Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Lackson Mac Low "Pieces O' Six"

I have been reading Jackson Mac Low's book of prose poems called Pieces O' Six. On the recommendation of the friend who lent it to me I skipped halfway into the book and read outward. His writing on writing addresses very eloquently some things I am thinking a good deal about in painting (see: Pardon Secured...I swear this is the end of my Redemption Song and What Came Before After .
Less a feeling of commonality between my concerns in painting and his in writing, more that his writing on writing indicates the specifics of my own medium by pinpointing some things in Mac Low's own.

From Pieces O' Six XVIII:
No reader, (except the writer or another who reads all the drafts in turn, including the return to the first) has an experience from the text different than if there had been no revisions. Only writing has the capacity to be invisibly revised or restored to a former state- and strictly speaking, only when all drafts except the final one are destroyed. This can be done (at least exteriorly) with speech also, but it requires far more drastic actions- destruction not only of all records, written, photographic, or electronic, but of all hearers of the earlier speech (but there's still the speaker- which is the reason for the "at least exteriorly"). Every kind of of swearing or frightening to silence or mind-tampering is uncertainly efficacious. And even murder may out. As for the movements among thought, speech, and writing- they're as multifarious and problematic as ever. The thought that accompanies (and is said to be "expressed in") writing seldom takes place without the writing- or at least is very different in notable ways, when it takes place without writing. And after writing the writer may well disappear- inevitably does, since the person who reads aloud or silently or explicates is no longer the author at the moment of writing. And speech weaves among the other two, interrupting and modifying them when it seems most silent or absent.

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