Thursday, April 15, 2010

Now in Print: Glossator 2: On the Poems of J.H. Prynne

Click pic to purchase.

Volume 2 of the journal Glossator: Practice and Theory of the Commentary. On the Poems of J.H. Prynne. Edited by Ryan Dobran.


RYAN DOBRAN, Introduction

JOSH STANLEY, Back On Into The Way Home: "Charm Against Too Many Apples" [The White Stones, 1969];

THOMAS ROEBUCK & MATTHEW SPERLING, "The Glacial Question, Unsolved": A Specimen Commentary on Lines 1-31 [The White Stones, 1969]

ROBIN PURVES, A Commentary on J.H. Prynne's "Thoughts on the Esterházy Court Uniform" [The White Stones, 1969]

REITHA PATTISON, J.H. Prynne's "The Corn Burned by Syrius" [The White Stones, 1969]

KESTON SUTHERLAND, Hilarious absolute daybreak [Brass, 1971]

MICHAEL STONE-RICHARDS, The time of the subject in the neurological field (I): A Commentary on J.H. Prynne's "Again in the Black Cloud" [Wound Response, 1974]

JUSTIN KATKO, Relativistic Phytosophy: Towards a Commentary on "The Plant Time Manifold Transcripts" [Wound Response, 1974]

JOHN WILKINSON, Heigh Ho: A Partial Gloss of Word Order [Word Order, 1989]

Glossator publishes original commentaries, editions and translations of commentaries, and essays and articles relating to the theory and history of commentary, glossing, and marginalia. The journal aims to encourage the practice of commentary as a creative form of intellectual work and to provide a forum for dialogue and reflection on the past, present, and future of this ancient genre of writing. By aligning itself, not with any particular discipline, but with a particular mode of production, Glossator gives expression to the fact that praxis founds theory.
ISBN/EAN13:1451599374 / 9781451599374
Page Count:334
Binding Type:US Trade Paper
Trim Size:6" x 9"
Color:Black and White

Sunday, April 11, 2010


[Draft projection description for: 1) “after the end: medieval studies, the humanities, and the post-catastrophe,” 1st Biennial Meeting of the BABEL Working Group, 4-6 November 2010, University of Texas at Austin; 2) Postmedieval: A Journal of Medieval Cultural Studies, Volume 2, Issue 4 (2013). Send abstracts to Anna Kłosowska (roberta2 AT & Nicola Masciandaro (nicolamasciandaro AT]

 (Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America. Dir. Tony Stone. 2007)

Ma certo poco pria, se ben discerno,
  che venisse colui che la gran preda
  levò a Dite del cerchio superno,
da tutte parti l’alta valle feda
  tremò sì, ch’i’ pensai che l’universo
  sentisse amor, per lo qual è chi creda
più volte il mondo in caòsso converse;
  e in quell punto questa vecchia roccia,
  qui e altrove, tal fece riverso.
(Inferno 12.37-45, Virgil explaining the creation of the “ruina” or structural breakdown in the earth that allows for passage through hell) [1]

Exactly the opposite of spontaneous unconscious associations, these examples suggest how medieval artists created marginal images from a ‘reading’, or rather an intentional misreading, of the text. (Michael Camille, Image on the Edge)

The nature of truth is un-truth. (Heidegger, Origin of the Work of Art)

But when I wished to exclude this thought altogether, lest, by busying my mind to no purpose, it should keep me from other thoughts, in which I might be successful; then more and more, though I was unwilling and shunned it, it began to force itself upon me, with a kind of importunity. So, one day, when I was exceedingly wearied with resisting its importunity, in the very conflict of my thoughts, the proof of which I had despaired offered itself, so that I eagerly embraced the thoughts which I was strenuously repelling. (Anselm, Prosologion, describing his conception of the ontological proof of God) [2]

Being is “ungraspable”. It is only “grasped” in error; the error is not just easy—in this case, it is the condition of thought. (Bataille, Inner Experience).

I have . . . preferred to take the risk of attributing to the texts of others what began its elaboration with them [ciò che andava elaborando a partire da essi], rather than run the reverse risk of appropriating thoughts or research paths that do not belong to me. (Giorgio Agamben, Signature of All Things: On Method)

Sin is behovabil. (Julian of Norwich, Shewings)

FAULT: It is yours, the one to blame, for everything. FAULT: Tellurian fissure, index of the means of mountains, earthquakes, islands. FAULT: Deep opening, essential accident, the only way for lovers to whisper: “The wall their houses shared had one thin crack, which was formed when they were built and then was left; in all these years, no one had seen that cleft; but lovers will discover everything: you were the first to find it, and you made that cleft a passageway which speech could take” (Ovid, Metamorphoses). FAULT: Lack, defect, shortcoming, mistake, error. FAULT: Exactly where you are at.

Take these sentences as invitation and incitement for post-medievalist work that willfully shares, practically and theoretically, in the significance of fault. The purpose of FAULT is to rigorously practice fault as the way of purpose, as the inevitable space of method. FAULT = to take things too far, to follow and seduce error rather than evade it, to fall hard for something, to creatively stray in the “sylvan wandering that allows itself to become lost enough to find what cannot be deliberately traced,” to pursue and persist in the identity of strength and weakness (“for when I am weak, then I am strong. I have been a fool!” 2 Corinthians 12:10), to corrupt, deform, perforate, decay, infect, disease, and totally lead to decline a text or other form of debris from the past, to colonize a little crumb into a vast continent, to studiously enjoy the fact that life is already over and you have/are lost, to do what you must do, what you will do anyway, but now to do it openly and fully, to a fault. This is not frivolity, but very serious folly. Only the desperate, the perversely imaginative, and the fatally flawed should attempt the crossing.

O felix culpa!

P.S. Some possibilities, topical and/or generic: irresponsible reading/writing, theory-fiction, dischrony, inordinate exegesis, forgery, rupture, alternative anagogies, postlapsarian poetics, fractures, postcriticism, fallen hermeneutics, heresy.    

   [1] “But certainly, if I reckon rightly, it was a little before He came who took from Dis the great spoil of the uppermost circle, that the deep foul valley trembled so on all sides that I thought the universe felt love, whereby, as some believe, the world has many times been turned to chaos; and at that moment this ancient rock, here and elsewhere, made such downfall.”
   [2] “Sed cum illam cogitationem, ne mentem meam frustra occupando ab aliis, in quibus proficere possem, impediret, penitus a me vellem excludere: tunc magis ac magis nolenti et defendenti se coepit cum importunitate quadem ingerere. Cum igitur quadam die vehementer eius importunitati resistendo fatigarer, in ipso cogitationum conflictu sic se obtulit quod desperaveram, ut studiose cogitationem amplecterer, quam sollicitus repellebam.”