Jacques Rancière | Documentary Fiction: Chris Marker and the Fiction of Memory

The Last Bolshevik is the title of the film Chris Marker dedicates to the memory of Alexander Medvekin, the Soviet filmmaker who was born with his century and who died during the Perestroika. To speak of ‘memory’ is to raise the paradox of the film at the outset. Marker’s film cannot very well hope to preserve the memory of a filmmaker whose films we have not seen and whose name was, until quite recently, unfamiliar to most of us. Nor is this situation much different with Medvekin’s compatriots, who are as likely to know his films as we are. The…

Arthur Rimbaud | A Season in Hell

   * * * Long ago, if my memory serves, life was a feast where every heart was open, where every wine flowed. One night, I sat Beauty on my knee. —And I found her bitter. —And I hurt her. I took arms against justice. I fled, entrusting my treasure to you, o witches, o misery, o hate. I snuffed any hint of human hope from my consciousness. I made the muffled leap of a wild beast onto any hint of joy, to strangle it. Dying, I called my executioners over so I could bite the butts of their rifles….

Arthur Rimbaud| Poems 1871/72

  STOLEN HEART My sad heart drools on deck, A heart splattered with chaw: A target for bowls of soup, My sad heart drools on deck: Soldiers jeer and guffaw. My sad heart drools on deck, A heart splattered with chaw! Ithyphallic and soldierly, Their jeers have soiled me! Painted on the tiller Ithyphallic and soldierly. Abracadabric seas, Cleanse my heart of this disease. Ithyphallic and soldierly, Their jeers have soiled me! When they’ve shot their wads, How will my stolen heart react? Bacchic fits and bacchic starts When they’ve shot their wads: I’ll retch to see my heart Trampled…

Gilles Deleuze; Desert Islands and Other Texts (1953-1974)

Gilles Deleuze | Desert Islands and Other Texts (1953-1974) (2003, Semiotext(e))/ Full book “One day, perhaps, this century will be Deleuzian,“ Michel Foucault once wrote. This book anthologizes 40 texts and interviews written over 20 years by renowned French philosopher Gilles Deleuze, who died in 1995. The early texts, from 1953-1966 (on Rousseau, Kafka, Jarry, Ponge, Artaud, etc.) belong to literary criticism and announce Deleuze’s last book, Critique and Clinic (1993). But philosophy clearly predominates in the rest of the book, with sharp appraisals of the thinkers he always felt indebted to: Spinoza, Bergson. More surprising is his acknowledgement of Jean-Paul…

Two Poets—Ed Dorn & Sean Bonney

Ed Dorn “He knew that just to wake up in the morning is to be political.“ Jennifer Dunbar “No poet has been more painfully, movingly, political“, writes Robert Creeley: “the range and explicit register of Ed Dorn’s ability to feel how it actually is to be human, in a given place and time, is phenomenal.“ “Ed Dorn (1929-1999) was born and grew up in Eastern Illinois, on the banks of the river Embarrass (a tributary of the Wabash). He never knew his father. His mother was of French-Canadian ancestry, his maternal grandfather a half-Indian Quebecois railroad man (“master pipefitter in…

Sean Bonney; COMETS & BARRICADES: INSURRECTIONARY IMAGINATION IN EXILE

  Sean Bonney; COMETS & BARRICADES: INSURRECTIONARY IMAGINATION IN EXILE Let every word indicate the most frightening of distances, it would still take billions of centuries, talking at one word per second, to express a distance which is only an insignificance when it comes to infinity. Louis Auguste Blanqui; Eternity by the Stars Imprisoned on the day before the declaration of the Paris Commune, in a cell in the Fort du Taureau, ‘an ellipse-shaped fortified island lying half a mile outside of the rock shores of Morlaix at a place where, after briefly morphing into the English Channel, the Atlantic Ocean finally…

Sean Bonney; Notes on Militant Poetics

  Notes on Militant Poetics 1/3 “There is a zone of nonbeing, an extraordinarily sterile and arid region, an utterly naked declivity when an authentic upheaval can be born . . . . (a) descent into a real hell” (Fanon) “Truth content becomes negative. [Poems] imitate a language beneath the helpless language of human beings: it is that of the dead speaking of stones and stars” (Adorno) The Situationists called poetry the “anti-matter of consumer society”, a fairly questionable claim, but one that is at least expressive of the chasm that operates between official reality’s definitions of poetry and those…