Monday, December 29, 2008

BLOCK VUND

Why I love Diane Williams:

What is this thing I have made? Here is a mother in a rage because she cannot get sexual gratification from the idea that her son might be killed. How did I get to that? This is horrible, this is horrible. Well, then we get pornography. I was really distressed as Diane Williams, the hopefully nice person in the real world. Should this be literature? Is this my business—to produce this? Is this right? Is this really what I want to be doing? And then this certainty that yes, this is exactly what I want to be doing. I am far from the only one who believes that experience teaches us that when you speak a nightmare and speak it to its limit, whatever it is, then that speech has a healing force. And if it’s speakable, if the configuration of feeling can be manipulated, can be produced, then it’s a true feeling, shared by many, and it’s the sort of feeling which should be utterly revealed. But I must say that for me—the respectable version of myself—there’s still fear, and a great deal of disgust when I see that story. Then I have to reassert myself as an artist, and say no, this is exactly my business.



Why I love Johannes Goransson:

As Walter Benjamin points out in his famous essay "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," Dada and Surrealism sought to "shock" or "distract" the reader out of that contemplative space. Often that "shock" is misread as the Hollywood shocking of giant sharks and such. But it's more of an electrical shock that charges you up and exhausts you. Breton said he felt "charged" from going to the movies with Jacques Vache. And I think Aase's poetry in many ways is a more extreme version of this kind of electric shock: to damage the reader out of his or her numbness. To charge us back to electricity. The "healing" can't start until after the fox-drubbing. The "healing" might be comparable to the exhaustion people reported after coming out of the movie theaters in the 1910s.

The paradox of the way I'm putting this is that the "aliveness" is the compulsive pleasure of jouissance that comes from the death-drive. To go back to Plath, her speaker is scared of opening the bee box because she senses the horrible pleasure of the contents, which is death.




I am figuring something out.

Like when you are sucking an ice cube right out of the freezer and an air pocket pops against your teeth.

Ian Curtis killed himself immediately after watching Herzog's Stroszek and listening to Iggy Pop's The Idiot.



Who was

16 comments:

Adam R. said...

Are you afraid that you will one day have to kill yourself, or if not kill yourself, die? Are you Will Smith sad or Bjork sad?

As Jesus and Mary Chain said, "I get a little 'lectric charge from you"

BLAKE BUTLER said...

i aint sad, dog, i happy

i don't think about death more than i think about breakfast cereal, i also like candy

i like when herzog says 'overwhelhmingk and coll-leck-teeve muhr-durr'

i also really like adam robinsonian

Tomas Weber said...

Kind of interesting: when Ian Curtis killed himself David Lynch was in London filming The Elephant Man. In "Lynch on Lynch" Lynch talks about watching the exact same broadcast of Stroszek that Curtis watched & having a totally different reaction to Curtis.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

interesting, i had forgotten about that.... lynch on lynch is amazing. i need to reread it now.

i probably also need to rewatch stroszek because i don't remember it affecting me so much either way

Michael Kimball said...

What are you figuring out?

BLAKE BUTLER said...

hi michael, just another little project mainly, but also various mental procedures, i think, that i have allowed to skew too far in past months or so. focusing, maybe...

got your package in mail today, about to open into the mind, thank you again...

BLAKE BUTLER said...

aka: still figuring out what i am figuring out

pr said...

this was a great post. i enjoyed both quotes very much.

Brandon Hobson said...

I just got Speedboat in the mail per your recommendation. Looking forward to reading it late into the night hours.

sam pink said...

i watched some twin peaks last night. is there still time to submit to the brain project. and does the response have to be analytical?

BLAKE BUTLER said...

hi pr! ty

sam, i'm not sure what's up with it, you should email justin dobbs, he is in chargez, if you need his email drop me a linez

brandon, awesome, i think you will like it a lot

abje said...

what's the brain project? sounds cuddly.

ken baumann said...

You've got me feeling like I'm feeling like you're feeling. Right?

Really though, I believe you. You sound charged and it is infectious.

xtx said...

i dont know who diane williams is, but after reading that interview i would like to know.

where can i read some of her stuff?

thank you mr. butler.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

ken ken makers men

xtx: i'm not sure i've ever seen her stuff online, except maybe little randoms. best to buy one of her books. she has a selected stories called excitability. all of her collections are worth owning.

xtx said...

thank you. i will do that. have a great day!