Guy Debord

Strange orchestrations: Mira Rosenthal & the translation of silence

The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Man Ray, "Le Violon d'Ingres,"1924.
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Man Ray, "Le Violon d'Ingres,"1924.

 It was a place I might have dreamed if it hadn’t been real, this building slated for demolition located in a country far from home. The former site of an art college, the structure itself no longer stands, but one June evening in the early years of the twenty-first century, it hosted a party for the ages.

 

Each classroom transformed into an all-night gallery, filled with art by generations of students who had learned there how to see, how to listen, how to make. Studio after studio of imagination translated into reality. Outside, on the lawn: wine, feasting, revelry. The sharing of decades of memory. If you look closely, you can see gargoyles keeping watch over the festivities.

Strange wanderings: Claire Eder translates Christian Prigent

The necropolis at Cerveteri
The necropolis at Cerveteri

Apples fall from tree branches, and vibrations of colliding stars pass through light years. Such do gravitational forces magnify quotidian wonders. How best for earth-bound travelers to cross curvatures of time and space? Poet Claire Eder ventures into an ancient city of the dead to translate another poet's voyage and happens upon inexplicable strangeness from atop a library perch. “Not everyone is given access to this other world where the dead and the dying live,” Hélène Cixous reminds us, mortal humans, in "The School of Dreams." But if we cannot reasonably be guests of the dead while we are still living, we might still “go there by dreaming.”

Apples fall from tree branches, and vibrations of colliding stars pass through light years. Such do gravitational forces magnify quotidian wonders. How best for earth-bound travelers to cross curvatures of time and space? Poet Claire Eder ventures into an ancient city of the dead to translate another poet's voyage and happens upon inexplicable strangeness from atop a library perch.

"Not everyone is given access to this other world where the dead and the dying live," Hélène Cixous reminds us, mortal humans, in "The School of Dreams." But if we cannot reasonably be guests of the dead while we are still living, we might still, Cixous suggests, "go there by dreaming."

Of experts and inexperts

Jules Boykoff

In her last post, Kaia wrote about inexpertise as a possibly positive interventionary poetry stance.

Many of us have a conflicted relationship with experts and expertise. To be sure, in general, contemporary society demands increased reliance on and deference toward experts and expertise. Pay heed to the news any day of the week—whether it be television or radio or a newspaper—and you’ll find a cavalcade of experts expertly asserting expertise. 

On the positive side, experts can provide us with shortcuts, time-savers, insider insights, and thought-provoking analysis. Not a day goes by when I don’t appreciate an expert offering shrewd dissection of a topic I hadn’t quite thought of in that particular way. 

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