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Yesterday I found this on Anton’s desk:

He has crossed out a DVD.

He didn’t write something on it first and then cross that out: he actually crossed out the thing. There’s a line right through it and a wavy scribble all the way around it. He’s crossed out both the thing and the shape.

When I found it on his desk I told him you can’t cross out actual things, only words.

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Here are some of the birds:

Fitfully watching these birds as I approached a writing deadline last month I was continually distracted by the thought that they looked a good deal better equipped for writing than me. The birds have certain ways of being that I think would lend themselves to the practice of writing. Ways of organizing ideas, putting sounds together, getting priorities in order. I’d like to learn about writing from these birds. I don’t know how to begin.

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Below is a response to Anton’s comment on my earlier post On Thyme.

Yes, I would rather no human shaping at all.

And yes, where language tries to describe things as themselves, it fails. The description interrupts its object, causes it to recede from description, and in its place describes something altogether different. The thing described is not the same as the coexistent thing that evaded description. The particular quality of a thing – a thing as it is, on its own, “resting in its thing-being” – is precisely that it is undescribed*. Described, the thing is no longer the thing it was, and the thing it was recedes, evading description. Read the rest of this entry »

Peter Schwenger in Words and the Murder of the Thing [1]:

“In the satirical hodgepodge that is book three of Gulliver’s Travels, the prize exhibit is undoubtedly the Academy of Lagado. Among its improbable schemes is one designed to avoid the “Diminution of Our Lungs by Corrosion”; as well, this scheme would achieve communicative precision and provide an infallible esperanto. It consists simply in abolishing all words and replacing them with their referents:

‘Since Words are only Names for Things, it would be more convenient for all Men to carry about them, such Things as were necessary to express the particular Business they are to discourse on […] which hath only this Inconvenience attending to it; that if a Man’s Business be very great, and of various Kinds, he must be obliged in Proportion to carry a greater Bundle of Things upon his Back, unless he can afford one or two strong Servants to attend him.'[2] Read the rest of this entry »

Homologue is changing. Five print publications are coming together in a series called TEXT AS.

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While you write, imagine a piece of writing as a piano.

A piano makes some kind of sound. The point of a piano isn’t the piano itself, but the sound it can make. Nevertheless, the shape of the piano is determined by the shape of the sound it makes, and the shape of the sound is determined by the shape of the piano that makes it. The shape of the sound causes the shape of the piano, and the shape of the piano causes the shape of the sound.

While you write, imagine a piece of writing as a piano, and imagine that the piano comes first, and the sound follows. Every moment of the production of the piano calls for the sound.

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  • Shut eyes and fling eggs around room. Look for them.
  • Look for leftover eggs not found last year.
  • Disguise eggs among similar things. Look for them.
  • Look for eggs that are there anyway (ornaments, boiled, etc.)
  • Hide eggs all year round. Forget about them. Look for them.
  • Go to sleep with eggs in bed. In the morning look for them.
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