Stories and poems

"The metaphoric image of 'orphan lines' is a contrivance of the detached onlooker to whom the verbal art of continuous correspondences remains aesthetically alien. Orphan lines in poetry of pervasive parallels are a contradiction in terms, since whatever the status of a line, all its structure and functions are indissolubly interlaced with the near and distant verbal environment, and the task of linguistic analysis is to disclose the levels of this coaction. When seen from the inside of the parallelistic system, the supposed orphanhood, like any other componential status, turns into a network of multifarious compelling affinities.'
Roman JAKOBSON, "Grammatical Parallelism and its Russian Facet", Language, 42/2, 1966, pp. 399-429, p. 428-429

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

L'éternel retour

Reality is strange. Have you ever felt like you were going around again and again, seeing something you've seen before? Sometimes even when things are brand new there is a feeling of déjà vu. Sometimes I think, can't I just get off this train? You can't, here you are, or you don't, and then suddenly, one day, you do, but maybe then you just get back on somewhere else, who knows?

I thought of kissing you on the train platform
and how you didn’t stop
and how the trains left
but then returned
(as though this poem should be nostalgic
but it ends with a reunion)
or how kissing ends
but then we kiss again;
our lips don’t really change.

Nor do tracks.

For every leaving,
there is a coming back.

L'éternel retour.
It is interesting that the Cocteau movie with this title is translated into English as Love Eternal. In my last post, I was thinking about Benjamin wondering about clouds and ruins, and how the two juxtaposed spell eternity. What is eternal? Maybe an inbetween place of juxtaposition, one thing next to another, a kind of eternal relation, or maybe that is all that is itself eternal, relation, you to me and me to you and to someone else again. It doesn't seem so sinister that way, and means there is something eternal about writer to reader and reader becoming writer. Maybe the relationship of word to word is also eternal. And before words?

"O Zarathustra," said then his animals, "to those who think like us, things all dance themselves: they come and hold out the hand and laugh and flee - and return.  Everything goes, everything returns; eternally rolls the wheel of existence.  Everything dies, everything blossoms forth again; eternally runs on the year of existence.  Everything breaks, everything is integrated anew; eternally builds itself the same house of existence.  All things separate, all things again greet one another; eternally true to itself remains the ring of existence.  Every moment begins existence, around every 'Here' rolls the ball 'There.  ' The middle is everywhere.  Crooked is the path of eternity”. 

Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra: a Book for Everyone and No-one. Also Sprach Zarathustra: Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen - The Convalescent

I'm not sure, but I'll build this house, this year. I'll laugh at what never ends, with a crooked smile.

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