Odds and Ends



[Harmonies by Iris Schwarz - another recent acquisition from Etsy]

Via the Existence Machine is this excerpt from Carl Wilson's discussion of silence in Deerhoof's music:


My guess is that the power of silence also has to do with the character of consciousness and experience. Consciousness is not a continuous process, but a chain of discrete moments forever vanishing before we can get hold of them - in a sense, of experiences slipping away before they are truly experienced. It's always now, and now and now and now, and as the bulk of Eastern thought and religion informs us, one of the basic dilemmas of life is that we seldom feel "in" that now: its elusiveness is its essence. It doesn't disappear by dwindling away, by cresting and falling, but always all of a sudden: This instant, this second, this hour, this day is "now" but in the time it takes to note that fact, the instant is now "then." As a survival mechanism, our minds create a continuity out of it, the way our optical processes narrate the discrete frames of cinema, stillness becoming an illusion of movement, but this is a constant, perhaps exhausting subconscious effort. Experience is as much made of total breaks, of gaps and aporias, as it is of content. Music, like (almost) all art, takes the chaos of experience and makes something more coherent of it because it has form - even the most abstract art has greater structure than the experience of consciousness.

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I've been thinking about palimpsests lately, wondering if a brief object study isn't in order -- I think they're a really great object through which I can understand what I'm trying to do with this blog. Also related is Borges' Pierre Menard which I plan to re-read 'soon.'

After the writing I did earlier this week, I feel I ought to return to my thoughts on TS Eliot, Keats, and Woolf, as described initially in this post. Keats' line 'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,' - that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know,' is now quite problematic -- as is are Eliot's difficult ideas.

So many projects! Also, more to come on Valery's essay, which really speaks to the issues I'm now having with Eliot and Keats.