Saturday, 3 November 2018

Today I read lots of Ionesco sentences in Duolingo, which I am using to study Spanish (How much does the butter cost? I would like to rent a room. The oranges are delicious!). On a drive to the Book Mill, Britt finished reading the title essay of Roland Barthes’s The Eiffel Tour to me. More architectures! I remain obdurately incapable of remembering what Structuralism and Post-Structuralism are really. I think about Barthes as a bright star in my constellation of rigorous dreamers and, per Carol Mavor, as a fundamentally boyish thinker (like Marcel Proust, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Joseph Cornell).

I read a bit more of Alcalay’s from the warring factions in the bookstore café but became distracted by a conversation at the next table. I still don’t really have a ‘take’ on it, but something about its fast and enjambed meter reminds me of what I was trying to do in Terror Matrix. And I wish I had encountered this book a few years closer to its first appearance post 9/11. It’s the sort of complicated internationalist anti-war (and other modifiers) text that I was hoping for from poetic discourse in those days. Alcalay’s right to denounce the circulation of that Auden poem as weak sauce (n.b. he did not use the phrase weak sauce). Is it too much to suggest that this book is an off-modern text—a real representative from a body of other texts that remained speculative? A could’ve been canon?