četvrtak, 13. lipnja 2013.

Neil Chapman - shadows/darkness

Blog Neila Chapmana donosi popis knjiga koje se dotiču sjena i tame.


• Jacques Rancière, Preface to The Proletarian Nights, London: Verso, 2013.

Why has the philosophy of intelligentsia or activists always needed to blame some evil third party (petty bourgeoisie, ideologist or master thinker) for the shadows and obscurities that get in the way of the harmonious relationship between their own self-consciousness and the self-identity of their ‘popular’ object of study? Was not this evil third party contrived to spirit away another more fearsome threat: that of seeing the thinkers of the night invade the territory of Philosophy.
• Pierre Cabanne, Dialogues with Marcel Duchamp, New York, 1971.
I executed the cast shadow of the bicycle wheel, the cast shadow of the hat rack . . . and the cast shadow of the corkscrew. I had found a sort of projector which made shadows rather well enough, and I projected each shadow, which I traced by hand, onto the canvas. Also, right in the middle, I put a hand painted by a sign painter, and I had the good fellow sign it. [p. 60]
Bushy to the Queen in Shakespeare’s Richard II
Each substance of a grief hath twenty shadows,
Which shows like grief itself, but is not so;
For sorrow’s eye, glazed with blinding tears,
Divides one thing entire to many objects;
Like perspectives, which rightly gazed upon
Show nothing but confusion, eyes awry
Distinguish form: so your sweet majesty,
Looking awry upon your lord’s departure,
Find shapes of grief, more than himself, to wail;
Which, look’d on as it is, is nought but shadows
Of what is not. [II, ii, 14-24]
Slavoj Žižek, How to read Lacan, London: Granta Books, 2006.
[Shakespeare's Richard II] starts to perceive his kingship as an effect of anamorphosis, a ‘shadow of nothing’; however, getting rid of this insubstantial spectre does not leave us with the simple reality of what we effectively art – it is as if one cannot simply counterpose the anamorphosis of charisma and substantial reality, as if all reality is an effect of anamorphosis, a ‘shadow of nothing’… [p. 70]
Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows, Stony Creek: Leete’s Island Books, 1977.
I have written all this because I have thought that there might still be somewhere, possibly in literature or the arts, where something could be saved. I would call back at least for literature this world of shadows we are losing. In the mansion called literature I would have the eaves deep and the walls dark, I would push back into the shadows the things that come forward too clearly, I would strip away the useless decoration. I do not ask that this be done everywhere, but perhaps we may be allowed at least one mansion where we can turn off the electric lights and see what it is like without them. [p. 42]
• Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 2: The Time Image, trans. Hugh Tomlinson & Robert Galeta, London: Althone Press, 1989. [p. 124] 
Resnais has often declared that it is not characters that interest him but the feelings that they could extract from them like their shadows, depending on which regions of the past they are placed in. Characters are of the present, but feelings plunge into the past. Feelings become characters, as in the painted shadows in the sunless park (Last Year in Marienbad).
• Walter Benjamin, One Way Street, quoted by Susan Buck-Morss in The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project. London: MIT, 1991. [p. 19]
Our feelings, dazzled, flutter like a flock of birds in the woman’s radiance. And as birds seek protection in the leafy recesses of a tree, so our feelings take flight into the shaded wrinkles, the awkward gestures and invisible blemishes of the body we love, where they can lie low in safety.
• Arkady & Boris Strugatsky, Roadside Picnic, London: Macmillan Publishing, 1977.
I didn’t like the look of that cover. Its shadow wasn’t right. The sun was at our backs, yet its shadow was stretching towards us. Well, all right, it was far enough away from us. It seemed OK, we could get on with our work. But what was the silvery thing shining back there? Was it just my imagination? It would be nice to have a smoke now and sit for a spell and mull it all over–why there was that shine over the canisters, why it didn’t shine next to them, why the cover was casting that shadow. Buzzard Burbridge told me something about the shadows, that they were weird but harmless. Something happens here with the shadows. [p. 25]
• Julia Kissiner, When Shadows Cast People, Peperoni Books, 2010.
• Peter Sloterdijk & Hans-Jürgen Heinrichs, Neither Sun Nor Death, 1, Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2011.
Words, for him, are creatures of the shadows, symbols of lack–to write means to adopt the appearance of an unknown face. [p. 98. on Edmond Jabès' The Little Book of Unsuspected Subversion]
• Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 1, London: Athlone, 1992.
