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Saturday, 3 April 2010

Samuel Beckett: Aporia


File:Porte-Fenetre a Collioure 1914.jpg

Where now? Who now? When now? Unquestioning. I, say I. Unbelieving. Questions, hypotheses, call them that. Keep going, going on, call that going, call that on. Can it be that one day, off it goes on, that one day I simply stayed in, in where, instead of going out, in the old way, out to spend day and night as far away as possible, it wasn't far. Perhaps that is how it began. You think you are simply resting, the better to act when the time comes, or for no reason, and you soon find yourself powerless ever to do anything again. No matter how it happened. It, say it, not knowing what. Perhaps I simply assented at last to an old thing. But I did nothing. I seem to speak, it is not I, about me, it is not about me. These few general remarks to begin with. What am I to do, what should I do, in my situation, how proceed? By aporia pure and simple? Or by affirmations and negations invalidated as uttered, or sooner or later? Generally speaking. There must be other shifts. Otherwise it would be quite hopeless. But it is quite hopeless.

File:Henri Matisse - View of Notre Dame.  Paris, quai Saint-Michel,  spring 1914.jpg

Samuel Beckett: from The Unnamable (translated from the French by the author, 1959)

Porte-Fenetre a Collioure: Henri Matisse, 1914 (Centre Pompidou)
View of Notre Dame: Henri Matisse, 1914 (Museum of Modern Art)




Ah, those green and blue Matisse doorways, passages, what possible things are inside/outside there?


grey whiteness of clouds above shadowed
ridge, sparrow perched on tip of branch
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

is without space and ground,
possible things there

that behind them is enacted,
actual surface, as it

grey-white clouds above shadowed ridge,
wingspan of pelican flapping toward it

TC said...


Yes, those a nowhere

without space and ground,
possible things there

remembering that the greek root of aporia = a + poros, without passage, impassable

Moving toward and somehow through the narrows of impasse, then, perhaps; and seeing, beyond, what

behind them is enacted,

on and of

actual surface,

grey-white clouds above shadowed ridge,
wingspan of pelican flapping toward it

(White light raking through steely overcast here, another bank of storm clouds moving in through the passage of the Gate...)



Yes, another bank of rain clouds has moved through here too (birds still chirping) -- now passing. What's beyond the 'out there' that's out there now? Passage from Stevens (today) presents another way of looking at what Beckett is looking at here, perhaps. . . .