I wait for those lights, I know some of you do too, wherever you are, I mean when you are standing by an ocean, alone, within the calmness of your spirit. Be planetary.
[Death’s] enemy, a form of life unstoppable, I mean the Oceans, used to appear onstage for events of gigantic dimensions.
What is a quote? A quote (cognate with quota) is a cut, a section, a dice of someone else’s orange. You suck the slice, toss the rind, skate away.
Each story is at once a fragment and a whole; a whole within a whole.
There is really no difference between memory and sight, fantasy and actual vision. Vision is made of subtle fragmented movements of the eye. These fragmented pieces of the world are turned and pressed into memory before they can register in the brain. Fantasized images are actually made up of millions of disjointed observations collected and collated into the forms and textures of thought.
To drive elegant people “to pieces”: this is a kind of recklessness that is a fragmenting—no, an undoing—no, a de-doing, a reversal, what they call in my dance classes a retrograde or unwinding. A release.
If it begins, a trickle, this thin slow falling of the mind.
If you want to know why the sliding affects your nerves.
To witness a mind go wild, like the California fires right now, is the hardest thing one can experience. And still, we do. The mind gets so fluid you can’t stop it with your will, you watch the will’s annihilation.
"Translation is entirely mysterious. Increasingly I have felt that the art of writing is itself translating, or more like translating than it is like anything else. What is the other text, the original? I have no answer. I suppose it is the source, the deep sea where ideas swim, and one catches them in nets of words and swings them shining into the boat…"
—Ursula K. Le Guin, “Reciprocity of Prose and Poetry,” 1983 via asymptotejournal
Anne Carson: I think the only thing I know about writing is: start in the middle. Wherever you're doing, start in the middle. Starting at the beginning is just ridiculously frightening. And of course, the end, you know, will be there when you arrive.
Robert Currie: You know, I was going to say, and this is inside information, I don't think you have ritual, but you have the luxury of having space, where you always have the writing available. You have a studio, not here [in Iceland], but in America, which has a desk for each of those practices: you have your drawing desk, your writing desk, and your translating desk.
AC: That’s the topography.
RC: Yeah, you've made a topography in which the ideas can happen instead of —
AC: I think it's important to have a topography, where you have a desk or a table or something where you can leave the work out. If you work on the dining room table, and you have to put it away every time the family wants to have supper, you’ll just go mad. You’ll lose your orientation. You have to be able to leave it out somewhere.
AC: Oh, Short Talks is a book I wrote that exists as a bunch of little essays. When I made it first, it was a bunch of drawings with titles, and I thought the titles were interesting, yes, but the drawings were more interesting to me. When I showed them to other people, they thought that the drawings were kind of irrelevant, and the titles were kind of neat. So, I began to expand the titles and the titles became talks, and the talks became a book of talks. The drawings were lost, which always made me sad, but I mean, they weren't that good, I had to agree. It would have been a kind of a dopey book. Anyway, that was the direction of my thinking.