David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

23 October 2013

Reinventing the Wheel : A Restoration Comedy

To see the wheel turning was very soothing, very comforting, a sort of opening of avenues on other things than material life of every day. I liked the idea of having a bicycle wheel in my studio. I enjoyed looking at it just as I enjoy looking at the flames dancing in a fireplace. It was like having a fireplace in my studio, the movement of the wheel reminded me of the movement of the flames.

- Marcel Duchamp : Arturo Schwartz, The Complete works of Marcel Duchamp, London: Thames and Hudson, 1969, p.442
Reinventing the Wheel: the Readymade Century
Monash University Museum of Art
Caulfield campus
3 October – 14 December 2013
Presented in association with the Melbourne Festival
"Many curiously significant remarks are made about silence in the trilogy. Molloy, for example, says: 'about me all goes really silent, from time to time, whereas for the righteous the tumult of the world never stops.' The Unnaneable says: 'This voice that speaks, knowing that it lies, indifferent to what it says, too old perhaps and too abased ever to succeed in saying the words that would be its last, knowing itself useless and its uselessness in vain, not listening to itself but to the silence that it breaks.' Only when one is sufficiently detached from this compulsive babble to realize that one is uttering it can one achieve any genuine serenity, or the silence which is its habitat. 'To restore silence is the role of objects,' says Molloy, but this is not Beckett's final paradox. His final paradox is the conception of the imaginative process that underlies and informs his remarkable achievement. In a world given over to obsessive utterance, a world  of television and radio and shouting dictators and tape recorders and beeping space ships, to restore silence is the role of serious writing."

  - page 236 : Samuel Beckett: The Critical Heritage 
    ed. by Lawrence Graver and Raymond Federman

'To restore silence is the role of objects'

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something ...