Thursday, August 30, 2012

A new music is a new mind

If you change the way in which you're proceeding musically, you will move out of the experiences that you already know you know, and begin to have emotions, and therefore perhaps thoughts, and certainly intimations, or even visions of things that you had no access to, except via that music. - Jorie Graham

Monday, August 27, 2012

The liminal aim of art

Why should there be art, why poetic creation? . . . The teeming prodigality of the phenomenal world, its inexhaustible deployment ("thereness") of sensory, communicative energies and forms is such as to saturate even the hungriest appetite for perception, even the most ample capacities for reception. The colours, metamorphic shapes and sonorities of the actual exceed immeasurably human capacities for registration and response. The animate logic of congruent symmetries, of organic motifs in the human body, is of a designate wonder - a wonder of design as we see it in [Leonardo do Vinci's] famous icon of frontal and cosmic man - such as to overwhelm understanding. And it is in this tensed caesura between analytic intelligibility and perception, when cognition holds its breath, that our sense of being is host to beauty. Why, then, art, why the created realm of fiction? . . . [T]here is aesthetic creation because there is creation. - George Seiner

Friday, August 10, 2012

Books that change with us

A real book reads us. I have been read by Eliot's poems and by Ulysses and by Remembrance of Things Past and by The Castle for a good many years now, since early youth. Some of these books at first rejected me; I bored them. But as I grew older and they knew me better, they came to have more sympathy with me and to understand my hidden meanings. - Lionel Trilling

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Lacan and Lynch

For Lacan, a link exists between impossibility and what he calls the real. Within every symbolic order, the real occupies the place of what cannot be thought or imagined - the position of the impossible. The real is not reality but the failure of the symbolic order to explain everything. When seen in this light, the impossible is not materially impossible but rather logically impossible as long as we remain within the current social structure. In Seminar XVII, Lacan claims that "the real is the impossible. Not on account of a simple stumbling block against which we bang our heads, but because of the logical stumbling block of what announces itself as impossible in the symbolic. It is from there that the real arises." What is impossible in the symbolic order is, in the real, perfectly achievable. It is in this sense of the term impossible that Lynch's films allow us to experience it actually taking place. They thus provide a fundamental challenge to the ruling symbolic structure, forcing us to see possibilities where we are used to seeing impossibilitities. - Todd McGowan