Sunday, May 04, 2008

In sterquilinio putredinis

I am convinced that the future is lost somewhere in the dumps of the non-historical past; it is in yesterday's newspapers, in the jejune advertisements of science-fiction movies, in the false mirror of our rejected dreams.
--Robert Smithson
The essential starting requirement is in the shit-heap of our putrefaction.
--Morienus, the Roman
Somewhere between Smithson's kodachromed futurism and the epiphanies of ancient alchemists, one can find one's way through Williams' Paterson. However, in getting together some materials for another talk I'm giving on Paterson, I'm finding that trying to unify all these transhistorical strategies for perceiving the everyday has many rabbit holes to fall through. At one point, I thought it might be interesting to think about the univocity of being (as it manifests itself in German mysticism, Spinoza, Deleuze) as a way to think about the ways in which Williams confounds a clear notion of his own position, and its relation to the city and poetic "transcendence." That didn't really pan out. I think, in the end, things get too "profound," full of secret underlyings-- difficult to pin on someone who said "the surface/glistens, only the surface./Dig in--and you have/a nothing, surrounded by/a surface, an inverted/bell resounding." (124) This is a long cry from "aaa ooo zezophazazzzaïeozaza eee iii zaieozoakoe ooo uuu thoezaozaez eee zzeezaozakozakeude tuxuaalethukh"--a gnostic password that immediately gets one into VIP lounge of angels and archons.
In any case, throughout May I'll be working on the more large-scale portion of this project as a resident at the Visual Studies Workshop. Not sure how much of that will pan out in blog entries, but we'll see. I'm still hoping to get a reading group together in Rochester (not sure if this will happen yet either), and I bet I can find an all-female thrash band who will do the Marcia Nardi letters. One can only hope. Some more Paterson visits?: not sure. I think Richmond, Virginia is closer to Paterson than Rochester is, even though I fooled myself into thinking that Rochester would put me in close contact.
This much, however, I know so far about Rochester: chair 223 is a deathtrap.

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Anonymous Lucy Mulroney said...

I live in Rochester and would join your reading group:

8:58 AM, May 06, 2008  

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