Britain's first book blogger (November 2000)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Reverie hunger

There is, with Joubert, an entire physics and cosmology of dream [...] where he ventures forth, pushed by the necessity of reconciling the real and the imaginary, which tend less to negate the reality of things than to make them exist starting from almost nothing – an atom of air, a sparkle of light, or even only the emptiness of space that they occupy: "Observe that everywhere and in everything, what is subtle carries that which is compact, and what is light holds suspended all that is heavy." We see clearly, then, why poetic language can revive things and, translating them in space, make them apparent through their distancing and their emptiness: it is because this distance lives in them, this emptiness is already in them; thus it is right to grasp them, and thus it is the calling of words to extract the invisible center of their actual meaning. It is by shadow that one touches substance, it is by the penumbra of this shadow, when one has arrived at the oscillating limit where, without disappearing, it is fringed and penetrated with light. But, naturally, for the word to attain this limit and represent it, it also must become "a drop of light," and become the image of what it designates, image of itself and of the imaginary, in order finally to be confused with the indeterminate expanse of space, while still raising to the roundness of a perfect sphere the moment that, in its extreme lightness, it carries and, by its transparency, defines.
from Joubert and Space, translated by Charlotte Mandell.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this. And for the onward link to her husband in RSB: what a fabulous interview.

    ReplyDelete

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