Saturday, January 28, 2017

A Literary Magazine Produced By Homeless People

Q. How did you get into philosophy in the first place?
A. Failure.

The complex constellation of historical event, individual experience, and the poietic presentation of both events and experiences is at the heart of Sebald’s work and reveals why his texts elude established genre traditions...

Finding yourself in a hole, at the bottom of a hole, in almost total solitude, and discovering that only writing can save you. To be without the slightest subject for a book, the slightest idea for a book, is to find yourself, once again, before a book. A vast emptiness. A possible book. Before nothing. Before something like living, naked writing, like something terrible, terrible to overcome. I believe that the person who writes does not have any ideas for a book, that her hands are empty, her head is empty, and all that she knows of this adventure, this book, is dry, naked writing, without a future, without echo, distant, with only its elementary golden rules: spelling, meaning.

– Marguerite Duras, Writing (tr. Polizzotti)

A Literary Magazine Produced By Homeless People

“Writers Group, as it’s known in the community, is a space for the homeless writers of downtown Boston (“homeless, transitional, or recently housed” is the rubric), and we meet every Tuesday morning at 9:30, in the basement of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul on Tremont Street. Out of Writers Group comes The Pilgrim, a literary magazine that I’ve been editing for the last five years. Large chunks ofThe Pilgrim are summoned into being, conjured from the chaos-state of potentiality, by Robert’s magic coffee.”

I would sum up my fear about the future in one word: boring. And that’s my one fear: that everything has happened; nothing exciting or new or interesting is ever going to happen again… the future is just going to be a vast, conforming suburb of the soul. ...

I knew that to be human was to be inadequate, to fail , to never be good enough. Everywhere weaknesses, everywhere flaws, which often hardened into self-righteousness. If there was one consistent character trait I saw in people, it was self-righteousness, conceit, smugness. Humility, that word that everyone in the public sphere was always tossing off, was something hardly anyone knew the meaning of anymore.
— Knausgaard, My Struggle, Vol. 6 (my tr.)

— such as you’ve heard before, spoken before, dreamt of: a [ ] of voices, the rush of tone, things fall by the wayside, an afterthought precedes, a form of dyslexia, it happens more often at the extremes of the day, upon waking, or now, later, it’s too late, perhaps, to form a coherent line, tangles, then, one of many, like the waves, the hesitation, there, drawing back before the pulse, then, the tug of it, flow, the way things even out. Similar books are added to the pile of those unread, unbearable silence, silences, borne in common, contradictions, joyous, terrible, the thread spools, ravels a line, one ravels lines together or ravels them apart; if not splitting, then, certainly slipping, a loose thread pools into the curve of one’s hand, & the texture of it & the color of it, reminding you of something else again, entirely, and you drift off on a digression, for a moment, because you are happy, then reeling off like an idiot or a fool, whatever the right word is: earnest and without apology, I would like to take a stand.

My room is scattered with empty cans. Fragments of conduit. Each one is a segment of a pipeline that I am building, to tap and channel the subterranean currents beneath the pavements. I take my part from the current; part is expelled as breath, thought, writing, sex — clouds of alcohol breath and smoke — the remainder pours back into the subterranean rivers, through porcelain, then earthenware, finally into brick-lined catacombs. The city is an economy of liquids. Talk drips, describes liquidation of capital, flows of traffic and people, of capital crystallised into buildings tapping other credit streams. The cornucopia is filled, not with fruit, but the decayed ferment of it.
Liquid reflects; this is how we recognise ourselves in it, gazing back at us. The recognition acknowledges that we can see ourselves where we are not, but this is not what is recognised. It shows us that there is a place within us, too, where we are not.
— robin_bile