21 July 2018

Chimera, Sirena

More sonic dreams and nightmares on RIC Journal:

Chimera, Sirena – part 1

Chimera, Sirena – part 2

20 July 2018

Spirit Training

Tristan Foster and I began an email correspondence last year, when he interviewed me for 3:AM Magazine. The exchange continued for months after that, as we agreed to experiment with the usual demands of the interview format, and allow the threads of our conversation to unravel over a longer period of time. The second part, now published on Minor Literature[s], is mainly focused on Tristan’s book Letter to the Author of the Letter to the Father (out on Transmission Press next month). It is called Spirit Training 

21 June 2018

Sigh, A Dream

I’ve started to record.

I could write pages around context and motives for this; in due time.

For now, you can listen to the first instalment on the ever-visionary RIC Journal, where the more-than-visionary Saudamini Deo and Philippe Charlier have welcomed this piece:

Sigh, A Dream / Daniela Cascella

17 April 2018

but the string that binds them

When I was asked to contribute to the Visiting Practitioners Lecture Series at LCC on Thursday 19 April, I knew this would be a great chance for me to begin and re-read my three books as chapters of one book; and to begin and hear the less deliberate yet present echoes and returns in the three of them, and to begin to sense where chapter 4 might rebegin. I started indexing the three books, and my attention was driven as much to the echoes and premonitions (the thread around sigh, breath, necessity and Ananke is not yet exhausted: I know this, having spent the last few months re-reading Calasso and Hillman) as to the lacunae and what is still unspoken. I realised how these books do not seek explanation but connections: to be in other ears and eyes, and to nest in them.
Maybe chapter 4 will rewrite or paraphrase these books inside-out: from their inner lining, lingering on words such as chance, taste, quietude.
Meanwhile, this Thursday: old songs, speechlessness, a post-punk band from Italy, some Robert Aldrich. And this, from John Cage’s Lecture on Something:

 

17 March 2018

Amplification, Faint Noises, Chance, Receiving

My essay on Anna Maria Ortese’s forgotten book from the 1950s, Il mare non bagna Napoli, now available in English from New Vessel Press, was published last week on Minor Literature[s]. I call it a diptych: it started as a review, and developed into a series of considerations through the book (untranslated, translated) into other realms – which is, incidentally, one of the reasons I continue to enjoy writing around books: I become more and more drawn to what can be made to exist in the periphery of a given text, what impressions I can bring that exceed its boundaries.

Here’s an excerpt, with the usual amount of badly concealed self-reflection:

My aim […] is to begin to ask and reflect on how cultural lineage is established and how we can choose to take it as given, or question it, or reshape it; on hegemonies and canons; on visibility and systems of amplification; on what is legitimised, and how; on chance, supreme gatekeeper and supreme facilitator: because after all, a nod in passing by a renowned author is not a guarantee of visibility, and yet at one point in time, such incidental mention happens to be picked up, and magnified. My aim here is to step aside from the main point of comparison […] and, by doing so, invite a glance more askew, invite a reading which does not exclusively rely on references easily found on our doorstep […] It is a question of texture in critical understanding; the necessity to get away with laziness and dullness. What do we instantly, and easily compare books to? Which emotional and cultural scenarios do we read them against and with? What happens if we choose to omit the most immediate of these, and search elsewhere to articulate our reading? If we attempt to listen in more closely, what can be heard which is usually barely perceived because it has no means of amplification, or because certain sounds are best heard when quiet? What can be afforded by a glance from the periphery, a barely audible signal?

Untranslated, Translated: Il mare non bagna Napoli/Neapolitan Chronicles by Anna Maria Ortese

 

16 November 2017

Singed: a book and an interview

My new book Singed: Muted Voice-Transmissions, After The Fire is now published by Equus Press.

I exchanged some thoughts around the book with Tristan Foster on 3:AM Magazine.

