From Monika Weiss re: 'bloody mess' (apologies for bad formatting, blame the sw)

From gniewna@monika-weiss.com Sun Oct 9 16:55:08 2011

Date: Sun, 9 Oct 2011 16:55:02

From: Monika Weiss <gniewna@monika-weiss.com>

To: Alan Sondheim <sondheim@panix.com>

Cc: Monika Weiss <gniewna@monika-weiss.com>

Subject: Reply to your 'bloody mess'

Alan,

Today, when reading your words....

 

You:

I didn't know how to present this. The obdurate stupidity of death takes over as

relatives make their plays before everything disperses. Things come together,

skein, disperse again. I was thinking of DEAF 2012 on the way and why not make a

hospital? Hospitals do few people good. When I wake up now, I start with Paul

Celan, a habit I should leave behind. There's also Fox's Book of Martyrs, and

Tortures and Torments of the Christian Martyrs. Everywhere the body is skewed,

torn, dismembered. Alphonso Lingis writes the phenomenology of dismemberment,

Deleuze and Guattari set the stage. Irigaray finds a more fluid way. I get

stopped by Krieg dem Kriege, War Against War; there a relationship between those

images and Otto Dix's painting. Dix also painted Anita Berber, a heroine of mine

whose lover Droste apparently married Gloria Swanson after Paula Negri. Berber

set the stage but Valeska Gert populated it. The few remaining traces of Gert

culminate in Fellini's hermaphrodite in Juliet of the Spirits. Spirits never

piss or shit, double over in pain, suffer the displacement of the psyche onto

the stigmata of the body. They might as well be game-pieces; Lucifer walks

through hell like an accountant. I feel like I'm inside a bank. What's inside

the bank? Deposit box 057 and it's hot as hell. Back then there were fingers on

knobs, charred to the bone; back then the bone took care of the prints.

 

Me:

Alan, staring a day with Paul Celan is the best way. Perhaps I would also want

to die with Celan to 'end the day'. His language KNOWS. It's a language of knowing

through the abyss, through collapse. He mourns the advent of language itself, as

I try in my work, as it [the language] tries to re-conceive itself; German

language as an obstacle, as a tomb, as a metal log lying in once eyes, in one's

throat.

 

What is wrong with dismembered body? Not its destruction but our ability to

destroy. We have the right perhaps to destroy our singular body--to some extend

martyrdom being the ultimate exaltation and exploration of freedom, the

syncopea, being outside of oneself. But we cannot compare, equate, overlap or

otherwise line up together martyrdom and murder.

 

Hospitals? In medieval Arab world. Places free of charge, places of rescue,

musical, full of dying and meditating, gardens of death and pain. Empathy - not

corporation. Spirits never piss nor shit yet we have that dual capacity

(pneuma/ennoia), for a short moment, through our own virtuality, which still

suffers but also becomes language and music, as in T. Mann's statement (written

while his Dr. Faustus was being born in 1943, the time in Europe that Derrida

states is still THE question, the aporia -- that when music recognizes itself,

it is always already lament.

Monika

 


 

Comments

Monika, you say,

'Alan, staring a day with Paul Celan is the best way. Perhaps I would also want

to die with Celan to 'end the day'. His language KNOWS. It's a language of knowing

through the abyss, through collapse. He mourns the advent of language itself, as

I try in my work, as it [the language] tries to re-conceive itself; German

language as an obstacle, as a tomb, as a metal log lying in once eyes, in one's

throat.'

-- and I can only agree, it's there within the vulnerability, the tube of the throat, its capacity for speech or song, its capacity for cessation. because it speaks, it's within the differend of Lyotard, it defends its speech through speech which is cancelled in its defending, in the final accompanying cessation. gagging is the reflex which most enervates the body, in the sense of vocalizations which curl around the organ of production.

i wrote on the bangu somewhere below, on the idea that because the bangu is a nub, because death and pain are nubs, there has to be somewhere else to go - otherwise there would only be lament. what takes us out of this state? what enables us, in other words, to proceed in the face or horizon of death, which always, ultimately, stares us down? for me, now, this is a practical question, trying to move beyond my own emotional inertia brought about my father's death - from which there continue to be severe and perhaps unresolvable repercussions. i've been reading James Ellroy's latest, The Hilliker Curse, which centers on similar (but misogynist, more violent) repercussions; he's trapped. but the reading - for me - opens up another territory where music happens that brings forth the Maenads, not necessarily bad, certainly necessary for me at the moment...

and thank you for the gift of your texts (of course!)