There is a desire to write prose at the moment. Somehow the desire for prose for me always seems to pose the risk of a heavy-handed, faux-solemn tone. In German, wonderfully, the word is pathetisch. And to be honest, there is something pathetic about it. I say things like: there is a desire instead of: I want to. But I mean, that’s desire, right? never owned, never extinguished. It either dissipates, is deflected or regenerates itself anew again and again. Why prose though? Maybe it’s the capacity to seem completely representational.
The other day, when I was sitting on my bed – I am sitting on my bed now (potentially not in the now in which you’re reading this – I imagined my cat, Rafa, walking into the room and springing onto the bed. Given that he is back in Australia, the capacity for imagination in this physical context was limited. I could only manage it through a kind of dated CGI of the mind. It was as if to recreate a non-contemporary image I had to employ equally outdated imaging technology, even mentally. He was glitchy.
I’ve been thinking about the groundlessness of nostalgia (also, I’ve been thinking about the groundlessness of all philosophical uses of the term ground in English translations. In German and French, I think ground means something, to us, it is completely intangible; no ground beneath us). By that I mean that nostalgia is a pure modality which only coincides with lived experience. An example is how I listen to Cat Power. I only started listening to Cat Power a couple of years ago, and connect her with no specific personal/geographical/temporal milieu. However I listen to her in the present with an indulged jouissance that is properly nostalgic. It is a backward glance, but with no focused object*.
I am reading a book that I am finding to be quite disappointing: Love in Two Languages by Abdelkebir Khatibi. There are some interesting things happening in it, but it is overwhelmingly pathetisch. The phrase “the madness of language” has occured at least three times so far. Also, the line “when we made love, two countries made love” happens (oh dear).
* I think it’s fitting that I looked for ‘Colors and the Kids’ on youtube and the first video was somebodies edits of their neighbour’s old super8 home movies, to which they presumably have no personal connection, but nevertheless created this paean to nostalgia.