The parts of the set are now intensive parts, and the set itself is a mixture which is transmitted through all the parts, through all the degrees of shadow and of light, through the whole light-darkness scale. [p. 14]
• Gilles Deleuze, Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation, London: Continuum, 2004.
Bacon has often said that, in the domain of Figures, the shadow has as much presence as the body; but the shadow acquires this presence only because it escapes from the body; the shadow is the body that has escaped from itself through some localized point in the contour. [p. 16]
The shadow escapes from the body like an animal we had been sheltering. [p. 21]
• Hadley Freeman, ‘Go on, Werner, give us a smile’, Guardian, Saturday 5th March 2011
Herzog and his third wife, Lena, live in L.A. Herzog concedes this is a surpriseing choice of residency for him, not least because he hates sunshine: “I am always trying to find the next shadow.” [p. 27 - 29]
• The Invisible Committee, The Coming Insurection, Paris: Semiotext(e), 2009
Everywhere, a new idea of communism is to be elaborated. In the shadows of bar rooms, in print shops, squats, farms, occupied gymnasiums, new complicities are to be born. [p. 15]
Freedom is no longer a name scrawled on walls, for today it is always followed, as if by its shadow, with the word “security.” [p. 85]
• Antonin Artaud, ‘Theatre and the Plague’, The Theatre and its Double, trans, Victor Corti, London: Calder Publications, 1993.
[of the plague victim] His stomach heaves, his insides seem to want to burst out between his teeth. His pulse sometimes slows down until it becomes a shadow, a latent pulse, at other times it races in accordance with his seething inner fever, the streaming wanderings of his mind.’ [p. 10]
• Richard Brautigan, ‘Won’t You Come Home, Bill Bailey, Won’t You Come Home?,  The Hawkline Monster, London: Jonathan Cape, 1975.
Meanwhile, down in the laboratory above the ice caves everything was very quiet except for the movement of a shadow. It was a shadow that just barely existed between forms. At times the shadow would almost become a form. The shadow would hover at the very edge of something definite and perhaps even recognizable but then the shadow would drift away into abstraction. [p. 125.]
The shadow was a buffoon mutation totally subservient to the light… [p. 129.]
The light possessed unlimited possibilities and took a special pride in using them. Its shadow was disgusted with the whole business and trailed, dragging its feet reluctantly behind.
Whenever the Hawkline Monster left the laboratory, drifting up the stairs and then slipping like melted butter under the iron door that separated the laboratory from the house, the shadow always felt as if it were going to throw up. [p. 130]
• W G Sebald in ‘Le Promeneur Solitaire: A Remembrance of Robert Walser’, introduction, The Tanners, trans. Susan Bernofsky, New York: New Directions, 2009.
‘How is one to understand an author who was so beset by shadows…’ [p. 4.]
Walser must at the time have hoped, through writing, to be able to escape the shadows which lay over his life from the beginning, and whose lengthening he anticipates at an early age, transforming them on the page from something very dense to something almost weightless. [p. 12.]
• JG Ballard, The Atrocity Exhibition, London: Flamingo, 1993.
At times, when Xero approached the forlorn group sitting on the embankment, his shadows formed bizarre patterns on the concrete, transcripts of cryptic formulae and insoluble dreams. These ideograms, like the hieroglyphs of a race of blind seers, remained on the grey concrete after Xero had gone, the detritus of this terrifying psychic totem. [p. 31]
• W. B. Yeats, The Dreaming of the Bones
Why does my heart beat so?
Did not a shadow pass?
It passed but a moment ago.
Who could have trod in the grass?
What rogue is night-wandering?
Have not old writers said
That dizzy dreams can spring
From the dry bones of the dead?
• Thomas Bernard, ‘Breath: A Decision’, in Gathering Evidence, trans. David McLintock, London: Vintage, 2003.

I had been given a large quantity of drugs in addition to the penicillin and camphor, and these had brought an improvement in my condition, at least as far as my powers of perception were concerned. The shadows of people and walls and objects slowly transformed themselves into real people, real walls, and real objects. [p. 222]
• Michel Foucault, Raymond Roussel
…this gentle shadow that makes things visible from beneath their surface and their mask and allows one to speak about them, isn’t this from their birth, the proximity of death, of death that unlines the world like the peeling of fruit? [p. 156]

• Georges Perec, A Man Asleep, trans. Andrew Leak,  London: Harvil, 1999.
