The nature of words is to fail.
[I]magine a somewhat peculiar dictionary entry for the word reader. Instead of referring one to the verb with a phrase like “someone who reads,” it says, “you at this moment.” That’s all.
Jacques Derrida, “Reading Between the Blinds,” A Derrida Reader
A blonde girl is bent over a poem. With a pencil sharp as a lancet she transfers the words to a blank page and changes them into strokes, accents, caesuras. The lament of a fallen poet now looks like a salamander eaten away by ants. When we carried him away under machine-gun fire, I believed that his still warm body would be resurrected in the word. Now as I watch the death of the words, I know there is no limit to decay. All that will be left after us in the black earth will be scattered syllables. Accents over nothingness and dust.
Zbigniew Herbert, “Episode in a Library,” trans. Czeslaw Milosz
with you inside me comes the knowledge of my death by jenny holzer (+)
Photo with 33 notes
Lustmord by Jenny Holzer, 1993
Photograph by Alan Richardson
Silence is inside the word as something to be read.
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Sometimes we have to wait for years,” said Red Tain, “before the minute which marked us finds its voice again. But then it speaks, and we cannot stop the flow of words.
A dream, like trying
to remember, breaks open words
The words emerge from her body without her realizing it, as if she were being visited by the memory of a language long forsaken.
Marguerite Duras, Summer Rain
Words at night were feral things.
Joy Williams, Honored Guest
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What is in a word? What lies at the core of language? It can only be the silent, empty[.] Nothing of the tomb, the pyramid of the dead letter, as in the letter A. For language abstracts from things, it memorialises life, it voids presence. Yet, language says this nothingness in so many beguilingly soft, sweet, subtle and insinuating ways. The textures of words make it palpable, their sonorities render it audible and their suggestively shapely letters display it graphically. At the core of a word, beneath the crust of its consonants, is the liquid of its vowels, and these vowels in effect liquidate the word until it flows into the ocean of nothingness.
That sand into which we bury ourselves in order not to see, is formed of words…and it is true that words, their labyrinths, the exhausting immensity of their “possibles”, in short their treachery, have something of quicksand about them.
Georges Bataille, L’expérience intérieure, translation by Leslie Ann Boldt
There’s a level at which words are spirit and paper is skin. That’s the fascination of archives. There’s still a bodily trace.
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