3 thoughts
last posted Sept. 29, 2012, 5:07 p.m.

I am somewhat sympathetic to Plato's deep distrust of the poet. In a way all publication, production—all acts of fixing art into a single form, of pulling it from time and committing it to the page—feel inhuman to me.

I was thinking about jokes, and how the constant debate over what constitutes offensive humor, whether you can joke about rape or cancer, et cetera, is only coherent in the context of mass media. If I make a joke of any kind in specific company, it is direct communication that's necessarily conditioned and contextualized by that situation. It says nothing about me; it has nothing to do with any notion of output; it only has to do with that moment.

Poetics is the fixing of the oracular. The oracle lives their poetics, and their art is indivisible from their life; whatever they speak is of the same piece. And anything they utter, in whatever poetic mode, is only coherent in the moment it's spoken, and only appropriate for whomever it's spoken to.

To remove the oracle's single atomic stream from the context of action is a sort of violence; at once the page is much more tightly constrained and much more wildly, terrifyingly unbound by time and distance than the single located moment that a being is moved to speak, after which their words pass entirely from the world.

2 later thoughts