The Tap on the Shoulder

"...Weiss writes of the meetings he must have with the dead, and his solidarity with those who already “only too obviously bear [their death] around with them, who are on the way to the ferryboat, to Acheron, who already hear Charon’s call and the plashing of his oars.” The process of writing which Weiss has recently planned, now that he is about to embark on his literary work Ästhetik des Widerstands (“Aesthetic of Resistance”), is the struggle against “the art of forgetting,” a struggle that is as much part of life as melancholy is of death, a struggle consisting in the constant transfer of recollection into written signs. Despite our fits of “absence” and “weakness,” writing is an attempt … [Read more...]

The Hidden Mythology

"And now bad Christians run about at the time of Carnival with masks and jests and other superstitions. Similarly witches use these revelries of the devil for their own advantage, and work their spells about the time of the New Year." Heinrich Krämer and Jakob Sprenger, Malleus Maleficarum "When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb." Robert Oppenheimer This year saw the death of Denis Johnson and Sam Shepard. I knew Sam personally, and Denis only very slightly. Both shared something that I think has gone out of … [Read more...]