the rigorous m

bits and bobs, quotes and catching up

Archive for June, 2011

proust again

Posted by rigorousm on June 14, 2011

 

Among all the methods by which love is brought into being, among all the agents which disseminate that blessed bane, there are few so efficacious as the great gust of agitation which, now and then, sweeps over the human spirit. For then the creature in whose company we are seeking the amusement at the moment, her lot is cast, her fate and ours decided, that is the creature whom we shall henceforward love. It is not necessary that she should have pleased us, up till then, any more, or even as much as others. All that is necessary is that our taste for her should become exclusive. And that condition is fulfilled so soon as– in the moment when she has failed to meet us– for the pleasure which we were on the point of enjoying in her charming company is abruptly substituted an anxious torturing desire, whose object is the creature herself, an irrational, absurd desire, which the laws of civilised society make it impossible to satisfy and difficult to assuage– the insensate, agonising desire to possess her.

 

– Proust, Swann in Love, p 177

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quotes: proust on personality

Posted by rigorousm on June 2, 2011

 

… it is something like love, like death (rather than like those vague conceptions of maladies), a thing which one repeatedly calls into question, in order to make oneself probe further into it, in the fear that the question will find no answer, that the substance will escape our grasp– the mystery of personality.

— Proust, Swann in Love, p. 237

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quotes: schaefer on community

Posted by rigorousm on June 2, 2011

… I prefer to write not within some community that I belong to, but within one to which I am being exposed. Community is exposed, not composed. Hence, appropriation and collage — which do not emphasize allusion, or belonging– seem to me to articulate what debates about community always return to: inabilities to communicate.

— Standard Schaefer, “The Beagle Has Landed: Scent vs. Sense” Call for Response: Symposium on Subjectivity and Style, Fence F/W 2000-2001 p117.

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quotes: hoagland on poetry

Posted by rigorousm on June 2, 2011

A lot of young poets these days are being educated into a state of hysterical aesthetic complexity. I saw poetry worksheets from the University of Iowa this year and what I saw was a widespread terror of not being smart, and a compensating effort to intimidate the reader. It scared me.

The fragment, a device so common in our poetry now, seems quite limited to me as a poetic instrument. Yes, it simulatres spiritual urgency (breathless, as in Graham), or spiritual solemnity (as in Pinsky’s litanies), and it can be mildly interesting as a descriptive technique (notational/strobe). But the grammatical fragment can’t emobdy the fluctuations of an interesting, continuous, changeable sensibility– as the full, generous, complex, acrobatic, mutating sentence can.

Yes, I know that the fragment is the best representation of our modern experience of distraction and fracture. I’m all fucked up too. But that doesn’t make it good poetry. The shattered glass is an eloquent emblem for our time, but it does not hold water and I am thirsty.

— Tony Hoagland, “Verifiability,” A Call for a Response: Symposium on Subjectivity and Style, Fence F/W 2000-2001 pp 120-121.

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quotes: proust on dependence

Posted by rigorousm on June 2, 2011

 

Other people are, as a rule, so immaterial to us that, when we have entrusted to any one of them the power to cause so much suffering or happiness to ourselves, that person seems at once to belong to a different universe, is surrounded with poetry, makes of our lives a vast example, quick with sensation, on which that person and ourselves are ever more or less in contact.

Proust, Swann in Love, p. 181.

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