Sunday, January 23, 2011
Anne Carson on that which is passed over, from Nox.
History can be at once concrete and indecipherable. Historian can be a storydog that roams around Asia Minor collecting bits of muteness like burrs in its hide. Note that the word mute is regarded by linguists as an onomatopoeic formation referring not to silence but to a certain fundamental opacity of human being, which likes to show the truth by allowing it to be seen hiding. (Compare the Latin word mutmut, representation of a muttering sound, used by Apuleius). In cigarette-smoke-soaked Copenhagen, under a wide thin sorrowful sky, as swans drift down the water, I am looking a long time into the muteness of my brother. It resists me. He refuses to be "cooked" (a modern historian might say) in my transactional order. To put this another way, there is something that facts lack. "Overtakelessness" is a word told me by a philosopher once: das Unumgängliche - that which cannot be got round. Cannot be avoided or seen to the back of. And about which one collects facts - it remains beyond them.
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