Delia Derbyshire – Love Without Sound (1969)
Fragment #24 / Notes from the Underground (1864) – Fiódor Dostoyevski
Why, we have come almost to looking upon real life as an effort, almost as hard work, and we are all privately agreed that it is better in books. And why do we fuss and fume sometimes? Why are we perverse and ask for something else? We don’t know what ourselves. It would be the worse for us if our petulant prayers were answered. Come, try, give any one of us, for instance, a little more independence, untie our hands, widen the spheres of our activity, relax the control and we … yes, I assure you … we should be begging to be under control again at once. I know that you will very likely be angry with me for that, and will begin shouting and stamping. Speak for yourself, you will say, and for your miseries in your underground holes, and don’t dare to say all of us–excuse me, gentlemen, I am not justifying myself with that “all of us.” As for what concerns me in particular I have only in my life carried to an extreme what you have not dared to carry halfway, and what’s more, you have taken your cowardice for good sense, and have found comfort in deceiving yourselves. So that perhaps, after all, there is more life in me than in you. Look into it more carefully! Why, we don’t even know what living means now, what it is, and what it is called? Leave us alone without books and we shall be lost and in confusion at once. We shall not know what to join on to, what to cling to, what to love and what to hate, what to respect and what to despise. We are oppressed at being men–men with a real individual body and blood, we are ashamed of it, we think it a disgrace and try to contrive to be some sort of impossible generalised man. We are stillborn, and for generations past have been begotten, not by living fathers, and that suits us better and better. We are developing a taste for it. Soon we shall contrive to be born somehow from an idea.
Fragment #22 / Playtime (1967) – Jacques Tati
The Words That Maketh Murder (2011) – P.J. Harvey
Friends (1995) – Smoke
Fragment #16 / The Letter of Lord Chandos (1902) – Hugo Von Hofmannsthal
In brief, this is my case: I have completely lost the ability to think or speak coherently about anything at all.
First I gradually lost the ability, when discussing relatively elevated or general topics, to utter words normally used by everyone with unhesitating fluency. I felt an inexplicable uneasiness in even pronouncing the words “spirit,” “soul” or “body.” I found myself profoundly unable to produce an opinion on affairs of court, events in Parliament, what have you. And not out of any kind of scruples-you know my candor, which borders on thoughtlessness. Rather, the abstract words which the tongue must enlist as a matter of course in order to bring out an opinion disintegrated in my mouth like rotten mushrooms.
But this affliction gradually broadened, like spreading rust. Even in simple, informal conversation, all the opinions which are ordinarily offered casually and with the sureness of a sleepwalker became so fraught with difficulties that I had to stop participating in these conversations at all. It filled me with inexplicable fury (I concealed it just barely and with effort to hear such things as: This matter turned out well or badly for this person or that; Sheriff N. is a bad person, Clergyman T. is good; we ought to feel sorry for Farmer M., his sons are throwing their money away; someone else is to be envied because his daughters arc thrifty; one family is coming up in the world, another is on the way down. All of this seemed to me as unprovable, as false, as full of holes as could be. My mind forced me to see everything· that came up in these conversations as terrifyingly close to me. Once I saw through a magnifying glass that an area of skin on my little finger looked like an open field with furrows and hollows. That was how it was for me now with people and their affairs. I could no longer grasp them with the simplifying gaze of habit. Everything came to the pieces broke into more pieces, and nothing could be encompassed by one idea. Isolated words swam about me; they turned into eyes that stared at me and into which I had to stare back, dizzying whirlpools which spun around and around and led into the void.
Drift Off To Sleep (2006) – Micah P. Hinson
Fragment #14 / What is Philosophy? (1991) – Gilles Deleuze y Félix Guattari
In a violently poetic text, Lawrence describes what produces poetry: people are constantly putting up an umbrella that shelters them and on the underside of which they draw a firmament and write their conventions and opinions. But poets, artists, make a slit in the umbrella, they tear open the firmament itself, to let in a bit of free and windy chaos and to frame in a sudden light a vision that appears through the rent (…). Then come the crowd of imitators who repair the umbrella with something vaguely resembling the vision, and the crowd of commentators who patch over the rent with opinions: communication. Other artists are always needed to make other slits, to carry out necessary and perhaps ever-greater destructions, thereby restoring to their predecessors the incommunicable novelty that we could no longer see. This is to say that artists struggle less against chaos (that, in a certain manner, all their wishes call forth) than against the “clichés” of opinion.
Qu’est-ce que la philosophie?
Les Éditions de Minuit, 1991
What is Philosophy?
Translated by hugh Tomlison and Graham Burchell
Columbia University Press, 1994
Fragment #13 / El inconsciente óptico y el segundo obturador. La fotografía en la era de su computerización – José Luís Brea
A Walter Benjamin le fascinaba descubrir que la mejor intuición de los potenciales de una forma artística naciente se daba siempre entre aquellos que más se alarmaban de su aparición, para advertir contra ella como catastrófica y temible: así cuando reconocía la clarividencia de Schopenhauer para intuir el carácter -deplorable a juicio del romántico- escritural de la alegoría, así también cuando recordaba las feroces palabras de Baudelaire contra la fotografía -las mismas arriba citadas. La finesse de Benjamin le permitía reconocer el extremo acierto del detractor -pero justamente para invertir el signo de su premonición. Donde aquél ve una cualidad desastrosa y corrosiva -es justamente donde el agudo genio de Benjamin acierta a reconocer el alto potencial revolucionario de la fotografía. Así, en efecto, Benjamin nos deja entender que donde resulta ciertamente tan peligrosa contra la forma establecida de todo aquello que antes de su aparición se llamaba arte -es justamente donde radica toda su potencialidad específica. Y aún, posiblemente, su genuina cualidad artística: la capacidad de desarrollar, a partir de una novedad técnica, una forma narrativa y un lenguaje propios, lejos ya de la atormentada obsesión del barthesiano “fantasma de la pintura”.