You follow across the ceiling the sinuous lines of a thin crack, the futile meandering of a fly, the progess – which it is almost possible to plot – of the shadows. [p. 141-142]
• Giorgio Agamben, ‘Potentiality for Darkness’, Potentialities:
Collected Essays in Philosophy, Stanford University Press, California
“… if potentiality were, for example, only the potentiality for
vision and if it existed only as such in the actuality of light, we
would never experience darkness (nor hear silence, in the case of the
potentiality to hear). But human beings can, instead, see shadows (to
skotos)…” [p. 181]
• Gilles Deleuze, ‘Spinoza and the Three Ethics’, Essays Critical
and Clinical.
“In Spinoza, on the contrary, everything is light, and the Dark is
only a shadow, a simple effect of light…” [p. 141]
• Riza Negarestani, ‘Remarks on Depth and Darkness’ http://www.cold-
• Mario Perniola, Art and its Shadow, Continuum 2004.
• Jacques Ranciere, ‘The body of the Letter: Bible, Epic, Novel’, in
Flesh of Words, Stanford University Press, 2004.
“…the episode of Peter’s denial enters this figural economy that
perceives in the prophecies and stories of the Old Testament
“figures” of the story of salvation, prefigurations or “shadows” of
things to come, shadows become truths by the becoming-flesh of the
divine Word.” [p. 75]
“This alone testifies to the truth of the “shadows” or figures of the
Old Testament.” [p. 84]
• Gilles Deleuze, ‘What is an Event?’, The Fold, Althone, London 2001.
Following the physical approximation, chaos would amount to
depthless shadows…, [p. 77]
• Gilles Deleuze, Bergsonism, New York: Zone Books, 1991.
… In neither example is it a case of saying that problems are like
the shadow of pre-existing solutions… [p.16]
• Victor Ieronim Stoichita, . A short history of the shadow, London: Reaktion, 1997.
• Wallace Stevens, ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird’
Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.
• Antonio Negri, The Savage Anomaly: The Power of Spinoza’s
Metaphysics and Politics, University of Minnesota Press, 2000.
Nothing: phantasm, superstition, shadow. [p. 220]
Jean-François Lyotard in ‘Newman: The instant”, The Inhuman, Polity, 1991.
…shadows [...] may be ‘terrible’ in that they announce that the
gaze, the other, language or life will soon be extinguished. [p. 84]
• Georges Bataille, ‘The Notion of Expenditure’, Visions of Excess:
Selected Writings 1927 – 1939,
[poetry] condems [the poet] to the most disappointing forms of
activity, to misery, to despair, to the pursuit of inconsistent
shadows that provide nothing but vertigo or rage. [p. 120]
• Michel Serres, ‘The Troubadour of Knowledge’, University of
Michigan Press, 2003
Each person maintains an amorous rapport with the two corresponding
dancers who border the space that each understands as part of his
destiny, but since the two others, as well, have a relation to the
two shadows that frame their space, in front of them, no one sees
anyone or speaks to anyone and no one answers them: this chain of
supplications produces the multiplication of the need to supplicate.
[p. 28.]
Epistemology and pedagogy meet, just as they did before, in the
centre, in exclusion, pain, violence, and poverty; the problem of
evil crosses knowledge. See the shadow. [p. 45]
As Kepler taught us, we believe that at the common centre of the
world the universal sun of knowledge and reason shines, but that the
shadow is dispersed in the second foci of diverse planets… [p. 46]
• Michel Serres, ‘Genesis’,
Or else–I’m not sure which way it points–the child Poussin in the
green boughs, Porbus at the main branching, and the old painter with
the diabolical look in the deep shade at the roots–looking like he’d
emerged from the dark shadows of Rembrandt. [p. 10]
From a piece by artist Hreinn Fridfinnson, Serpentine Gallery, Summer 2007.
I dreamt that I was on the farm where I was born and raised. My father (who is dead) and I were working in the homefield, collecting hay. We were going to transport the hay to the stables. It was rather dark outside, but quite warm. When we had loaded the wagon, my father disappeared, but his shadow was left behind and I knew that I was to apply it to the hubs of the wagon wheels to make them run more smoothly. Then I was to attach the wagon to the horses with strings made of light which had shone down through the sea. Then I woke up.
