Studies of Silhouettes, tr. Jacob Siefring, (Sublunary Editions: 2020)
Falstaff: Apotheosis, tr. Jacob Siefring, (Sublunary Editions: 2019)
Every so often I will read something that leaves me feeling absolutely nothing at all.
Just over a week ago, I read two short books by Pierre Senges, both of which were freshly translated from the French by Jacob Siefring, though one week on I had to check both of their names before typing them as I had forgotten them. I was certain that Pierre’s first name was Philip, for example, which it categorically isn’t.
What about these texts made them so forgettable [for me]?
I think it is that type of writing that often leaves me cold…
That style of “literary” literature that often leaves me questioning the purpose, the validity and the intent – that is the purpose – of Prose…
Writing which seeks to do something “interesting”, writing that speaks to subvert texts and textuality.
I don’t want to sound like a philistine – even though I accept that in many ways I am one – but I fundamentally feel that any writing the aim of which is an expression of a cleverness… I fundamentally feel that said writing is inherently shit.
It’s of no interest to me, even though even though I love many types of experimental pieces of writing – I do agree that structure and form are essential elements of a transcendental text, but when an experimental text is projecting intellectual smugness, I just roll my bloody eyes and can’t wait for it to be over.
What is the purpose in riffing about Falstaff?
What is the purpose in taking 100 or 60 (I don’t remember and I don’t care enough to check) lines from the writing of Kafka and then improvising after them like it’s a famous melody in a long, digressive jazz piece–
The idea, perhaps, I didn’t hate (i.e. I bought both books!), but I didn’t like the results.
Some very brief excerpts I did enjoy (prose like this is akin to poetry, so I feel comfortable doing this):
like the desire to touch a body tinged with the desire to set it aflame
we would creep under the door to reach the piglet, even if it means risking taking its place on the spit.
a madman, a nudist, an excommunicate, or a mix of all three?