secret Art
"…and of course the end bit of all you read to me is absolutely masterly, and the final sentence about proper poets having 'to know and say what others could only be’—that’s the thing in a nutshell—that’s the cat’s whiskers (I should not have thought it possible to express the truth about ‘the artist’ so exactly and with such simplicity.)”
David Jones in a letter(1940) to Harman Grisewood quoting Jackson Knight
Jordan Stempleman’s “verse don’t at cold core make me” (for Alli Warren), presented at Art Sounds, KCAI, April 8, 2014
Where a small lamp is already burning, I don’t light my own.
Man, when he realizes that he’s a joke, doesn’t laugh.
Chris Grayling wants to stop anyone outside Parliament from legally challenging its decisions! A good article in the LRB by a former Lord Justice of Appeal, Stephen Sedley, that dismantles Grayling’s position. And a petition here for those in the UK who want to protest this. And while you’re at it sign against the water cannon the police are trying to buy so that they can control us when we have to protest with any vigour at these betrayals of justice.
Good article in the LRB on ghosts in Japan…
"The mistake of philosophy is to presuppose within us a benevolence of thought, a natural love of truth. Thus philosophy arrives at only abstract truths that compromise no one and do not disturb. […] They remain gratuitous because they are born of the intelligence that accords them a possibility and not of a violence or of an encounter that would guarantee their authenticity."
Deleuze, Proust and Signs
Small wonder that Celan refuses to talk ‘technique’, that he is contemptuous of the professionals of ‘literature’ stirring up their ‘flurries of metaphor’. Craft is a prerequisite for him, like cleanliness, not worth discussing. He admits exercises, but only ‘in the spiritual sense’. Here we are at the core of Celan’s relation to writing. It was not a game for him, not experiment, not even ‘work’.
Writing, as he tells us in ‘The Meridian’, meant putting his existence on the line, pushing out into regions of the mind where one is exposed to the radically strange, the terrifying other, the uncanny. And at the moment when existence is actually threatened, when his breath fails, when silence literally (if momentarily) means death – at this moment a poem may be born. If so, it pulls us back from the ‘already-no-more’ into resuming breath and life.” —This continued. (via ofresonance)