Why should we trouble ourselves with difficult books? Why should we not slurp fictional mush and be spoon-fed undemanding narratives? For the simple reason that if literature doesn’t have a capacity for awkwardness, then it cannot convey anything of the unreality of what it is to be in this world.Will Self, in his Introduction to Alasdair Gray’s novel 1982, Janine
Imagination, of course, can open any door - turn the key and let terror walk right in. Tuesday, at dawn, a carload of pheasant hunters from Colorado - strangers, ignorant of the local disaster - were startled by what they saw as they crossed the prairies and passed through Holcomb: windows ablaze, almost every window in almost every house, and, in the brightly lit rooms, fully clothed people, even entire families, who had sat the whole night wide awake, watchful, listening. Of what were they frightened? ‘It might happen again.’In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
Until writing was invented, men lived in acoustic space: boundless, directionless, horizonless, in the dark of the mind, in the world of emotion, by primordial intuition, by terror. Speech is a social chart of this bog.
The goose quill put an end to talk. It abolished mystery; it gave architecture and towns; it brought roads and armies, bureaucracy. It was the basic metaphor with which the cycle of civilization began, the step from the dark into the light of the mind. the hand that filled the parchment page built a city.
Whence did the wond’rous mystic art arise,
Of ppainting SPEECH, and speaking to the eyes?
That we by tracing magic lines are taught,
How to embody, and to colour THOUGHT?
Xero-data or dust, swarms planetary bodies as the primal flux of data or the mother of all Data-streams in the Solar system. Each particle of dust carries with it a unique vision of matter, movement, collectivity, interaction, affect, differentiation, composition and infinite darkness - a crystallized data-base or a plot ready to combine and react, to be narrated on and through something. There is no line of narration more concrete than a stream of dust particles.Reza Negarastani, Cyclonopedia
I’ve been able, ever since childhood, as my parents knew only too well, to keep up an obstinate silence, one that no torture could overcome, in the face of anyone who does not seem worth replying to. Silence is my most sublime, my most peaceable, but my most undeniable declaration of war or contempt.Jacques Derrida, ‘Le survivant, le sursis, le sursaut’