Tuesday, 2 March 2010

How to Avoid Avoiding to Speak?

How to speak so that one makes way for silence, instead of "giving voice"?

How to avoid speaking in such a manner?

Reading Gertrude Stein's "Poetry and Grammar" (1934)

The paperback just arrived from the UK, with a slightly torn cover but cost only £ 1.51 plus shipping.

Asked myself what's the difference between an article and an essay, or an academic lecture and a poet's. Argumentative rigour against freedom? But what if the subject, theme, topic requires freedom in order to argue with rigour?

Found an answer, reading further.
And what, said I, well he said, when a train was going by at a terrific pace and we waved a hat the engine driver could make a bell quite carelessly go ting ting ting, the way anybody playing at a thing could do, it was not if you know what I mean professional he said.*

An allegorical answer. I am myself using poetic license now, by not replying to it, but leaving it and letting it resonate by itself.

Another quote, the author quoting herself and making good use of the quoted allegory, this exemplary resonance being from How to Write:
Battles are named because there have been hills which have made a hill in a battle.**

The last thing I would like to do is to mix the genres, to encourage "essayistic style" or "poetic license" in academic writing. Fortunately, in doing literary criticism, we can always quote the poets and still keep the registers strictly apart from each other. It is through an encounter with the other that one can learn one's own (a liberal paraphrase from Hölderlin via Heidegger).
* Lectures in America (London: Virago, 1988), p. 225.
** P. 226.