Saturday, February 7, 2009

To the anti-intellectuals, the lazy, the ignorant...

...and all the others who refuse to invest in difference, even "canonized difference," because it doesn't adhere to a bourgeoisie aesthetic of the beautiful or, gasp, it challenges you to think, here is a cheat-sheet, a Cliff Notes if you will, to my grandmother, who you so "eloquently" state is slop, garbage, ugly, "eye-vomit," etc.

From Gertrude Stein's "A Trans-Atlantic Interview":

"Cezanne conceived the idea that in composition one thing was as important as another thing. Each part is as important as the whole, and that impressed me enormously, and it impressed me so much that I began to write...under this influence and idea of composition...this background of word-system."

"I was not interested in making the people real but in the essence or, as a painter would call it, value. One cannot live without the other."

"There are endless surprises, the combination that you don't expect. It never ends. All the time in it you see what I am singling out is that one thing has the same value as another. There are of course people who are more important than others in that they have more importance in the world, but this is not essential, and it ceases to be. I have no sense of difference in this respect, because every human being comprises the combination form."

"At this I threw away punctuation. My real objection to it was that it threw away this balance that I was trying to get, this evenness of everybody having a vote, and that is the reason I am impatient with punctuation. Finally I got obsessed with these enormously long sentences and paragraphs. All that was an effort to get this evenness, and this went on until it sort of exhausted itself."

"I began to play with words then. I was a little obsessed by words of equal value...You had to recognize words had lost their value in the Nineteenth Century, particularly toward the end, they had lost much of their variety, and I felt that I could not go on, that I had to recapture the value of the individual word, find out what it meant and act within it."

"I took individual words and thought about them until I got their weight and volume complete and put them next to another word, and at the same time I found out very soon that there is no such thing as putting them together without sense. It is impossible to put them together without sense. I made innumerable efforts to make words write without sense and found it impossible. Any human being putting down words had to make sense out of them."

1 comment:

Future Man said...

Is the first paragraph an unquoted excerpt, or your own words? I am a bit confused who is speaking.