Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Double-headed monster

There is nothing to express, nothing with which to express, nothing from which to express, no power to express, no desire to express, together with the obligation to express.
Samuel Beckett – Three Dialogues, 1949.
The writer finds himself in the increasingly ludicrous condition of having nothing to write, of having no means with which to write it, and of being constrained by the utter necessity of always writing it.
Maurice Blanchot – Faux Pas, 1943.


  1. Anonymous11:11 pm

    Hey that's brilliant. Well observed.

  2. These put me in mind of:
    'I have nothing to say
    and I’m saying it and that is
    poetry as I need it'

    John Cage, ‘Lecture on Nothing’ printed in Incontri Musicali, August, 1959 [I tried to approximated his spacing but it didn't come out in the post]

    The nothingness and the need are both there - a 'need', not a necessity though.

    This 'lecture' concludes:

    'All I know about method is that when I am not working I sometimes think I know something, but when I am working, it is quite clear that I know nothing.'

  3. And this from Molloy:

    'Not to want to say, not to know what you want to say, not to be able to say what you think you want to say, and never to stop saying, or hardly ever, that is the thing to keep in mind, even in the heat of composition.'



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