Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fascinating essay on Borges

from a scholar and teacher:

And, excerpts: a talk called ‘My prose’, Borges referred to the Aleph as the transformation of the scholastic idea of eternity as an instant, into its spatial equivalent: ‘I had read in the theologians that eternity is not the sum of yesterday, today and tomorrow, but an instant, an infinite instant, in which all our yesterdays are assembled as Shakespeare in Macbeth says, all the present and all the incalculable future or futures. I said to myself: if somebody has prodigiously imagined an instant that embraces and enciphers the sum of time, why not do the same with that modest category called space? … Well, I simply applied to space that idea about eternity’...

‘In that unbounded moment, I saw millions of delightful and horrible acts; none amazed me so much as the fac. that all occupied the same point, without superposition or transparency’. Can an instant be gigantic?...

...Carlos Argentino’s rhetoric and vision resemble a cross between the neoclassical and the twentieth century, he sees ‘all the places of the world, seen from every angle’, that is to say, he sees the whole earth from a cubist perspective -in cubism the object is broken up, disarticulated, presented from all its possible angles. ‘Borges’ sees instead an omnitopia of ubiquity, simultaneity, doubling, simulation, a vision that speaks about different formal inflections of space, whilst positing the infinite, rather than the world, as the ultimate spatial cipher.

Specular space, a space that multiplies spaces, a mirror that becomes infinite things, thereby already multiplying the infinite space of the Aleph and generating part of the real by its simulation, is the first thing ‘Borges’ describes as seeing in the Aleph...

my thoughts:

**this is very interesting creatively for me, because I have been reading Borges, and what Ive lately been interested in poetically are moments , and how much can be gained by seeing everything possible in one moment, not from many angles alone, but from many times, many places, many identities. In dreams a face can substitute for a word spoken, and we sometimes are both the subject and the object being acted upon, or acting upon others. This can be psychically troubling because in dreams we are usually helpless, and in conscious life we strive to maintain control. But in creative life the striving to maintain control interferes with inspiration, so our creative work winds up literal or didactic. Even a certain striving for irrationality can become another agency for Control. We end up policing our thoughts before they even get out the gate.

Earlier, I wrote:

white moth in the tall city
..tall city no walls
no walls, all mirrors...

Sometimes our subject can be horrifying - when we look at a surgical chair it may seem just a necessary place to be for us if we need surgery, but it could have been something quite horrifying to someone else, some other time and place.

I believe to enable these "mirrors," for lack of a better term, the somewhat alchemical property of the Aleph, is an act of generosity, plurality..whereas often in letters, or culture generally, we hear a singular voice or point of view coming toward us from one direction - a one-way street. I can listen to Robert Anton Wilson and try to understand that everyone's in their own "reality tunnel", although this presupposes that I need to consider every point of view worth listening to, when I don't. (And you don't either, probably) Although I agree with his point about how we can be trapped in linguistic constructs, for example 'tunneling' might imply boundaries and limits, in the same way plumbing implies pipes, but it does depend on what we're tunneling into, doesn't it?

We can form a collective and all harmonize on similar notes, we can be a big band. Or we can imagine that the Orchestra is Already in the Room, even if there's no one else there. For me this is the essential creative impulse, and we don't have to think any further on it in order to create, because something in the environment itself will tell us to pay attention to it.**

No comments: