Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
December 14, 2007
will you please blog quiet please

Would that more of us (OK, "us" = TiR) could more often display Félix Fénéon's strength of character.

As Luc Sante tells us in his tremendous introduction (his last paragraph is a tour de force) to the new Fénéon book:

"Je n'aspire qu'au silence, [I aspire only to silence]" [Fénéon] said to someone who offered to publish a collection of his work. Jarry called him "celui qui silence," meaning both that he silences the nonsense of others and that he himself practices an active form of silence.

That would be the same silence that Rimbaud embodied when he abandoned poetry for Aden and Abyssinia, that Lautréamont enacted when he destroyed his Poésies and published only its preface, that Paul Valéry's Monsieur Teste exemplified by writing nothing at all.

It is an aggressive silence, as charged, dense, and reverberating as Malevich's black canvas. It affirms that all writing is compromise, that conception will always trump execution, that ego and politics are everyone's coauthors.

It may be rooted in despair but it grows in the direction of transcendence. It wishes to free poetry from books and release it into daily life.

(emphasis supplied)

Who knows if the above-named aspirants to silence, in their era, would have put it in exactly those     terms.
[Someone may object:
Assuming, as a threshold matter, that they would have agreed with each other on framing, then they would not have put it in any terms.

Or, rather, their terms would have been laid down in action or inaction, not words.

They would have, and did, just shut up.]
But Sante states the problem quite nicely.