• Friedrich Nietzsche, Why I am so Wise, London: Penguin (Great Ideas
edition) 2004.
It was 1879 – I relinquished my Basel Professorship, lived through the summer like a shadow in St. Moritz and the following winter, the most sunless of my life, as a shadow in Naumburg. This was my Minimum: ‘The wanderer and his shadow’ came into existence during the course of it. I undoubtedly knew all about shadows in those days. [p. 9 - 10]
• Giorgio Agamben, ‘Genius’, in Profanations, New York: Zone Books, 2007.
Horace is no doubt right to suggest that there is, in reality, one Genius who changes – by turns candid and shadowy, sometimes wise and sometimes depreved. In other words, what changes is not Genius but our relationship to him, turning from luminous and clear to shadowy and opaque. [p. 16]
• W. G. Sebald and Jan Peter Tripp, Unrecounted, London: Penguin 2005, [p. 43]
The dormouse’s shadow is death
• Michel Foucault, ‘Of other Spaces (1967), Heterotopias’.
In the mirror, I see myself there where I am not, in an unreal, virtual space that opens up behind the surface; I am over there, there where I am not, a sort of shadow that gives my own visibility to myself, that enables me to see myself there where I am absent: such is the utopia of the mirror.
• Raymond Queneau (quoted by Georges Perec at the beginning of W or The Memory of Childhood, London: Harvill, 1996.
That mindless mist where shadows swirl, how could I pierce it
• Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, What is Philosophy?
This is what we call the Event, or the part that eludes its own actualisation in everything that happens. The event is not the state of affairs. It is actualised in a state of affairs, in a body, in an experience, but it has a shadowy and secret part that is continually subtracted from or added to its actualisaton: in contrast with the state of affairs, it neither begins nor ends but has gained and kept the infinite movement to which it gives consistency. [p. 146-7]
• Enrique Vila-Matas, Bartleby & Co.
(The narrator has written a letter to himself, imagining it to have come from ‘Derain’, who give advice concerning ‘Bartlebys’ that could be included in the book of notes on Bartleby’s in literature.) Include Marcel Duchamp in your book about Bartleby’s shadow. Duchamp knew that shadow personally. He made it with his own hands. [p. 57]
In reality Scapolo is frightening, because he walks straight through a terrible zone, a zone of shadows which is also where the most radical of denials has its home and where the blast of coldness, in short is a blast of destruction. [p. 65.]
• Reza Negarestani, ‘Machines are Digging: Porous Earth and Emergence’
The Unground is a shadow outside of time and space.
Alain Badiou, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, Hallward, (trans.) London: Verso, 2001.
[The human animal] has succeeded in harnessing to the service of his mortal life his own peculiar ability – his ability to take up a position along the course of truths such that he acquires an Immortal aspect. This is what Plato had already anticipate, when he indicated that the duty of these who escape from his famous cave, dazzled by the sun of the Idea, was to return to the shadows and to help their companions in servitude to profit from that by which, on the threshold of this dark world, they had been seize. [p.59]
From ‘Madness and Repetition: The Absence of Work in Deleuze, Fourcault, and Jacques Martin’, by Eleanor Kaufman, published in Deleuze & Guattari: New Mappings in Politics, Philosophy and Culture, London: University of Minnesota Press, 1998.
Foucault’s very language resonates with the trill of the double: “lining unlined, there is no longer anything but a silence, a look, slow motion gestures that unfold in the empty space beneath the masks”; or, “tear that unlines the double and immediately restores it to its marvelous unity”; or still, “it is a question of the same figure of a language split in two, inside of which a visible scene, produced by this distance’s single call, takes up its abode”; and, finally, “this gentle shadow that makes things visible from beneath their surface and their masks and allows one to speak about them, isn’t this from their birth, the proximity of death, of death that unlines the world like the peeling of fruit?” [p. 232]
• Octavio Paz on Adolfo Bioy Casares quoted by Suzanne Jill Levine in her introduction to Bioy Casares’ The Invention of Morel.
The body is imaginary, and we bow to the tyranny of a phantom. Love is a privileged perception, the most total and lucid not only of the unreality of the world but of our own unreality: not only do we traverse a realm of shadows; we ourselves are shadows.
