riots and/or poetics [3/2020]

  Lisa Robertson | The Baudelaire Fractal I’d never had an idea for writing a novel before, though I’ve been curious about the form. I’m a poet who has always loved writing prose. Essay writing and the writing of verse have been overlapping and interchangeable activities, and the shape of the sentence has always been at the core of my writing practice. This Baudelaire idea was very funny to me, and it kept opening up more pathways of inquiry the more time I spent with it. It was a way to write a bildungsroman in the feminine; it opened questions of…

Danielle Collobert | It Then

      I met Danielle Collobert in a cafe on the boulevard Saint-Germain in March or April 1958, at which time she was not yet eighteen. We immediately spoke of the essentials: writing, death. Theses two things—or is it one single thing—seemed to occupy her exclusively and with such rigor that one felt from the outset she would proceed in this single and unique direction, that no one could divert her or deceive her as to its end. At most, out of love for her, one could hope, idiotically of course, that sooner or later she would lose track, that her…

Danielle Collobert; Notebooks

    1959 June At the Terminus — one night “First night of total release blended with looks with surface gestures — Seamless connections of knowledge, of near absolute understanding, faultless, of a smile, of a word. The schedule kicks in mid-flight, returning the rhythm of day and night, of a familiar convention opposed only by the desire not to — instant guilt at the margins of the normal, the reassuring — So I set off on a tangent, from an unbroken sleep, into the rain and lively gusting wind; and the words, and the unformed phrases slide into tight…

Reading Danielle Collobert

  John Taylor Collobert (1940–78) is the author of five haunting books of prose and prose-like poetry which the Parisian publisher POL has just brought back from oblivion. It is both moving and fitting that Meurtre(Murder, 1964), Dire I (Say I, 1972), Dire II (Say II,1972), Il donc (It Then, 1976) and Survie (Survival, 1978) are now gathered under one cover, constituting the first volume of Collobert’s collected works, Oeuvres I. A second volume, Oeuvres II, comprising her journal, her several radio texts, and miscellaneous writings, will appear next year. This is no routine reissue. Pages by Collobert may perplex,…