Tuesday, February 20

Trying To Speak Towards: What Is Uncovered

It is all about those unburied corpses...

Undergoing a deeper reading of Antigone along with Steiner's critical analysis.

All three of the Theban plays have been resonate for me lately. The hauntings of old men late at night.

Sophocles wrote Antigone, the first of the three, in his early 50s? And Oedipus at Colonus in his late 80s....

Getting to the point of understanding what it is to "say a thing" - soon perhaps even to spell out the signs that point to that saying.

Working on a long piece on the death of B. Jones where he is the unburied corpse of Polynices and there is a sort of fractured first-person Rashoman narration of the Antigone role - instead of the primary dialectic being between the individual and the state, it is between the individual and God.

Delighted by the allusive undertones in Anti-Gone - referencing those Bones of God that I go on about all the time.

God is dead but not gone - haunting us. Those Heideggerian fugitive traces. The Devil wearing the Godshoes.

Also, a thing about the death of Paul Celan - the story of his bones and flesh between April 20th and May 1st 1970 - those seven miles in the Seine - the Shakesperian sea-change.

From Felstiner:
[I]n 1964 he had written:

Water needles
stitch up the split
shadow- he fights his way
deeper down,

About 20 April 1970, around Passover, Celan went from the bridge into the Seine and, though a strong swimmer, drowned unobserved.... On 1 May a fisherman came upon his body seven miles downstream.

A biography of Holderlin was found then on Celan's desk, open to an underlined passage: "Sometimes this genius goes dark and sinks down into the bitter well of his heart." Celan did not, I noticed, underline the rest of that sentence in the Holderlin biography: "but mostly his apocalyptic star glitters wondrously."

People have said that Celan took his own life at forty-nine because valid speech in German was impossible after or about Auschwitz. Yet this was the impossibility that incited him: "Spills of mire I swallowed, inside the tower." And he did speak - more validly than could ever have been imagined.