Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Poetics of Space - Mammoth Notes

Knowing must therefore be accompanied by an equal capacity to forget knowing[...]a sort of pure beginning, which makes its creation an exercise in freedom.

Art, then, is an increase of life, a sort of competition of surprises that stimulates our consciousness and keeps it from becoming somnolent (sleepy).

pg.9 Memories are motionless, and the more securely they are fixed in space, the sounder they are. To localise a memory in time is merely a matter [...] to communicate to others.

pg.13 For the real houses of memory, the houses to which we return in dreams, the houses that are rich in unalterable oneirism, do not readily lend themselves to description. To describe them would be like showing them to visitors. [They must] retain their shadows. For it is not until his eyes have left [the page/or plan of a room] that recollections of my room can become a threshold of oneirism for him. Related to my memories of halls, Conyngham Road, Ladybarn Lane, Stuart Road, Lake Street.

pg.51 Sometimes the house grows and spreads so that, in order to live in it, greater elasticity of daydreaming, a daydream that is less clearly outlined, are needed. "My house," writes Georges Spyridaki, "is diaphanous, but it is not of glass. It is more of the nature of vapour. Its walls contract and expand as I desire. At times, I draw them close about me like protective armour...but at others, I let the walls of my house blossom out in their own space, which is infinitely extensible."
Spyridaki's house breathes. First it is a coat of armour, then it extends ad infinitum, which amounts to saying that we live in it in alternate security and adventure. It is both cell and world. Here, geometry is transcended. Related to the houses and also the city from Subtle Knife which I have created in my imagination.

Ou vous ai-je perdue, mon imagerie pietinee?
(Where did I lose you, my trampled fantasies?

pg.57 If we have retained an element of dream in our memories, if we have gone beyond merely assembling exact recollections, bit by bit the house that was lost in the mists of time will appear from out the shadow. We do nothing to reorganise it; with intimacy it recovers its entity, in the mellowness and imprecision of the inner life. It is as though something fluid had collected our memories and we ourselves were dissolved in this fluid of the past. Rilke, who experienced this intimacy of fusion, speaks of the fusion of being with the lost house: "I never saw this strange dwelling again. Indeed, as I see it now, the way it appeared to my child's eye, it is not a building, but is quite dissolved and distributed inside me: here one room, there another, and here a bit of corridor which, however, does not connect the two rooms, but is conserved in me in fragmentary form. Thus the whole thing is scattered about inside me, the rooms, the stairs that descended with such ceremonious slowness, others, narrow cages that mounted in a spiral movement, in the darkness of which we advanced like the blood in our veins."

pg.105 [...]arrested in flight towards dream values by the geometrical reality of the forms.

pg.150 I made myself very tiny, entered into my picture and climbed into the little train, which started moving, then disappeared into the darkness of the tunnel. For a few seconds longer, a bit of flaky smoke could be seen coming out of the round hole. Then this smoke blew away, and with it the picture, and with the picture, my person... How many times have painters, as they painted their dreams, they have escaped through a crack in the wall!
And so, if we follow the poets of miniature sympathetically, if we take the imprisoned painter's little train, geometrical contradiction is redeemed, and Representation is dominated by Imagination. Representation becomes nothing but a body of expressions with which to communicate our own images to others. In line with a philosophy that accepts the imagination as a basic faculty, one could say, in the manner of Schopenhauer: "The world is my imagination." The cleverer I am at miniaturizing the world, the better I possess it. [...]Values become condensed and enriched in miniature. One must go beyond logic in order to experience what is large in what is small.

pg. 174 But a whiff of perfume, or even the slightest odor can create an entire environment in the world of the imagination.

No comments: