(Continuing analysis from Summer 2013) Here also, the first reference to mass graves or mass death, “the gaping grave, like folding oceans, edges its way both into time and space so that I might measure some concept of myself by it.” (pg 9). Here the bleakness of the theme. The narrator has trouble defining himself with terms that haven’t been stained by 20th century atrocities in Europe and across the Balkans, SE Asia, and the rest of the developing world. Of particular importance is the holocaust and mass graves in the way he associates bodies and defilement by regimes of history. The narrator wants to shout out his love, but is overwhelmed by the previously mentioned atrocities. If identity is formed from memory and memory has been tainted or corrupted by atrocities or suppressive Judeo-Christian ethics, the story develops as an examination of self or an identity crisis in the fullest meaning. The stain of this past is a driving force in Diamond Signature. It is part of the Social that the narrator is trying to absolve himself from. “Where now? Where but the despondency of memory, the dullness of past, the poison of reason and the darkness of my histories?” (pg 9). This part reminds me of intro to Marquis de Sade’s Prison Letters. He viciously describes the role of the social in constraining, repressing, and shaping the individual so that they fit into society like puzzle piece. Pg 9, first reference to Pierrot, “Pierrot dances his dance of sorrow, scattering logic in his mental paper chase. We’ll hear more of Pierrot, after all he’s no angel.” (pg 9-10) pg 10, first reference to Maya. “Here and there I’ll collide with boulders of the past, energetic fragments of an illusion named Maya. She, for Maya is said to be a woman, pursues upon her silver war-machine. her satin robes have run across my whole being, caught my mind and sought my body.” (pg 10). Why Maya? What symbolism comes from the name Maya? Notice, “Her name, her name, a thousand times her name. Floating, pulsing shapes that are ships in grey docklands.” (pg 10). He wanted to shout his name across grey rooftops but was somehow denied. Yet for Maya, her name becomes synonymous with the grey battle ships and freight liners. Pg 11, first reference to Enola. The Enola Gay was the plane that carried the Hiroshima bomb. Still, I don’t get the Maya vs Enola theme. “By Christ how emptily I lie.” (pg 11). Narrator is actually saying the offer of Christ is an empty offer. The narrator may be empty too, but so is Christ. “my presence is confirmed by the body on the couch.” (Pg 11). Existential pun. “I struggle to say her name, panic in my inability to form words. Order dissipates and I become part of a greater order in which there are no names. What remains of my identity is diffused by the light.” (Pg 11). “Maya is a crusty girl who shovels her love onto me, a wanton girl: harridan” (pg 11). Maya is both a promiscuous woman and a strict, bossy old woman. In this way she seems to have contempt for him. Offering her body for the price of his soul. (2 July 13 7:15am. Notions of selling the body or soul for pleasure, but the landscape described isn’t pleasureful. It’s London Industrial drear.)
11 September 2014 8:12am.
During this work, there’s a contrast between Horizontal and Vertical. Horizontal is all time, memory, linear perspective, social conformity, and dreary city landscapes.
Vertical moments defy time, are separate and singular acts of nature and defiance against the order. In Mari Ruti’s “Singularity of Being” (looking into Lacan and others), Diachrony of history is opposition to synchrony of breaks and rebellion. She writes, “A vertical spoke in the wheel of history…Rather than oiling the squeaky wheel of history, [Antigone] inserts a spoke through it, momentarily halting its process.” (4hrs, 6 minutes into Audio Reading. Chapter 5 of 11). Antigone’s aim is ethical and both she and narrator challenge and confront the established law, without offering a model way of life.
Does this book offer a way of life? Is violence against the system ethical or mimicking the system’s methods? An act of rebelling against fascism of government with microfaschism of self conduct.
18 September 2014 7:34am
Reading slowly Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” – how it compares to Rimbaud’s Diamond Signature. Whitman’s hopefulness and optimism. The big theme of continuity of life – contrasts to Rimbaud’s continuity or horizontal time as vastly negative. Ordered death. But that could be his disillusionment. He wants to celebrate life, “Life lifing life”, but it’s expressed as vertical time, a break from the horizontal and anonymity, and silent, surpressed. Whitman’s vision is episodic – micro vignettes – which isn’t entirely different from Rimbaud’s desired vision. 8:02am
26 September 8am
(A poetic distilling of what I’ve been thinking and reading)
When these inky castles quiver,
Springs mold kingdoms
forming for an architect or archeologist,
What will you become?
When walls become doors,
What do doors become?
An unveiled precipice opening
into the real.