Ordinary language is all right.
One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.
This week in moments of respite from the endless toil of grading papers I'm reading: Minima Moralia, The Moral Collapse of the University, and Das Bild-Wörterbuch (pictures!), and listening to a stack of CDs splurged on: Nico's Chelsea Girl, four Muddy Waters records (Hard Again, I'm Ready, Real Folk Blues, and More Real Folk Blues), Keren Ann's Not Going Anywhere, and the Soft Pink Truth's hardcore covers album. With more in the stack yet!
Grading will never stop, ever, as long as I teach. But at least it's not torture anymore (maybe that was just a remnant of the depression?); it's just that it inevitably results in tedium.
It seems as if writing in fragments (such a poorly chosen word, thoughtlessly chosen), remarks, could be seen to make a work of thought more forceful than if it had been written in continuous prose, as a single line of argument; there is less exposure, greater intensity throughout. The parts do not depend nearly so much on one another for their correctness, validity, or significance; if one fails, or fails to take hold, it might possibly hardly be missed. (The relation between fragmentary - augh! - texts and networks is probably deeper than the glibness of that formulation implies.) And when this is so, it seems, somehow (I'm recording my impulses, hunches, here; regarded soberly the situation feels like it can be brought exactly into line in every way with that of continuously argued prose, by someone so inclined to argue), as if each remark gets to say more because it is allowed to presume so many other things have been said so securely.
(I am thinking of Wittgenstein.)
What is it?
What is it like?
What does it sound like?
Why am I listening to it?
Should I listen to it?
Should I keep listening to it?
Why do I keep listening to it?
Will I keep listening to it?
Why do I want to listen to it?
I keep forgetting the simplicity of some of the basic questions.
Each separate section - it looks as if they're meant to seem like separate entries not consistently dated, so that most are set apart only by the blank space - of Rilke's Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge begins, in the 1964 Norton edition of Norton's translation (no relation?), with a drop cap.
It rather detracts from the conceit that the thing is made up of Malte's notebook entries.
Things come out somewhat on their own; and I look at them and wonder, why am I writing that?
The funny thing is, it's never like I took to that role wholly, unreservedly, even when a real teenager. (Or maybe I should have used the word 'adolescent' before.) Which makes my recognition of this feeling even more internal, I think; I'm noticing a similarity between the response Kesto can draw, and a response I have (in my past, and now and then later) felt inside but come to connect with the external, stereotyped behavior of others. And probably engaged in, a bit, myself. But mostly it feels like it's far down on the 'private' end of the scale.
If one of Pan Sonic's goals is to draw selfless responses from their listeners - take for example the wonder that comes from simply being in the presence of something, nothing more - then it might be said that Kesto is four hours long simply because some listeners are very dogged in sticking to their selves when responding. The howling sheets of noise on disc one (and some on disc two) sometimes make me giggle with glee, with an inescapable feeling of still being a teenaged boy impressed by technological gadgetry and anything that might potentially annoy other people (especially adults and girls). But the eventual monotony, or perhaps just subjective monotony due to my acclimatization, serves to let the real moment occur: to make me surprised by the swoop and stop giggling and feel as if I am in the presence of more than my stupid old dumbass still-yet-teenage self.