Archive for March, 2010

For Help With Nostalgia

March 22, 2010


I still don’t know if its better to just live with it or get over it, but in the best interest of newer objects of affection, one might consider getting over it.  Also consider what utopias may be other than fantastical unsustainable ideals.  Are they highly designed escapes?

Read again:

“Nostalgia is a sadness without an object, a sadness which creates a longing that of necessity is inauthentic because it does not take part in lived experience.  Rather, it remains behind and before that experience.  Nostalgia, like any form of narrative, is always ideological: the past it seeks has never existed except as narrative, and hence, always absent, that past continually threatens to reproduce itself as a felt lack.  Hostile to history and its invisible origins, and yet longing for an impossibly pure context of lived experience at a place of origin, nostalgia wears a distinctly utopian face, a face that turns toward a future-past, a past which has only ideological reality.  This point of desire which the nostalgic seeks is in fact the absence that is the very generating mechanism of desire.  As we shall see in our discussion of the souvenir, the realization of re-union imagined by the nostalgic is a narrative utopia that works only by virtue of its partiality, its lack of fixity and closure: nostalgia is the desire for desire.

The prevailing motif of nostalgia is the erasure of the gap between nature and culture, and hence a return to the utopia of biology and symbol united within the walled city of the maternal.  The nostalgic’s utopia is prelapsarian, a genesis where lived and mediated experience are one, where authenticity and transcendence are both present and everywhere.  The crisis of the sign, emerging between signifier and signified, between the material nature of the former and the abstract and historical nature of the latter, as well as within the mediated reality between written and spoken language, is denied by the nostalgic’s utopia, a utopia where authenticity suffuses both word and world.  The nostalgic dreams of a moment before knowledge and self consciousness that itself lives on only in the self-consciousness of the nostalgic narrative. Nostalgia is the repetition that mourns the inauthenticity of all repetition and denies the repetition’s capacity to form identity.  Thus we find that the disjunctions of temporality traced here create the space for nostalgia’s eruption.  The inability of the sign to “capture” its signified, of narrative to be one with tits object, and of the genres of mechanical reproduction to approximate the time of face-to-face communication leads to a generalized desire for origin, for nature, and for unmediated experience that is at work in nostalgic longing.  Memory, at once impoverished and enriched, presents itself as a device for measurement, the “ruler” of narrative.  Thus near-sightedness and far-sightedness emerge as metaphors for understanding, and they will be of increasing importance as this essay proceeds.”  p.23-24 Susan Stewart – On Longing

no. 7

March 18, 2010



March 5, 2010

Trying To Get To Specifics

March 3, 2010

I begin to make something with the part of me that wants to move out (side) and around.  In the end  — when i stop the thing from changing by removing my will — i hope to be content with its (dis)order.

What is exposed, what is made, is eventually detached from my hopes in (dis)order to becomes itself.  It is no longer a part of me, it is a part of the world.  It talks for itself, saying things i could never think it would say, louder than i dreamt it might say them.

Meanwhile, i analyze what has come a part — and before — from me.  I attempt to understand what i have uncovered — what is being illuminated — through re-playing and re-shaping the matters at hand.  Sometimes i come to an understanding and other times i have to tear myself away from a tendency to fall off into an infinite hyper-critical abyss.

I remember a present a friend gave me for my 26th birthday.  A message scribbled on a small piece of paper wrapped around a match and placed in a tiny bottle labeled “Love is a feeling like a warm black stone.”  The message says: “Why are we bent on measurement? Why do we measure and how? Is yours a milimeter longer?  Oh, wow.”

Reading this i am still at the beginning of forming answers to these questions.  The only thing i know for sure is that the tone in which i imagine, “Is yours a milimeter longer? Oh, wow”  to be read in is somewhat cavalier.  How i might begin to answer this friendly and beautifully packaged birthday question is to comment that (currently) I wear a size 6 in GAP jeans, a size 4 in Banana Republic, and can squeeze myself into a pair of 28 Sevens.  Very meaningful stuff.

Measurement is for fitting in. I am all for being in and out and together and apart already.  How this came about, i don’t know, there’s probably some documentation around, but — things disappear — maybe I just don’t want those parts to be seen.  Anyway, what’s the matter with hanging out, re-generating everything, and dieing to bring perspective to re-forming standards of measurement?