After reading Louis Menand’s article “The de Man Case” in The New Yorker two years ago, I began to wonder about evil and its implications in theory and contemporary writing practices. Now more than ever, I continue to track such reverberations.
The body that you feel in The Devastation is writing being unwritten. Writing writing the unwritable. In an epic low tide. When 23, Melissa Buzzeo’s words pulled me by the limbs; now, at 32, her sentences push me from behind—both hands on my lower back—towards the horizon of grief and longing.
Frustrated by debates over Conceptualism v. “Other,” I’m hoping, in this small space, to swerve and focus on what is, to me, a more daunting divide in contemporary experimental writing: that between Empathic and Apathetic art. These are notes towards locating a gradation within US-based writing, art, and performance that points towards what’s at stake in literary practice.
I will begin with prose: why prose, especially experimental prose, the place of the sentence, the paragraph, the “novel”; in effect, why do some of us write prose instead of poetry, or music, or architectural blueprints?
I wanted to write the non-verbal. I wanted to find out how one writes what cannot be written…
Jai Arun Ravine’s and then entwine is a book of transformation. Slow, methodical, like the tides of the ocean, Ravine writes a textual space that maps the trajectories of the body as immigrant, as biologically mutable, as self-determining. Hir writing boldly and viscerally delves into what it means to translate: topographically, philosophically, and biologically. What is withheld in the space between seeing and knowing?