THE BLOG / THE BOOK
En abîme first appeared as a book on listening, reading and writing. It mutated in a project where the themes, places, words and sounds of the book branch out into a number of other contexts and formats: readings, recordings, short fiction, pictures, interviews.
It is a way of deconstructing and reassembling the intermittent archival fiction of the book, and of giving space to its multiple voices.
It is a way of evoking the book and the memory of its drifting references.
Different temporalities enhance a sense of having been there and of discovery, every now and every today.
En abîme adds yet another layer to the mise-en-abîme of Writing Sound.
It is not concerned with concluding arguments or discourse, but with wandering, echoes and the penumbras of questioning.
En abîme: Listening, Reading, Writing. An Archival Fiction is published by Zer0 Books (September 2012).
En abîme explores listening and reading as creative and critical activities driven by memory and return, reshaped into the present. It introduces an idea of aural landscape as a historically defined cultural experience.
The narrator revisits, at different points in time, a number of places in Rome – the Protestant Cemetery sung by Pier Paolo Pasolini in The Ashes of Gramsci, via Appia, the Catacombs – and attaches onto them a series of connections to her archive of poetry, music, literature. The words of Herman Melville in Rome, Pasolini’s verses and films, a number of songs and poems build up a mise en abîme; knots of visions and densities of prose are juxtaposed with sparse moments of stillness, as the book zooms in and out of the archival fiction of a city, morphs into criticism and abstraction, and back into a literary landscape.
En abîme appears as a trace of the experience that made it, in a contingent present singular.
The first manuscript of the book was burned in summer 2011 and its ashes were left in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome.
A version of the book was rewritten in some blank pages of an Italian 1942 edition of Herman Melville’s Pierre, or The Ambiguities.