Friday, July 24, 2009

Glimmer/ Links!

As soon as we put something into words, we devalue it in a strange way. We think we have plunged into the depths of the abyss, and when we return to the surface the drop of water on our pale fingertips no longer resembles the sea from which it comes. We delude ourselves that we have discovered a wonderful treasure trove, and when we return to the light of day we find that we have brought back only false stories and shards of glass; and yet the treasure goes on glimmering in the dark, unaltered.
     - Maeterlinck, The Treasure of the Humble

This is a companion quote to the Yeats quote of last week. It is the epigraph to Robert Musil's Young Torless, an important although not a very agreeable book.

Related (and highly recommended for luminous beauty) links are:

At the beginning, very appropriately on the aleph blog, a post with a lovely aphorism  about the moment before plunging into the depths.

Afterward, looking back, a post on a room of one's own blog.

I love triangulations in the ether.


Anonymous said...

You have such wonderful links. Thanks for sharing, Susan.

Törless: I read Musil's book in French - a few centuries ago, it seems. Not the happiest book, as I recall, but a powerful prefiguration of the mindset of the Nazi era.

Maeterlinck - true, true. But how we do try, Maurice. :-)

Totalfeckineejit said...

Hey, Mr Maeterlinck! All that glimmers is not gold, and words are (apart from pictures) the only hope we have :)n Thanks A.S

ArtSparker said...

RL - Glad you like the links.

TFE- Hurray, controversy. I think the failure of containing everything in art is what keeps us going as artists.

ArtSparker said...

TFE - A tardy thought: Maeterlinck uses startlingly beautiful metaphoric language to describe the inadequacy of words...All poets are liars, according to this evidence.

Totalfeckineejit said...

They tell lies but always speak the truth.I don't know who said that first(is there any such thing as original thought?)but I've stolen it :)
Thats a great painting by the way.

ArtSparker said...

TFe- It's a photo, with photoshop I must confess. Only cause we're all dried up in California in the summer so no deep water in the stream!

herhimnbryn said...

Great links, thankyou AS

Ginga Squid said...

Beautiful image.

lettuce said...

this is beautiful
(and apt)
and a little dulac-ish?

notmassproduced said...

that image is wonderful

Celeste Maia said...

Very good links, thank you for sharing them. The inadequacy of words? Where would we be without them? How about feelings that we cant transmit? I hate "logic", what has it got to do with life?

ArtSparker said...

L - Thanks - I suppose there coild be a bit of Dulac in there.

ArtSparker said...

Celeste - This quote seems to hit a nerve with writers, which makes sense. For me, I hear Maeterlinck talking about bringing something to consciousness - that there is a richness in the inchoate which is lost when something is fixed in place. It embodies the intimate relation between language and consciousness for me. But this i something you have caused me to thing about and clarify.

Caio Fernandes said...

this is all wonderfull Susan , i am realy touched by this post .
thanks .and what a image !!!!!!

jenny2write said...

Havent you noticed that pebbles on the beach are like this - wonderful while in the water, but afterwards you wonder why you bothered .

But if you're a writer or artist, all the more reason for continuing to try and capture something of what you mean, in words or images. I sometimes think the people who capture visual reality best were the early untutored Egyptian weavers at Wissa Wassef.

jenny2write said...

That is good. My google account works today. I have had big problems in the past. I am starting to wonder if it depends on which browser I am using. The only problem is that it doesn't link to my blog which is the more thoughtful of the two.

Still, I suppose it's a start

Cláudia said...

I came here from your post "Strange Perspective".

It was an amazing voyage: Patricia and Isabel's blogs let me in awe.

The discussion about words and their inherent insufficiency to give accounts of human experience is a good one. The discussion AND the fact that everything that is put into word is a failure will never end, thanks God - that is what keep artists and thinkers going.

I like very much Roland Barthes' ideas about language.

In the poetry terrain I LOVE a poem by Fernando Pessoa (a Portuguese poet, one of the greatest in my opinion):

O poeta é um fingidor
Finge tão completamente
Que chega a fingir que é dor
A dor que deveras sente
The poet is a faker
Who's so good at his act
He even fakes the pain
Of pain he feels in fact.

Fernando Pessoa-himself: "Autopsychography" (Autopsicografia) (tr. Richard Zenith)

ArtSparker said...

C - you are very acute, and I liked the translation.

California Girl said...

coming back here from today's post, 2/27/10, I have to read this twice and I still barely understand it. and I was a Lit major...English lit. maybe that's why.

ArtSparker said...

CG - It's not just about putting things into words - it's about what is loss in translating something felt into a construct - words, equations, something sensible but not of the senses.