Early one morning the words were missing. Before that, words were not. Facts were, faces were. In a good story, Aristotle tells us, everything that happens is pushed by something else. One day someone noticed there were stars but no words, why? I've asked a lot of people, I think it is a good question. Three old women were bending in the fields. What use is it to question us? they said. Well it shortly became clear they knew everything there is to know about the snowy fields and the bluegreen shoots and the plant called 'audacity' that poets mistake for violets. I began to copy out everything that was said. The marks construct an instant of nature gradually, without the boredom of a story. I emphasize this. I will do anything to avoid boredom. It is the task of a lifetime. You can never know enough, never work enough, never use the infinitives and participles oddly enough, never impede the movement harshly enough, never leave the mind quickly enough.
In 53 fascicles I copied everything that was said, things vast distances apart. I read the fascicles each day at the same time, until yesterday men came and took up the fascicles. Put them in a crate. Locked it. Then together we viewed the landscape. Their instructions were clear, I am to imitate the mirror like that of water (but water is not a mirror and it is dangerous to think so). In fact I was the whole time waiting for them to leave so I could begin filling in the parts I missed. So I am left with 3 fascicles (which I hid). I have to be careful what I set down. Aristotle talks about probability and necessity, but what good is a marvel, what good is a story that does not contain poison dragons. Well you can never work enough.
(Anne Carson. Short Talks. Introduction)
- See: Artists
:: note :: ... love this form ... a talk a day to come ...