Thursday, March 3, 2005

"I belong to the race of words, which homes are built with"

Spotted at thinking about things, where Matt is thinking about manifestos, I am claiming this passage as my dissertation-writing manifesto:

"To be in the book. To figure in the book of questions, to be part of it. To be responsible for a word or a sentence, a stanza or chapter. To be able to say: 'I am in the book. The book is my world, my country, my roof, and my riddle. The book is my breath and my rest.' I get with the page that is turned. I lie down with the page put down. To be able to reply: 'I belong to the race of words, which homes are built with' when I know full well that the answer is still another question, that this home is constantly threatened. I will evoke the book and provoke the questions."

- Edmond Jabs, To be in the Book, 1963

I love manifestos. They remind me that I believe. They compel me to action.

Of course, a friend claimed yesterday - in no uncertain terms - that to have a conversation with me when I have submitted to a manifesto like the one above is a special kind of torture.

The problem, it seems to me, is that manifestos can be easily divorced from INTER-action.


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