Monday, August 23, 2004

" 'If one were as rich as those people! They pass so close to us; they see us, and we see them; but the distance between is infinity. They don't belong to the same world as we poor wretches. They see everything in a different light; they have powers which would seem supernatural if we were suddenly endowed with them.' " --New Grub Street

An effect, often seen in 20c lit, but uncommon in films: what i call meta-irony, or an abiding ambiguity as to whether something that occurs or is said, can be intended ironically or not. This i was reminded of, while rewatching the Coens' Miller's Crossing. In some ways it has become almost axiomatic, in 21c. poetry... Which means, for those coming after, we "have some 'splainin' to do".

The Welsh figure dyfalu (a series of variegated metaphors pertaining to a single subject) & Mallarmé's (supposed) procedure of describing
its effects & not the object itself: & then, by degrees, one progresses to unconnected sequences of metaphor, as the metaphors each become more & more far-fetched. This as a norm. Then, whenever the subject of a metaphor seems guessable, there is an incursion of meaning, which causes the reader to suspect the whole is a Symbolist poem, & not a nonsense poem. A different kind of knife-edge.

Looking at the cover of Tracey Ullman's album, it suddenly struck me to wonder whether, like Sandra Bernhard, she actually performed each of these songs in a different persona. (How much more interesting Pop could be!) --It's so much easier to believe in heteronymy, when you are a musician; pretending to be sincerely emoting, from the start, is a kind of mask already.

Translations as song covers.

HG Poetics sent me (via Hotel Point) to this Kentjay link: which
mentions the Aymara who, curiously enough, are rumored to have developed a "three-value logic" & as such, became the object of an attempt by the redoubtable Dr Llambias to render their system into Lojban...

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