Adolfo Bioy Casares‘ narrator in The Invention of Morel, Ruth L. C. Simms, (trans.), published by New York Review of Books, 2003
Although I have been making entries in this diary at regular intervals, I have not had a chance to work on the books that I hoped to write as a kind of justification for my shadowy life on this earth.  [ p. 20]


the owl
Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows, Thomas J. Harper & Edward G. Seidensticker (trans.) Stony Creek: Leete’s Island Books, 1977.
And while I am talking of this whiteness I want to talk also of the color of the darkness that enfolds it. I think of an unforgettable vision of darkness I once had when I took a friend from Tokyo to the old Sumiya teahouse in Kyoto. I was in a large room, the “Pine Room” I think, since destroyed by fire, and the darkness, broken only by a few candles, was of a richness quite different from the darkness of a small room. As we came in the door an elderly waitress with shaven eyebrows and blackened teeth was kneeling by a candle behind which stood a large screen. On the far side of the screen, at the edge of the little circle of light, the darkness seemed to fall from the ceiling, lofty, intense, monolithic, the fragile light of the candle unable to pierce its thickness, turned back as from a black wall. I wonder if my readers know the color of that “darkness seen by candlelight.” It was different in quality from darkness on the road at night. It was a repletion, a pregnancy of tiny particles like fine ashes, each particle luminous as a rainbow. I blinked in spite of myself, as though to keep it out of my eyes.
Smaller rooms are the fashion now, and even if one were to use candles in them one would not get the color of that darkness; but in the old palace and the old house of pleasure the ceilings were high, the skirting corridors were wide, the rooms themselves were usually tens of feet long and wide, and the darkness must always have pressed in like a fog. The elegant aristocrat of old was immersed in this suspension of ashen particles, soaked in it, but the man of today, long used to the electric light, has forgotten that such a darkness existed. It must have been simple for specters to appear in a “visible darkness,” where always something seemed to be flickering and shimmering, a darkness that on occasion held greater terrors than darkness out-of-doors. This was the darkness in which ghosts and monsters were active, and indeed was not the woman who lived in it, behind think curtains, behind layer after layer of screens and doors — was she not of a kind with them? The darkness wrapped her round tenfold, twentyfold, it filled the collar, the sleeves of her kimono, the folds of her skirt, wherever a hollow invited. Further yet: might it not have been the reverse, might not the darkness have emerged from her mouth and those black teeth, from the black of her hair, like the thread from the great earth spider? [p. 34-35]
Catherine Malabou, Ontology of the Accident: An Essay on Destructive Placticity, Carolyn Shread (trans.) Cambridge: Polity, 2012.
[Explosive plasticity may emerge] from apparently anodyne events, which ultimately prove to be veritable traumas inflecting the course of a life, producing the metamorphosis of someone about whom one says: I would never have guessed they would have “ended up like that.” A vital hitch, a threatening detour that opens up another pathway, one that is unexpected, unpredictable, dark.
Charles Moore, introduction to In Praise of Shadows by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, Stony Creek: Leet’s Island Books, 1977.
…for us the act of inhabitation is mostly performed in cahoots with the sun, our staunchest ally… It comes with the thrill of a slap for us then to hear praise of shadows and darkness; so it is when there comes to us the excitement of realising that musicians everywhere make their sounds to capture silence or that architects develop complex shapes just to envelop empty space. Thus darkness illuminates for us a culture very different from our own…
Slavoj Žižek, How to read Lacan, London: Granta, 2006.
… in German Idealism, the metaphor for the core of subjectivity is Night, the ‘Night of the world’, in contrast to the Enlightenment notion of the light of reason fighting the darkness around. [p. 48]
JG Ballard, ‘Screen Games’, The Complete Short Stories Volume 1, London: Harper Perennial, 2006.
During the next days I painted several new screens, duplicating the zodiacal emblems, so that each afternoon the game became progressively slower and more intricate, the thirty screens forming a multiple labyrinth. For a few minutes, at the climax of the game, I would find Emerelda in the dark centre with the screens jostling and tilting around her, the sculpture on the roof hooting in the narrow interval of open sky. [p. 753]
Peggy Phelan, ‘Whole wounds: bodies at the vanishing point’, Mourning Sex: Performing Public Memories, London: Routledge, 1997.
