Martin Heidegger

Umwelt

Pt. 10

Jakob von Uexküll’s Jackdaw
Jakob von Uexküll’s Jackdaw

A pioneer in the field of ethology and biosemiotics, Jakob von Uexküll’s work has fundamentally transformed the way we understand the animal’s spatiotemporal extension by razing anthropomorphic perspectivism in the sciences, complicating our relationship (or lack thereof) to our nonhuman animal compeers while forcing us to rethink deeply internalized notions of anthroexceptionalism. 

[T]he spider carries within its web a complex picture of the prey it is to capture — its web is a map of and a counterpoint to the fly. — Elizabeth Grosz[1]

We may assume that where there is a foot, there is also a path; where there is a mouth, there is also food; where there is a weapon, there is also an enemy. — Jakob von Uexküll[2]

Gambit

Pt. 1

Albert Renger-Patzsch, “Mary Wigman’s Dance School,” 1935.
Albert Renger-Patzsch, “Mary Wigman’s Dance School,” 1935.

The poem is broken.

Can’t we admit it, out loud, if only to each other? Or else, more accurately, “the poem” (-qua- “revelation”) is broken. We’ve known this, intuitively, at least since developing the good sense to invite our readers to the table. We asked them to build the poem with us, to play Maxwell’s demon at the sliding door, orchestrating the poem’s force in an endlessly productive positive feedback loop (what Zukofsky calls “liveforever”: “Of the artist — failing he must blame himself — He wants impossible lifeforever” (Louis Zukofsky, “A”-12). But once they turned to face — said readers — eager to play ek-stasis, entropy be damned, we refused to actually acknowledge them — what they need to know and how they come to know it — listening instead to the wires “dance in the wind of the noise our poems make. The noise without an audience.

A slowing 4: Attentive decentering (1)

Part 1

How do we create poetry with, for, of the unsayable? How can we recognize difficulty, pain – acknowledge and body it forth in art, creating beauty without stripping away the difficulty? We can consider the obvious problem of language’s limitations, even as poetry stammers ahead, through a kind of un-writing. Marguerite Duras explores this in her late work entitled Writing, even enacting the problem as she considers it:

Bright arrogance #4

Translation as total listening

Image courtesy Kalan Sherrard

Like many traditional translators, Benjamin describes a bad translation as the “inaccurate transmission of inessential content,” an inaccuracy that experimenters may revel in, as they amp up the noise between versions . . . We could say in a Lacanian moment that these new translators make a pere-version of the original, seemingly derailing the paternal metaphors and prohibitions implicit in God-as-namer and the translator as the guarantor of the name. But what would it mean to take Benjamin seriously (and, with Lacan, to avow the unavoidability of the paternal imago), to search for the Adamic patois, divine remnants of the sacred language in the infomatic jumble of disaggregated signs in our literary arcades?

'Gradually the World'

A review of Burt Kimmelman's new and selected poems

I was unfamiliar with the poetry of Burt Kimmelman when Jacket2 asked me to take up the assignment of writing about Gradually the World: New and Selected Poems, 19822013. Reading, rereading, pondering the volume — which is a life — has been an education for me in poetry’s use as engagement with writing as a means of being in the world. Why, after all, is anyone writing? Of necessity, I suppose, to figure out how to survive in — even appreciate — being alive temporarily in a world. Kimmelman’s poems surely serve that function for him and his readers.

Translation as facticity

(Curiosity and melancholy too)

archive notebook
O leixaprén

“There is a certain curiosity in it that exceeds melancholy.” I took this quote out of a notebook of mine, my “Praha” Moleskine that has never seen Prague, for I translate a “Praha” out of wherever I am, going to Prague by simply writing always in the pages of Praha, even when I am elsewhere, knitting these elsewheres together into Prague or Praha. At times I even take out the map of the city and use it to find where I am, though I am nowhere near Prague.

What does Prague and a notebook I bought on The Danforth in Toronto (a reject)—and have no right to use—have to do with translation, you ask? Perhaps all translation has to do with curiosity and melancholy, I respond.

I open the notebook two pages further on and find a quote from Giorgio Agamben scribbled there, from page 340 of his Puissance de la pensée: “La facticité est la condition de ce qui demeure caché dans son ouverture, de ce qui est exposé par son retrait même.”

James Schuyler's specimen days

James Schuyler at work. Photo by Christopher Felver.

In this essay, I will try to account for the importance of “the day” in Schuyler’s poetry, but I will come at my subject in a slightly roundabout way. I claim Schuyler as my precedent. In a poem published soon after Schuyler’s death, Clark Coolidge notes that “[i]f Jimmy starts with one thing it’s always the / one in the middle.”[1] So it makes a certain sense for me to begin in the middle of the middle, with Schuyler’s journal entry for August 15, 1970:

Flingy unholy alliance

The New York Times lead, for a story published in 1995: "One of the gossipy curiosities of 20th-century philosophy is that Hannah Arendt, the German-born Jewish philosopher remembered for her fierce and unforgiving attacks on totalitarianism, had a youthful fling in the 1920s with Martin Heidegger." Here is a link to that story, and here's a response to the matter by Aharon Meytahl.

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