N. B.

Books, Philosophy, Poetics, Poetry, Theory and Criticism, Translation, Writing May 26, 2015

I have about ten notebooks currently in my possession. This may not sound like a lot, but they have notes in them from every class and every guest lecture I’ve attended as a graduate student. I write on every page and am very sparing with the use of paper. So it is a lot, actually.

I’m about to enter a summer of what is known as “comprehensive exam study.” It is about as bureaucratic as it sounds.

In order to prepare for it, I’ve been going through these notebooks, deciding what I need around me as I attempt to think this summer.

And the notebooks don’t want me to.

Here are some excerpts from my notebooks, at random.


why does apostrophe allow a move to the present?

thing: “a gathering of people to make law” (Saxon)
(Joy[c]e: thing mode)

the occasion for
constantly turning
in and what
comes out is
a new modality
something pure

but for Cecil [Taylor]
a breakdown
of the self
emerges is
a radical

“consent not to
be a single

ways of reading ED’s punctuation: 1) as representing various actual punctuation marks 2) as dashes simply 3) at every moment all punctuation comes to bear upon the non-linguistic language of pause.

Bataille as Dionysus; Breton as Apollo

the tumor becomes a metonym [sic] for her, in a way, supported by the syntax

a room as theatre for physical comedy

the ellipse is not a shape but a temporality

ekphrasis: we’re simultaneously drawn into communion with the object but while recognizing the object’s inaccessibility: we’re home and away from home

⌊ our awareness of the opening in the earth in relation to the new rhetorical figure that Beowulf as king presents

is the dome becoming a tower? what does the thinning mean for the poem? is the church becoming thinner or the walls?

the maniacal attention to one thing in an ode can be difficult for the poet

do we contain knowledge or do we step into it and it contains us?

the mother of muses, Memory
is not present in the book
⌊why . . .

the degree to which translation assaults your identity

“[To relinquish the sentence] is a vanity of those who make a fuss about having discovered its impotence” (from a letter)

Kilman does not possess the woman’s sentence; she speaks the master’s English, but at a slant; p114 the long sentence juxtaposes her short, saint-like utterances: ‘It is the flesh’; her suffering is comparable only to Septimus Smith’s, both are from lower classes than the Dalloway milieu

scientific study: women who curse during childbirth experience less pain

no-not-never: negating grand statements

“the correlative
of the subjunctive
is the question”

Serena: being is closer to divinity but language covers this up (have I oversimplified this?)

the visible stratagems of flowers → a whole unconscious element of literary production (4)

the city as a film reel                                       (~phantasmagoria)

the tomb is the final theatre of erasure

⌊Midrash is anti hierarchical (not a subtext it extends the holiness of the text)

herbalism: law of correspondances [sic] and
doctrine of signatures

Milton invented the word “sensual” to evade the tawdry associations of “sensuous”


Thank you to the professors and fellow students who helped in the creation of these notes. I can provide accurate citations if anyone is “worried,” but these are from classes/tutorials/lectures with/by Mary Jo Bang, Donna Beth Ellard, Graham Foust, Jan Gorak, Eric Gould, Laird Hunt, Brian Kiteley, Jennifer Kronovet, Fred Moten, Geoffrey G. O’Brien, Carl Phillips, Bin Ramke, Lisa Robertson, Selah Saterstrom, Vincent Sherry, and Eleni Sikelianos.


In other news, I’ve just had some poems up on Web Conjunctions and one in this lovely anthology called February.

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