5 November 2018

Thought slantness is anti-methodological and pulled out Laura Moriarty’s A Tonalist. Here Moriarty and Ammiel Alcalay in from the warring factions both quote from Jerry Estrin’s Rome, a Mobile Home.

Anti-methodological is a reduction, a cheap and dirty way of saying:

The inward present. The indefinite maintained as a kind of discipline. Abstract simplification. Not arcane and yet there is a suggestive darkness. A realism of forms which melt into each other. Spiritual realism in which spiritual is defined as a formal practice relating to a belief in love but not of a person. Or of a person. And realism is verisimilitude in drag…

Not a movement so much as a mood, an orientation, a realization that much that seemed forbidden is in fact required. Doubt, for example, especially self-doubt. A man can be in love with his equivocation. He can be equivocal about his doubt. He can use his knowledge against himself.

“Choked with interval of ecstatic doubt” [Andrew Joron, “Anima, Macula,” The Removes] (Moriarty 14-15)

So much to think about even in this brief passage. As anti-method, I’m drawn in particular to, “The indefinite maintained as a kind of discipline” which I would describe as a kind of resistance: failure to cohere into a proper form. “Not a movement so much as a mood” is a very seductive clause that conjures for me what I, what many have wanted when we write or say the word affect.

And the passages about "spiritual realism” and doubt evoke the Kierkegaard I quoted the other day. What does Moriarty’s realism versus verisimilitude have to do with Kierkegaard’s spiritual versus sensuous-psychic? Ditto drag and transference.

To look up from Pla (whose Gray Notebooks I’m still plugging away at in the background):

-Second Carlist War



To ponder comparatively for a future entry: Jos Charles’s English in feeld and Julian Talamantez Brolaski’s in Advice for Lovers and Caroline Bergvall’s Meddle English.