version

Who loves ya, baby?
"The poet is only distinguished from the crank - and the distinction is very difficult to discern - because the poet avoids literal belief. All becomes metaphor and image, and there is no real division between history and myth. Neither should be taken literally. The poetic tradition flows within this liminal state. It can be traced in history, it can be traced in myth, it can be traced in biography, in ecology, in geology, but the thread is lost when it is taken too literally. It is an inside joke of the most dangerous cosmic tricksters passed down only to those in the know, and those who know are precisely those who have seen and touched it. And when it is touched, it is discovered everywhere."
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
"But the fact that a thing is not literal does not make it untrue. Blake, for instance, was completely uninterested in historical proofs of the life of Jesus. For Blake, these searches for certainty miss the entire point of Jesus' mission. Jesus is the Imagination. It is in the worst way sacrilegious to attempt to prove his historical existence or to prove the literal reality of his words and deeds. Narrow proof is perniciously put before eternal imagination. Likewise, the Atlantis myth or metaphor should not be literalized."
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
Someone should have rebuffed me with this in the postmodernism thread,

"Trump is the Imagination. It is in the worst way sacrilegious to attempt to prove his historical existence or to prove the literal reality of his words and deeds. Narrow proof is perniciously put before eternal imagination."
 

poetix

we murder to dissect
Decades ago when I was studying the Romantics at uni, I read E. P. Thompson's Witness Against The Beast, in which he argues that Blake was connected to a Muggletonian sect, and through that sect to a deeper tradition of antinomian thought (antinomian: against Law, against the idea of a rule-bound universe and a law-bound social realm; rejecting the chains of sexual morality in favour of an expansive and cosmic eros). The question which occurred to me at the time was, how can you have an antinomian tradition? Aren't traditions precisely the sort of institutionalising, time-binding things that antinomianism wants to unbind, recovering both a more intense present and a deeper, mythical time? Isn't there something paradoxical in this idea of a sort of historical transmission of antinomian thought and feeling?

Reading the first few pages of Death Sweat, I see that the idea of an esoteric tradition, a secret language which traces its lineage back to sunken Atlantis or occulted Eleusis, is again central to the story being told. Similar questions come to me, but the framing is different because znore isn't, like Thompson, writing as an historian: they're making different kinds of claims. The imagination can conjure a tradition and seek a place for itself within it, without needing to demonstrate that such a thing exists as a matter of archival record. It's about a series of resonances between separate moments, sympathetically rather than causally connected. Geoffrey Hill, in an early poem, writes of William Dunbar (who himself wrote the great Lament for the Makaris, an elegy for the poets - makers - who had gone before):

To such a mercy few of us attain:
Swans dwell apart like Troilus in his sphere,
And not by sufferings, even, do we gain
Power, such as theirs, to bring the heavens near,
But win our faith from all who knew the clear
Fulness of vision. Here, on Bewdley bridge,
I think of you, as of my heritage.
That closing "as of" clinches the ambiguity: Dunbar cannot be claimed directly as one's heritage. The poem, while gauche, is not gauche enough for that. But the poet may think of him "as of" his heritage: at the same time, in the same moment, with a sense of communication between times and moments. It is a matter of "faith" in a "Fulness of vision" which one has not oneself attained, but which is glimpsed through the moments in which past figures seemed to "bring the heavens near".

It spoils the game to settle too easily into seeing all this as a purely imaginative exercise in canon-formation, as if one were free simply to make it all up, and that was all that was going on. As with synchronicity, which znore also takes to be fateful, the imaginative charge comes from a compelling sense of non-arbitrariness: things have come together for some purpose, there is a message entailed in their conjuncture. And poetry is very much an art of meaningful accident: what can it mean that these two words rhyme, or jive together in etymology or association? Some of the most compelling poetry sets out to make you believe that things that rhyme on the page must also rhyme metaphysically: "bridge" and "heritage", say, the coincidental rhyme also touching off a set of associations about bridging into the past, or being on a bridge between two banks, at a point of transition or initiation (which an early poem may dramatise as its own condition). For znore, Finnegans Wake is the ultimate system of such associations, voluminous enough to enfold the world.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
it's largely about being enrolled in the Invisible College. What it means to be initiated. How the world changes. How our experience of life changes. The risks and rewards involved.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Poetry is both a portal onto the college and a set of oblique teachings of the college.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
as poetix says once you start writing you very quickly learn The Writer is Outside of Time.
 

poetix

we murder to dissect
The thing about k-punk that most attracted me initially was the sense that Mark was writing his way out of a present moment he didn't like being in very much, in search of a very personal canon of writers and musicians who had seen and felt some of the same things he had. He wrote in the company of these figures, as their contemporary, on an equal footing with this spiritual aristocracy. My very first conversation with him, on MSM messenger, kicked off with me saying "I think we have some people in common" - not friends or acquaintances in the real world, but connections to figures like Burroughs and Lovecraft. It seems gauche now - "oh hey, we're both really into The Fall, cool!" - but these things were portals. A lot of "hauntology" was about a kind of melancholic attempt to "bring the heavens near", to connect a ruined present with the timeless sphere of genius.

Burroughs treasured Beckett's reported reaction to his work: "well, he's a writer". That could be read as the most dismissive possible evaluation - "well, I have nothing to say about this stuff, other than that, yes, the guy has evidently put words on a page" - but Burroughs chose to see it as something more: Beckett recognising that he, Burroughs, was in the same place. A writer, not a civilian. One of the cruelest reviews Hill ever got was one which declared that, when judged in comparison with the company into which he had insinuated himself, Hill was not a great writer. No, you don't belong with Yeats and Ivor Gurney: they aren't your peers, you're not in their club, stop talking as if you had a right to join in that conversation...
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Mark was unusual in having a visionary aspect which never broke through into the ecstactic but remained determinedly negative. all that anti-vitalism which read as a denial that life could ever feel good. even in the manic state it never threatened to become ecstatic. hence the emphasis on cold.

i saw a thing on twitter recently, wait there!
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member




Mark Fisher's Haunt

@k_punk_unlife

·
Oct 9

For Baudrillard, the very attacks on “reality” mounted by groups such as the Surrealists function to keep the real alive (by providing it with a fabulous, dream world, ostensibly entirely alternative to but in effect dialectically complicit with the everyday world of the real).
 
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