Thinking of you, Emmy. Be safe. We'll look for you when the power comes back on.
"That fear, interpreted as self-astonishment, is then connected with figurative language": the early 19th century worried a lot more than we do about the consequences of associational logic, which I suppose I'd credit to there being much more at stake for you if your reality is produced through representational models that necessarily engage metaphorical or metonymical thought--and if you're still hanging on (just in case) to the possibility of objective representation. Or to the possibility of mimesis. Or to the possibility of repetition.
Mostly I have been too skeptical for that.
It might be naive to believe in stable word-thing or identity-thing correlations, but it seems less so to believe there is some form of truth available in a word or in a work of art. There is something true in the word orange; there is also the work of art in it. But what is it that I posit might be true? An essence? An is? Or is that only idle beauty masquerading as truth again?
Is it the same to suggest there is something true in a word as to suggest it contains something honest? That it has integrity? But then, integrity isn't an attribute of letter, is it. It seems instead an attribute of what is uttered, as though letter is referential not only to its content and meaning, but to the one who utters it. Even if the utterer is dead or missing.
Does letter, accidental as it might ever be, have an is or is it empty?
Yes or no.
And here at least is the determining thing: given a choice between presence or absence, in words, in bodies, in things like rocks and trees and stuffed animals, if it is a choice (and I don't see why it isn't), I choose presence.
from The Annunciation Notebook, "Letters to JM":
"I’ve been reading Kierkegaard, his Fear and Trembling and the work originally published alongside it, Repetition, in which he asks whether repetition is ever possible, distinguished, as it is, as a future (as opposed to a past, which is recollection) of events taking place in a way we already know to be true. Repetition, he says, is what makes hope possible."***