 

 

15 April 2017

Reading Isak Dinesen’s The Blank Page

 

I spent the end of last summer, and the rest of the year, reading everything by Isak Dinesen I could get hold of. As ever, this compelling proximity in reading leads me to attempt to write, or to think of writing, and the closer the proximity, the harder writing becomes, and urgent, and necessary — and how charged, and meaningful, those states of speechlessness are — when you think writing is impossible and when you perceive writing has to happen somehow nonetheless: it will have to take some form, it will — and how much material is worked through in those states of apparent stillness.
I started to put myself deliberately in this type of situations since last year’s texts on Marlene van Niekerk’s The Swan Whisperer and on Clarice Lispector. Drawn to the state of speechlessness generated by sustained closeness to certain artworks (the condition of aesthetic perception James Hillman writes so eloquently about in The Thought of the Heart and The Soul of the World, more on which in my next book), and wondering how to rebegin to articulate words in such states — by means of small variance, interference and noise.

I’d been trying to write around Isak Dinesen’s The Blank Page for months, failing and failing, until my eyes rested on a photocopy of the story I’d made to take with me while travelling, and on a picture I’d made of the same photocopy, as seen though the cracked screen of my iPad. To actually work with the page, in writing around a story about a page, and to work with different levels of concealment, distortion and deception in a story all formulated around ambiguity and deception, seemed to be the only way I could articulate my thoughts while avoiding clichés on silence and trite references to the High Priests of Silence.

The text is published on this month’s issue of Numéro Cinq.

P.S. It might be worth wondering whether all the annotations on the photocopy came before or after or during the actual writing of the piece — as some of you might know from reading En Abime and F.M.R.L., I am more attracted to what certain unexpected formal devices allow me to say and to layer in writing, rather than sticking to any presentation of a document/record as keeper of unmovable truths. Nothing to explain, much to experience.

 

27 March 2017

Michel Leiris: Nights as Day, Days as Night

Those of you who are familiar with my book F.M.R.L. will be aware of the importance of Michel Leiris’ writing in that project; in particular, the way his texts were often generated by sounding clues, and misreadings contributed to meaning—all of which enabled my material/sensuous/sounding reading of L’Afrique Fantôme in Chapter 12.

I’ve now reviewed Leiris’ Nights as Day, Days as Night (Spurl Editions, tr. Richard Sieburth) for Minor Literature[s]:

Michel Leiris had been dreaming at least since 1923, if we believe the first date noted in his collection of dream journals Nuits sans nuit et quelques jours sans jour. Before 1923 however, the collection opens with an undated text labelled as ‘Very Old Dream’, shifting back the beginning of Leiris’ dreamwriting to a much less clear origin, suggesting hazier chronological and perceptual limits for his project. Where do dreams begin, and when? Do they begin at the edge of writing, or is the writing of dreams a translucent surface that allows them to be perceived in spite of words and through and beyond them?

[continue reading]

 

8 February 2017

Shelf for a Lost Voice / The Library at Akerman Daly

I have a shelf at Akerman Daly’s The Library featuring words, footage and sounds through which I’ve been writing my new book. With Orson Welles, Isak Dinesen, Amelia Rosselli, James Hillman, Marcel Schwob via Fleur Jaeggy, Clarice Lispector, Marlene van Niekerk.

http://akermandaly.com/the-library/

17 December 2016

…and the name of the next book is


Singed

A transmission of muted voices, after the fire

‘Our songs will all be silenced — but what of it? Go on singing.’ (Orson Welles, F for Fake)

1. Fire. With weighted reverberance
2. Rebeginnings. Between the chronicle and the chronically lyrical
3. Da capo. Anecdotes of destiny.

Can you explain yourself?’ I was asked once. 
‘Explain myself?’ I replied, echoing one of Isak Dinesen’s dreamers and remembering Orson Welles. ‘You are asking much. You might say: “Disguise your meaning into such phrases as I am used to hear, which mean nothing”.’
Then I lost my voice.

 

dinesen2

dinesen1

 

 

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