Emanations of the Yellow Sign

ghosts and scattered limbs of reading, excisions and marginalia.

Posts tagged Tel Quel

Jun 8


Roland Barthes’ method of composition was a bit unique: he’d compose brief missives on standard note cards, amassing hundreds before they cohered into a full text. These original manuscript notes are from his posthumous work Mourning Diary, with translations by Richard Howard. (Here’s an interview with Howard on Barthes.)

(via deweypetalchaperone)

Jun 3
“At times [[Mallarmé’s]] work solidifies into an immobile white virtuality, at times—and this is what matters most—it becomes animated by an extreme temporal discontinuity, given over to changes in time and to accelerations and decelerations, to fragmentary stoppages, the sign of a wholly new essence of mobility in which another [sense of] time seems to be announcing itself, as foriegn to eternal presence as to quotidian duration: [in Mallarmé’s words] ‘here moving ahead, there remembering, in the future, in the past, under a false appearance of the present’.” Maurice Blanchot on Stéphane Mallarmé, quoted by Jerome Rothenberg in Poems for the Millenium, Vol. 3. (2009)

May 31
“Nothing is more depressing than to imagine the Text as an intellectual object (for reflection, analysis, comparison, mirroring, etc.). The text is an object of pleasure. The bliss of the text is often only stylistic: there are expressive felicities, and neither Sade nor Fourier lacks them. However, at times the pleasure of the Text is achieved more deeply (and then is when we can truly say that there is a Text): whenever the ‘literary’ Text (the Book) transmigrates into our life, whenever another writing (the Other’s writing) succeeds in writing fragments of our own daily lives, in short, whenever a co-existence occurs.” Roland Barthes, Sade / Fourier / Loyola (1971)

“When I write there is nothing other than what I write. Whatever else I felt I have not been able to say, and whatever else has escaped me are ideas or a stolen verb which I will destroy, to replace with something else."
[ … ]
“…whatever way you turn you have not even started thinking.”
Antonin Artaud, quoted in Jacques Derrida, La Parole souflée (1965)

May 30
“To be grounded far from one’s language, to emancipate it or lose one’s hold on it, to let it make its away alone and unarmed. To leave speech. To be a poet is to know how to leave speech. To let it speak alone, which it can do only in its written form. To leave writing is to be there only in order to provide its passageway, to be the diaphanous element of its going forth: everything and nothing. For the work, the writer is at once everything and nothing.” Jacques Derrida, “Edmund Jabès and the Question of the Book,” Writing and Difference (via heteroglossia)

(via alanreedwrite)

Apr 26
“why not test the “realism” of a work by examining not the more or less exact way in which it reproduces reality, but on the contrary the way in which reality could or could not effectuate the novel’s utterance? Why shouldn’t a book be programmatic rather than painting?” Roland Barthes, Sade / Fourier / Loyola (1971)

Apr 25

The space in which we live, which draws us out of ourselves, in which the erosion of our lives, our time and our history occurs, the space that claws and gnaws at us, is also, in itself, a heterogenous space.

In other words, we do not live within a kind of void, inside of which we could place individuals and things, we do not live inside a void that could be coloured with diverse shades of light, we live inside a set of relations that delineates sites which are irreductable to one another and absolutly not superimposable to one another.

Michel Foucault - ‘Of Other Spaces’ - Utopias and Heteropias (1986)

(via ghostwerks)

Apr 15
“The ultimate subversion (contra-censorship) does not consist in saying what shocks public opinion, morality, law, the police, but in inventing a paradoxical (pure of any doxa) discourse: invention (and not provocation) is a revolutionary act: it cannot be accomplished other than in setting up a new language.” Roland Barthes, Sade / Fourier / Loyola (1971)

Oct 5
“The passage beyond language requires language or rather a text as a place for the trace of a step that is not (present) elsewhere. That is why the movement of the trace, passing beyond language, is not classical nor does it render the logos either secondary or instrumental. Logos remains as indispensable as the fold folded onto the gift, just like the tongue of my mouth when I tear bread from it to give it to the other. It is also my body.” Jacques Derrida, At This Very Moment in This Work (1987)

Jan 11
“Ideality is death, to be sure, but to be dead—this is the whole question of dissemination—is that to be dead or to be dead? The ever so slight difference of stress, conceptually imperceptible, the inner fragility of each attribute produces the oscillation between the presence of being as death and the death of being as presence.” Jacques Derrida, Glas (1974)

Oct 23
Society of the Friends of the Text: its members would have nothing in common (for there is no necessary agreement on the texts of pleasure) but their enemies: fools of all kinds, who decree the foreclosure of the text and of its pleasure, either by cultural conformism or by intransigeant rationalism (suspecting a ‘mystique’ of literature) or by political moralism or by criticism of the signifier or by stupid pragmatism or by snide vacuity or by destruction of the discourse, loss of verbal desire. Such a society would have no site, could function only in total atopia; yet it would be a kind of Phalanstery, for in it contradictions would be acknowledged (and the risks of ideological imposture thereby restricted), difference would be observed, and conflict rendered insignificant (being unproductive of pleasure)” Roland Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text (1973)

Jul 29
“The world has surely become unhinged, and only violent movements can put it all back together. But it may be that among the instruments for doing so, there is one – tiny, fragile – which requires to be wielded delicately.” Roland Barthes
(via alanreedwrite)

Jul 17
“I would be interested rather in a secret correspondence, obviously: obviously secret, encrypted in the ether of obviousness and truth, too obvious because in this case the cipher remains secret because it is not concealed.” Jacques Derrida, Restitutions of the Truth in Pointing (1978)

Mar 31
“My optimism consists … in saying that so many things can be changed, fragile as they are, bound up more with circumstances than with necessities, more arbitray than self-evident, more a matter of complex, but temporary, historical circumstances than with inevitable anthropological constraints … You know, to say that we are much more recent than we think … [is] to place at the disposal of the work that we can do on ourselves the greatest possible share of what is presented to us as inaccessible.” Foucault, “Practicing Criticism” (via myproxy)

(via nomadologue)

Mar 30
“To take only a few examples: pre-Socratic Greece (Heraclitus, Anaxagoras, Empedocles), the China of the ‘Asiatic mode of production’, and, particularly, capitalist society since the end of the nineteenth century; all propose texts remarkable for a practice in which the unitary subject, as an indispensable pole assuring the capacity to verbalise (putting into words), is annihilated, liquified, exceeded by what we will call the ‘process of signifiance’, that is, by pre-verbal drives and semiotic operations logically if not chronologically anterior to the phenomenon of language. In this process, the unitary subject discovered by psychoanalysis is only one moment, a time of arrest, a stasis, exceeded and threatened by this movement. The process in question is not only a ‘topologization’, or a spacial dynamic which remains subsumable by One (or Unity). It goes as far as rejecting even the Unconscious/Conscious division, the Signifier/Signified division, that is, even the very censoring through which the subject and the social order are constituted.” Julia Kristeva, The Subject in Process (1973).

Page 1 of 3