Sunday, December 20, 2009

Story by Story: Brian Evenson's 'Fugue State' (18) 'Traub in the City'

It's been several months since my last speech re: Fugue State. I've been in a blank mode of my own, circling, recircling, in small rooms, reading texts within texts, thinking about sleep. In this time I've read this next text in the order, next to last, also the shortest, 'Traub in the City,' at least a dozen times. This weekend, I reread The Open Curtain, followed by The Wavering Knife, and then returned again to pick up at the second to last and smallest text inside this book, and found there in the shortest scrim the longest shouting. The book enveloping itself. This is not surprising in Evenson at all, considering his propensity for disclosing volumes within volumes (today 'Moran's Mexico' from The Wavering Knife about made me dizzy, with its room of teeth and tunnels in), and that even in seeing the small spacing of the two pages I knew something laid there ready to eat again in its eating, having learned what I've learned since last touching its face. These ideas could be called hyperbole in their intent, but this year for certain I've begun to feel that the certain thing I've tended toward in these last years can be felt only in such terms, or in the description around the center of the center, as I've gone on about here: that certain things have hyperbolic faces because the body on which they sit is made of something else. I won't continue in the circling of the circling of that meat body, but to say that herein, in the several months since returning to this two page spread, having read Deleuze's Difference and Repetition, and his Cinema 1, and with them begun searching for doors beside my doors, literally, this text, in two pages, owns a context for perhaps a whole body of work, an understanding, the groundwork on which Evenson's fictions sit gathering their power not even out of simple sound, as I've rattled on about in past months, but also in the borrowing of an other dark, of "several faces, coming one after another, quicker and quicker," all while underneath a very fine and sublime curtain, such as the curtains described in 'House Rules' from The Wavering Knife that, when lifted, show that the windows outside the house have been boarded down, allowing in only little stream of light where cracks make the space between the boards, hardly enough to illuminate any part of the whole house. As Traub here sees the bodies of a public metro all part of one vast and unnameable body, continually shifting and amorphous, he continues to try to draw the spaces, knowing he can not, knowing even in that vast amorphous massively spread face the air that makes the room around him does not touch any other object there inside it, does not touch him correctly, like all these texts in their becoming in this book here, in all the books, only a slightly further stretch to define that nowhere space, himself an oddly renamed image of a body already depicted in this very book, the mirror elongation of the slightly earlier 'Bauer in the Tyrol,' and yet he can not disturb that will to draw that space, confining and confined, elongated over several books within books, each ejecting and drawing into their black centers some massive fabric that will not be delineated or erased, will not lose its way in magic among these sentences and the rendition in their flood of something that is just above us and something in the stomach of this stomach in and of this house, a skin.


davidpeak said...

great post, blake. i'm reading through last days right now and will revisit "traub in the city" with your words in mind.

i'm glad you've written so extensively on evenson this year. it's turned me on to some great writing and pulled back some curtains of my own.


Blake Butler said...

thanks david. glad in the thinking and the thought