Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Quotes that stood out to me today

This first one is by Walter Benjamin - one of the most compelling writers i have ever come across. Here he notes the folly of linear progress and a narrative structure which always moves in one direction.

"This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe that keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress." -Walter Benjamin

This second one is by my favourite philospher Gilles Deleuze(who incidentally jumped out of a window and killed himself about 20 yrs ago) and as usual is somewhat convuluted - but that is the purpose to make us try to discover new ways of understanding what he says. The art of philospohy is always about creation, creating new concepts and sometimes these new ways of thinking are the only ways we can understand what we haven't thought yet. Here he's talking about the art of becoming a much clearer understanding of the art of writing if you ask me. Imagination or rather creation is always about change, as Tully always reminds me, so is life too.

`To write is certainly not to impose a form (of expression) on the matter of lived experience...Writing is a question of becoming, always incomplete, always in the midst of being formed, and goes beyond the matter of any liveable or lived experience. Writing is inseparable from becoming: in writing, one becomes-woman, becomes-animal or vegetable, becomes-molecule to the point of becoming-imperceptible.' (Gilles Deleuze, `Literature and Life')

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