Western theatre is itself predicated on the belief that there is an audience, an other willing to be cast in the role of auditor. The “act” at the heart of theatre making is the leap of faith that someone (that ideal spectator some call “God”) will indeed see, hear, and love those brave enough to admit that this is the movement that keeps us from our deaths (or at least from permanently dark houses). [p. 31]
Susan Buck-Morss, The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project, London: MIT, 1991.
[Quoting WB] The “compact darkness” that at night seemed to leap out of the Passages at passers-by, causing them to hurry away in fear, are like “the places one was shown in ancient Greece that descended into Hades”; their “history, condition and dispersal” become this century’s key to the past, to the “underworld into which Paris sank.” [p. 102]
[Quoting WB] “Fashion, like architecture,  [. . . ] stands in the darkness of the lived moment. He has taken this phrase from Ernst Bloch. It is central to Bloch’s social utopian philosophy, describing the mystical “nunc stans,” the momentary, fleeting experience of fulfillment dimly anticipatory of a reality that is “not yet.” [p. 114]
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness, New York: Harper & Row, 1969.
Kenneth Goldsmith, Uncreative Writing: Mannaging Language in the Digital Age, London: Columbia University Press, 2011.

Although we tend to focus on the vast amount of human-to-human social networking being produced, much of the conversation across [the internet] is machines talking to other machines, spewing “dark data,” code we never see. [p. 224]
Gabriel Josipovici, Whatever Happened to Modernism?, London: Yale University Press, 2010.

the very confidence of the articulation of the [illustrative] narrative gives the lie to our own sense of things being confused, dark, impossible to grasp fully. [p. 164]
Achille Bonito Oliva, Art Tribes, Skira, 2002.
In the darkness of their consumption images become interchangeable. They are lodged in the memory and end up constituting the heritage of a collective imaginary museum. [p. 56]
Peter Sloterdijk, Bubbles: Spheres I, Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2011.
… we shall weave the fiction that we are able to split our adventurous intelligence in such a way that one half of it takes up position in the entry ramp to the mystical cave — still viewing it from the outside, that is — while the other half is initiated to enter the homogeneous totality of darkness. [p. 285]
Elias Canetti, Crowds and Power, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1973.
Man petrifies and darkens in the distances he has created [p. 19]
Carlos Castaneda, The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, London: Penguin, 2004.
I saw the dark sky above me, and the clouds going by me. I jerked my body so I could look down. I saw the dark mass of the mountains. My speed was extraordinary. My arms were fixed, folded against my sides. My head was the directional unity. If I kept it bent backwards I made vertical circles. I changed direction by turning my head to the side. I enjoyed such freedom and swiftness as I had never known before. The marvellous darkness gave me a feeling of sadness, of longing, perhaps. It was is if I had found a place where I belonged – the darkness of the night. I tried to look around, but all I sensed was that the night was serene, and yet it held so much power. [p. 125]
Alain Badiou, ‘The Unreconciled’, The Century, trans. Alberto Toscano, Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007.
… The obscure  (almost ontological) tie that binds a satisfied Europe to a crucified Africa. Africa as the secret blackness at the heart of the white man’s moral detergent. [p. 27]
John Fowles, The Magus, London: Vintage, 2004.
I had always believed, and not only out of cynicism, that a man and a woman could tell in the first ten minutes whether they wanted to go to bed together; and that the time that passed after those first ten minutes represented a tax, which might be work paying if the article promised to be really enjoyable, but which nine times out of ten became rapidly excessive. It wasn’t only that I foresaw a very steep bill with Julie; she shook my whole theory. She had a certain exhalation of surrender about her, as if she was a door waiting to be pushed open; but it was the darkness beyond that held me. [p. 241 - 242]
Italo Calvino, Six Memos for the Next Millennium, London: Vintage, 1996. (quoting Giacomo Leopardi in Zibaldone)
The words notte, noturno [night, nocturnal], etc., descriptions of the night, etc., are highly poetic because, as night makes objects blurred, the  mind receives only a vague, indistinct, incomplete image, both of night itself and of what it contains. Thus also with oscurità [darkness]… [p. 58]
China Miéville, Kraken: An Anatomy, London: Pan Books, 2010.
Billy nodded slowly. The nod mutated until it was a shake of the head. “It doesn’t make any sense,” Billy Said. He closed his eyes and tried to think. He looked into the black behind his own eyes as if it was the black of the sea. He tried to reach down into it, for some deep intuition. He could reach, and feel, nothing. [p. 229]
Kraken give me strenght, he prayed. Give me strength out of your deep darkness. [p. 280]
Samuel Beckett, Texts For Nothing, trans, Samuel Beckett, London: Calder & Boyars, 1974.
