the rigorous m

bits and bobs, quotes and catching up

jabes on writing

Posted by rigorousm on October 29, 2011

The gesture of writing is, first, a movement of arm and hand entering into an adventure under the sign of thirst. But the throat is dry, body and thought all attention. Only much later we realize that our forearm on the page marks the boundary between the writing and ourselves. On one side, the words, the work; on the other, the writer. In vain do they search to communicate. The page remains witness to two interminable monolgues, and once there is silence on either side, it is the abyss.

Our forearm constrains and inhibits us. All around, words go to waste. We thought that in taking up the pen we could reach a kind of comforting fullness and unity. But afterwards nothing is ever the same. But off from ourselves by our own daring, stripped of our belongings, the male gut reaction is to try to master this rebellious voice of ink and to appropriate it.

But the transcribed word, which we naively thought we had arrested and handcuffed, keeps its freedom for the space of its perennial night.


– Jabes, The Book of Margins p 41.


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