16 mar. 2006

I like the way "selves" is plural in Frank O'Hara's poems: "my selves." That should be an inherently plural concept. What defines the human selves is a disjunctive continuity in time. I can still taste that humilition of 10 or 30 years ago. That is still me. Yet I still wake up each day surprised that I am still "myself." There's a sense of unreality surrounding this. The way César Vallejo can remember the day that he will die (future memory). Or Kenneth Koch can remember when he wrote "The Circus," in another poem of the same title. I've often have the feeling that a personality solidifies, hardens and becomes more dense, over time: it becomes more of what it already always was. So there's a fundamental tension between the self as Protean and discontinuous and the self as essentially itself, and more so all the time.

The experience of finding something one has written, recognizing the text as one's own, but without any specific memory of the thoughts behind the writing. As though it were written by someone else. Borges meeting a former self on a park bench in Geneva. Is this what Piombino means by time travel?

2 comentarios:

Nick Piombino dijo...

When I started posting my noteboks on ::fait accompli:: I experienced the feeling you are describing again and again. Then, after awhile, I looked for sections in my notebooks that reminded me of more recent periods in my life. Eventually I realized I had discovered this phenomenon long ago, had already begun calling it "time travel" in mini-narratives I had composed, and, in places had deliberately planted virtual "time capsules" in the notebooks to be uncovered later. I had learned that the vast majority of memories quickly fade and that many literary techniques and devices can derive some momentum from this. As Freud understood, human development is tidal, not linear; this may explain, in part. why in early history time is understood in poetic terms, circular, rather than progessive. As TS Eliot, one of your 100 favorites put it, in the opening of "Four Quartets":"Time present and time past/Are both perhaps present in time future,/And time future contained in time past.....What might have been and what has been/Point to one end, which is always present./Footfalls echo in the memory/Down the passage which we did not take/Towards the door we never opened/Into the rose garden. My words echo/Thus, in your mind./But to what purpose/Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves/I do not know..."

Jonathan dijo...

I find the blog works like this as a time capsule. I go back to a year ago this date and find amazing things that I could have thought up yesterday or a year in the future.