Saturday, July 20, 2024

 "This is not a situation of bilingualism or multilingualism. We can easily conceive of two languages mixing with each other, with incessant transitions from one to the other; yet each of them nonetheless remains a homogeneous system in equilibrium, and their mixing takes place in speech. But this is not how great authors proceed ... they do not mix two languages together, not even a minor language and a major language .... What they do, rather, is invent a minor use of the major language within which they express themselves ... They are great writers by virtue of this minorization: they make the language take flight ... ceaselessly placing it in a state of disequilibrium .... They make the language itself scream, stutter, stammer, or murmur."

- Gilles Deleuze, 'He Stuttered'

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

It goes without saying that miserabilism, an apparition which may be held to be one of the specific phenomena of these last few years, miserabilism, this plague against which the moment has come to take energetic measures, permits of as many variations in art as there are categories of misery: physiological misery, psychological misery, moral misery, etc. The time has come to study it clinically.

Miserabilism cannot pass for having raged in France in an endemic manner. The Middle Ages, as elsewhere, were exempt from the contagion. The fifteenth and sixteenth centuries turned their backs on it, in so doing braving the already deliquescent Italy of the popes. Against its infiltrations the nineteenth century, for which the Beast had taken the name academicism, reacted in heroic manner (Hugo, Nerval, Géricault, Corot, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Gauguin, Seurat, Henri Rousseau). Behind them, the great bridge whose first spans were laid by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Sade, the French Revolution.

Today, miserabilism, in this very country, is the offspring of the perfect coupling of those two vermin, hitlerite fascism and stalinism, as thick as thieves in their attempt to apply the death sentence to artists by injecting them with their poison. It also produces deferred results, since we are still saddled with the nauseating aspect of existentialism, Léger’s repulsive Eves in air-chambers, and Buffet’s clown-Christs fashioned from ribs of an umbrella blown inside out – a bankrupts’ stock exchange quoted at a million apiece or more.

There should be no need to emphasize that quarrels between rival factions play no part whatsoever in this. The whole question and the only question is that of ‘sacred language’. ‘Can one,’ asked Eugène Soldi already in 1897, ‘separate a concrete fact from a generalized idea, from an abstract thought? Can one give an idea of the ideal without exalting the sense of a reality? Can the human brain conceive a thing lacking attachment to the real? No’. The case is overwhelming. But the depreciation of reality in place of its exaltation  - there we have miserabilism, there is the crime.

ANDRÉ BRETON, "Away with Miserabilism!"(1956)

(translated by Simon Watson Taylor) 

Any idea what Andre's on about here?

It seems like possibly a rather local and very topical response to something-or-other.

Saturday, June 8, 2024

 “And you have absolute power, absolute control, over everything in those worlds. Pigs can fly, forests can walk. The river can sing and flow uphill. At your command the world could blow itself to ice and dust.”

Oliver Postgate on worldbuilding, Seeing Things

(via Rob Chapman)

Thursday, May 23, 2024


Mark E. Smith, New Musical Express, November 14 1981

from the album Middle Class Revolt

personally I think the contribution of the bourgeoisie to the history of rock etc is underestimated

Thursday, May 16, 2024

 “Branca had me shaking . . . I found myself responding in ways that brought me back to my ego. My feelings were disturbed.... I found in myself the willingness to connect the music with evil — with power. I don’t want such a power in my life

"I felt negatively about what seemed to me to be the political implications. I wouldn’t want to live in a society like that, in which someone would be requiring other people to do such an intense thing together … The Branca is an example of sheer determination, of one person to be followed by the others. Even if you couldn’t hear you could see the situation, that is not a shepherd taking care of the sheep, but of a leader insisting that people agree with him, giving them no freedom whatsoever. The only breath of fresh air that comes is when the technology collapses. The amplifier broke, that was the one moment of freedom from the intention.

“I don’t think though that the image of that power and intention and determination would make a society that I would want to continue living in,” 

"“One of the things I dislike most about European music is the presence of climaxes, and what I see in Branca as in Wagner is a sustained climax. It also suggests that what is not it, is not climactic.”

- John Cage on Glenn Branca performance at New Music America festival, Chicago, 1982

 "This is not a situation of bilingualism or multilingualism. We can easily conceive of two languages mixing with each other, with ince...