This blog is a form of literary experiment. It is my own practice of a form of fragmentary writing, no longer encased in a book, but infinitely serial in the form of posts. It is a kind of cross between Valery’s Cahiers and Blanchot’s fragments. It is from Blanchot that I borrowed the idea of the infinite conversation.
The heritage of the infinite conversation can be explored through my tags. Some names recur frequently: Wallace Stevens, Adam Phillips, Zbigniew Herbert, John Clare, Joseph Conrad, Max Weber, Emily Dickinson and many more. Click on the literature, culture and poetry tags, or the names of writers I reflect on, and join me in the pursuit of the infinite conversation.
It is the duty of the writer to stay sane and to survive through that conversation that is free to all to join.
“It is this form of survival that I cherish in writing. This survival of ghostly incantations and keener sounds come from the borderlands of the mind, and a solitary wanderer’s habit of paying loving attention to the voices in his head. This survival promises renewal from isolation. It promises dream from the injuries of the day. And it makes from our evanescent words fragments of beauty that may wander the earth forever.” from “The infinite conversation and survival”
Some of my favourite posts on literature and traditions of writing without thought of profit are:
- Repeat great words, repeat them stubbornly
- Going sane writing
- Axel’s castle, a mirror and an encyclopaedia
- Regaining time
- A task: from Milosz to me
- Conrad’s darkness
- Cantos from a cage
- Sponges, metamorphoses and psyche
- Waste books and epigrams
- Sebald’s sentences
- Donne’s sermons and the blogging tradition
- Parables of shame
- Finnegan’s awwwake agoin
- A list of 21 books that shaped me
- Sailing to Byzantium
- The reenchantment of the world
- The disenchantment of the world
- Notes on the death of culture (Mario Vargas Llosa)
- Six asides about Vaclav Havel
- Taking time with Szymborska
- On Artaud’s “All writing is pig shit”
- On the renunciation of the political world
I hope you enjoy my experience of repeating great words stubbornly, and that these writings inspire you to do the same.