Saturday, November 05, 2005
Charged with a sleek memory of G. enamour’d by the word oubliette. She reading Hugo’s Notre Dame de Paris. Freely: little hiding place wherein, formerly, one shut up individuals condemn’d to life imprisonment, or individuals one want’d to get rid of. Paris, circa 1972. Oublier meaning to forget.
Is it applicable to challenge th’efficacy of such word root and derive on the grounds a Sontag character (The Benefactor) challenges that of “the value of myth itself: ‘Such tales are just a sop for the credulous, picturesque concessions to those who cannot stand the shock of a naked idea.’” One is immensely attract’d to that “naked idea” without the least (cloth’d or not) notion of what it’d possibly “look” like. The “naked idea” is not invisible, it is inexistent.
Against the ploddingness of some of Pound, say, that underslung desire for “A set of cubby holes whereinto one can sort one’s values and make them into a schema”—always an impulse to be quash’d—Pound himself balances a sassy recklessness (what makes him palatable): “The gent. reader is warned that I shall now devote several pages to an analysis (of a sort) of the Nichomachean treatise. Those in search of daisies and scintillations had better skip the next pages.”
When I “had” about thirteen years (a Manichean age), my ambition drove me to announce plans for a magazine call’d Daisies & Demons. Long hours pass’d in design of a possible cover, entwine of flat flower and flat horn’d devil physiognomy.