Allow the self to be distracted — (Ars Poetica XVI)

—  wasting time is the most personal, most private, most intimate form of conversation with oneself, as well as with another. Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures by Mary Ruefle *   Susan Hiller: Dream Mapping (1973/74)  Dream Mapping, 1973 was an art event provocatively poised between an experiment (social or scientific) and a performance without an…

exemplary

I used to think I wrote because there was something I wanted to say. Then I thought, ‘I will continue to write because I have not yet said what I wanted to say’; but I know now I continue to write because I have not yet heard what I have been listening to. — Mary…

Consecrating ones life to an imbecility

I suppose, as a poet, amongst my fears can be counted the deep-seated uneasiness that one day it will be revealed that I consecrated my life to an imbecility (to something intrinsically unnecessary and superfluous – and thereby unintentionally cruel). In an intriguing essay called “On Fear”, Mary Ruefle touch upon a problem I have been…

The pleasures of reading Mary Ruefle

You know I have this crush on Mary Ruefle, remember? (I actually believe her remarkable book of lectures; Madness, Rack and Honey, to be amongst the most extraordinarily thought-provoking books ever published). As luck would have it, my generous friend Ann knows my obsession, and today she very kindly supplied me with a link to Michel…

(creative?!???) MESS, or: a state of confusion and disorderliness

I’ve started working on a short essay on Maggie Nelson’s Bluets. the book keeps popping up in my imagination, so I’ve decided to try to write myself through my fascination. As for now I haven’t got any written stuff to show you, but this is what my desk looks like at the moment: in comparison…

“To live is so startling, it leaves but little room for other occupations”

In LECTURES I WILL NEVER GIVE (Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures) Mary Ruefle writes: Once I wanted to write a lecture on two self-portraits by the German artist Käthe Kollowitz, (…) single self-portraits are not half as interesting as two self-portraits by the same artist painted thirty or forty years apart. When Käthe painted herself…

TWO SHORT LECTURES

Some of you already know; I am a big fan of Mary Ruefle. Her new collection of texts is just … brilliant! To give you an idea of how she writes, I will quote the two first of her TWENTY-TWO SHORT LECTURES: WHY ALL OUR LITERARY PURSUITS ARE USELESS Eighty-five percent of all existing species…