My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red than her lips’ red; If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. I have seen roses damask’d, red and white, But no such roses see I in her cheeks; And in some perfumes is there more delight Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. I love to hear her speak, yet well I know That music hath a far more pleasing sound; I grant I never saw a goddess go; My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground: And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare As any she belied with false compare.
“I am attracted to ellipsis, to the unsaid, to suggestion, to eloquent, deliberate silence. The unsaid, for me, exerts great power: often I wish an entire poem could be made in this vocabulary. It is analogous to the unseen; for example, to the power of ruins, to works of art either damaged or incomplete. Such works inevitably allude to larger contexts; they haunt because they are not whole, though wholeness is implied.”
— Louise Glück, “Disruption, Hesitation, Silence,” Proofs and Theories: Essays on Poetry
“There is nothing that teaches you more than regrouping
after failure and moving on. Yet most people are stricken with
fear. They fear failure so much that they fail.”—Charles Bukowski, The Captain is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken over the Ship
“Writing is perhaps the most important part of thinking―of acting, of living―Nietzsche expostulated… because in an important sense writing gives birth to the human world. The human world is like an art-work: something which can be interpreted―read, written―equally innumerable, vastly different and deeply incompatible ways: something with “no meaning behind it, but countless meanings”.”—Rapport, Nigel 1997 Transcendent Individual. Pp. 47 (via chaupper)
Nikhil Padgaonkar: You have argued that language is subject to a generalized “iterability” - that is, it can be grafted into new and unforeseen contexts…
Jacques Derrida: I have a vague idea of the Sanskrit etymology of “itera” which means again, the same, repetition, and something else, some alteration…
Nikhil Padgaonkar: …so language reproduces itself in new contexts, in new frames, and it becomes impossible therefore to limit the range of possible meanings it thus produces. Significantly enough, iterability suggests that one cannot attempt to delineate the meaning of a text by referring to the intentions of its author. This much said, is there any possibility of holding an author responsible for the fate of his or her book? I am of course thinking of your discussion of Nietzsche, but more generally, can a writer be held to account for the way his or her writings are interpreted or could possibly be interpreted? Is there any way for an author to regulate, in advance, the range of possible interpretations?
Jacques Derrida: If you expect an answer in the form of a “yes or no”, I would say no. But if you give me more time, I would be more hesitant. I would say that a philosopher or writer should try of course, to be responsible for what he writes as far as possible. For instance, one must be very careful politically, and try, not so much to control, but to foresee all possible consequences some people might draw from what you write. That’s an obligation - to try to analyse and foresee everything. But it’s absolutely impossible. You can’t control everything because once a certain work, or a certain sentence, or a certain set of discourses are published, when the trace is traced, it goes beyond your reach, beyond your control, and in a different context, it can be exploited, displaced, used beyond what you meant. And this is the question I asked about Nietzsche since you mention him. Of course, there was an abusive interpretation of Nietzsche by the Nazis. No doubt, Nietzsche didn’t want that, it is sure. But, nevertheless, how can we account for the fact that the only philosopher or thinker that was referred to as a predecessor by the Nazis was Nietzsche? So there must be in Nietzsche’s discourse, something which was in affinity with the Nazis, and you can say this and try to analyse this possibility without of course, concluding that Nietzsche himself was a Nazi, or that everything in Nietzsche was in affinity with the Nazis. But we have to account for the fact that there was a lineage, there was some genealogy. So, we are all exposed to this - I am sure that some people could draw reactive or reactionary or right-wing conservative positions from what I say. I struggle, I do my best to prevent this, but I know that I can’t control it. People could take a sentence and use it… let us take the example of what I was telling you this afternoon: of course, I am in favour of, let us say, the development of idioms, the differences in language so as to resist the hegemony or the monopoly of language. But I immediately added to this statement that I was also opposed to nationalism. That is, to the nationalistic reappropriation of this desire for difference. Now, maybe someone can say, “well, you’re in favour of divisions against a universal language, then we would use your discourse in favour of nationalism or reactionary linguistic violence” and so on and so forth. So, I can’t control this. I can only do my best, just adding a sentence to my first sentence, and to go on speaking trying to neutralize the misunderstandings. But you can’t control everything, and the fact that you cannot control everything doesn’t mean simply that you’re a finite being and a limited person. It has to do with the structure of language, the structure of the trace. As soon as you trace something, the trace becomes independent of its source - that’s the structure of the trace. The trace becomes independent of its origin, and as soon as the trace is traced, it escapes. You cannot control the fate of the book totally. I can’t control the future of this interview (laughter)… You record it, but then you’ll re-write it, re-frame it, build a new context, and perhaps, my sentence will sound different. So, I trust you but I know that it is impossible to control the publication of everything I say.
— An Interview With Jacques Derrida (by Nikhil Padgaonkar)