The spiral is a spiritualized circle. In the spiral form, the circle, uncoiled, unwound, has ceased to be vicious; it has been set free. I thought this up when I was a schoolboy, and I also discovered that Hegel’s triadic series (so popular in old Russia) expressed merely the essential spirality of all things in relation to time. Twirl follows twirl, and every synthesis is the thesis of the next series. If we consider the simplest spiral, three series may be distinguished in it, corresponding to those of the triad: We can call “thetic” the small curve or arc that initiates the convolution centrally; “antithetic” the larger arc that faces the first in the process of continuing it; and “synthetic” the still ampler arc that continues the second while following the first along the outer side. And so on.
Nabokov, Vladimir, Speak Memory, 275.
The constellation is the simplest possible kind of configuration in poetry which has for its basic unit the word, it encloses a group of words as if it were drawing stars together to form a cluster.
The constellation is an arrangement, and at the same time a play-area of fixed dimensions.
The constellation is ordered by the poet. He determines the play-area, the field or force and suggests its possibilities. the reader, the new reader, grasps the idea of play, and joins in.
In the constellation something is brought into the world. It is a reality in itself and not a poem about something or other. The constellation is an invitation.
Gomringer, Eugen in Concrete Poetry: A World View. Ed. Solt, Mary Ellen. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1968.
That this text is designed to interpolate itself into emptiness/silence—to let emptiness/silence in—gives it remarkable breath: possibilities of in- and exhalation to writer and reader alike. I’d like to suggest that it is a woman’s feminine text (denying any redundancy) that implicitly acknowledges/creates the possibility of other/additional/simultaneous texts. This is a model significantly different from Bloom’s competitive “anxiety of influence.” It opens up a distinction between the need to imprint/impress one’s mark (image) on the other and an invitation to the others discourse as necessary to an always collaborative making of meaning. Collaboration with the reader is unnecessary only when meaning is being reported rather than made.
Retallack, Joan. The Poethical Wager. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003. 125.
If poethics is a lived pattern of conscious and unconscious values, its contested habits of being are performed in literature as lettristic-phonemic practices. These ventures foreground the parts of our human agency exercised by means of configuring words—words that incorporate and transform experiences of mind, society, and nature at increasingly busy linguistic intersections. Poetry, as chronically blurred genre, can demonstrate just how busy by operating simultaneously from multiple perspectives, in multiple dimensions, in multiple languages that draw on the inherent ambiguities, cross-references, polyglot intercultural vectors of all languages in today’s electronically intimate world. Poetry, particularly authentically contemporary poetry (that which could only have been written in its own time), is polyglossia in motion. The poethics that comes out of the postmodern crisis is in programmatic dissonance with simplistic thinking and ideals of purity.
Retallack, Joan. The Poethical Wager. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003. 104.
The problem is no longer getting people to express themselves, but providing little gaps of solitude and silence in which they might eventually find something to say. Repressive forces don’t stop people from expressing themselves, but rather, force them to express themselves. What a relief to have nothing to say, the right to say nothing, because only then is there a chance of framing the rare, or ever rarer, the thing that might be worth saying.
Deleuze, Gilles. Negotiations. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997.
People who talk about revolution and class struggle without referring explicitly to everyday life, without understanding what is subversive about love and what is positive in the refusal of constraints, such people have corpses in their mouths.
Vaneigem, Raoul. The Revolution of Everyday Life. Trans., Donald Nicholson-Smith. London: Left Bank Books and Rebel Press, 1983. 15.
A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realization of Utopias.
Wilde, Oscar. The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde: Historical Criticism, Intentions, the Soul of Man, Volume 4. Ed., Josephine M. Guy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. 247.
It is possible to imagine thinking, with its concepts, dictionaries, and organon, as shoring ‘man’ against the forces of chaos and dissolution, but we can also — when we extend this potential — see thinking as a confrontation with chaos, as allowing more of what is not ourselves to transform what we take ourselves to be.
[In addition] to the produced texts and terms, and in addition to the explicit historical presuppositions, there is an unthought or outside — the problem, desire or life of a philosophy. For Deleuze, then, reading as a philosopher requires going beyond his or her produced lexicon to the deeper logic of production from which the relations or sense of the text emerge. This sense itself can never be said; in repeating or recreating the milieu of a philosopher all we can do is produce another sense, another said.
Colebrook, Claire in
Parr, Adrian, Ed. The Deleuze Dictionary. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005. 4.
Where the mind is able to function in an orderly fashion, progressively developing, this activity takes on the significance of a work of art, a human aesthetics. As one grows more aware of this resonance of knowledge in an aesthetics of the mind, as one’s eagerness to learn is matched by an acceleration in the growth of one’s knowledge, a diffuse Prometheanism of a sort associates itself with learning. We learn in general from others and from books; but learning here becomes ours in a deeper sense, uplifting us above ourselves, above ordinary nature.
Bachelard, Gaston. Fragments of a Poetics of Fire. Trans. Kenneth Haltman. Dallas: The Dallas Institute Publications, 1988. 73.