A kind of a "dangerous supplement", marked, scarred on a body, post-orgasmically, always, already in anticipation of (a) crisis OR for a desert avec 'agape'. Mindb(l)ogg(l)ing Noise. "Avalanche, would you share my last pursuit?" (Baudelaire)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Notes for a Lecture

'Poetry can only be criticised by way of poetry. A critical judgment of an artistic production has no civil rights in the realm of art if it isn’t itself a work of art, either in its substance as a representation or a necessary impression in the state of becoming' (Schlegel, Critical Fragment 117)

The great traditionalist,
in his essay from 1933,
bestows the following
demand on the critic:
‘The exhaustive critic,’ he writes, ‘armed with a powerful glass, will be able to sweep the distance and gain an acquaintance with minute objects in the landscape with which to compare close at hand.’ He continues: ‘he will be able to gauge nicely the position and proportion of the objects surrounding us, in the whole of the vast panorama.’
Panorama or Complete vision: to see that which they saw and as they saw it; yet, also to see what they
– the poets and authors from the past –
had not seen, that which cannot be seen unless it
– Coleridge: I AM –
is brought forward into the future,
placed under a lens.

From Pope’s pan-theon; the invisible in Swift, Lilliput;
Gay’s dark alley theatre; the hidden sensibilia in Mackenzie’s novella,
to the spectre in Austen’s Abbey,
a story of things unseen, not seen.
The poet in the Lake; Blake;
Coleridge on Opium; Dickens in Coketown;
Pope’s 'Judging Ill, his Want of Skill': their image-nation, their, own, vision of a nation.

Eliot’s demand is our grant: ‘to compare close at hand’.

Simonides, writing in his own language, tells the story of a woman who wants to travel across sea to meet her dead husband: to see his face
(οφθαλμοισι φίλον)
and touch his hands
(χειρα λάβοιμι).
In fragmented speech, Paul
forever borrowing poet,
a Pole Jew writing in the German of the Fool, reminds us of a poem he once wrote: ‘Voices from the path through nettles: / Come to us on your hands’.
Poems are encounters, ‘paths from a voice to a listening You.’
‘Is it on such paths that poems take us when we think of them?’
It is an act of crossing over, one another – an other: Eliot’s ‘poet…artist of any art’
'Compare close at hand'.

'Poetry can only be criticised by way of poetry.'
(reminds the other night, I had said the opposite)

And, then, Week 5 and 10, hand in, before 12.10.
Writing for the one upstairs, is writing for the other, too.
Criticism is pairing hands.

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