And yet it’s changing, something is changing, it must be in the head, slow in the head the ragdoll rotting, perhaps we’re in a head, it’s as dark as in a head before the worms get at it, ivory dungeon. [p. 13.]
Hans Fallada, Alone in Berlin, London: Penguin, 2009.
They toss and turn, each listens to the other’s breathing, and in the end they start to talk. It’s easier to talk in the dark. [p. 143.]
David Toop, Sinister Resonance: The Mediumship of the Listener, London: Continuum, 2010 (describing his early interest in James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans)
Cooper wrote frequently of a ‘breathing silence’ through which the harried protagonists must pass, often in darkness or concealment [p. viii]
All of us, or should I say those of us equipped from the beginning with the faculty of hearing, begin as eavesdroppers in darkness [p. ix]
H. P. Lovecraft, The Colour Out of Space, London: Penguin Modern Classics, 2011.
The night had been dark and the buggy-lamps faint, but around a farm in the valley which everyone knew from the account must be Nahum’s the darkness had been less thick. A dim though distinct luminosity seemed to inhere in all the vegetation, grass, leaves, and blossoms alike, while at one moment a detached piece of the phosphorescence appeared to stir furtively in the yard near the barn. [p. 20.]
Michel Foucault, ‘The Thought of the Outside’, Essential Writings, Vol. 2
One is attracted precisely to the extent that one is neglected. This is why zeal can only consist in neglecting that negligence, in oneself becoming a courageously negligent solicitude, in going towards the light in negligence of shadow, until it is discovered that the light itself is only negligence, a pure outside equivalent to a darkness that disperses, like a blown-out candle, the negligent zeal it had attracted.
[its] perpetual manifestation never illuminates what the law says or wants: the law is not the principle or inner rule of conduct. It is the outside and envelopes actions, thereby removing them from all interiority; it is the darkness beyond their borders… [p. 156-157]
Antonin Artaud, ‘Theatre and the Plague’, The Theatre and its Double, trans, Victor Corti, London: Calder Publications, 1993.
‘… out of the mental freedom with which the plague evolved without any rats, germs or contact, we can deduce the dark ultimate action of a spectacle I am going to try and analyse.’ [p. 14]
Giorgio Agamben, ‘What is Contemporary’ in What is an Apparatus, ed. Werner Hamacher, trans, David Kishik & Stefan Pedatella, Stanford: Standford University Press, 2009.
The contemporary his he who firmly holds his gaze on his own time so as to perceive not it’s light, but rather its darkness. All eras, for those who experience contemporariness, are obscure. The contemporary is precisely the person who knows how to see this obscurity, who is able to write by dipping his pen in the obscurity of the present. But what does it mean, “to see an obscurity,” “to perceived the darkness”?
The neurophysiology of vision suggests an initial answer. What happens when we find ourselves in ta place deprived of light, or when we close our eyes? What is the darkness that we see then? Neurophysiologists tell us that the absence of light activates a series of peripheral cells n the retina called “off-cells.” When activated, these cells produce the particular kind of vision that we call darkness. Darkness is not, therefore, a privative notion (the simple absence of light, or something like nonvision) but rather the result of the activity of the “off-cells,” a product of our own retina. This means, if we now return to our thesis on the darkness of contemporariness, that to perceived this darkness is not a form of inertia or of passivity, but rather implies an activity and a singular ability. In our case, this ability amounts to a neutralization of the lights that come from the epoch in order to discover its obscurity, its special darkness, which is not, however, separable from those lights… The contemporary is the one whose eyes are struck by the beam of darkness that comes from his own time.
In the firmament that we observe at night, the stars shine brightly, surrounded by a thick darkness… [p. 44-47.]
John Ashbery, Introduction to Raymond Roussel, How I Wrote Certain of my Books, ed. Trevor Winfield, Cambridge: Exact Change, 1995.
… there is hidden in Roussel something so strong, so ominous and so pregnant with the darkness of the “infinite spaces” that frightened Pascal, that one feels the need for  some sort of protective equipment when one reads him. Perhaps the nature of his work is such that it must be looked at “from the outside” [Cocteau] or not at all. [p. viii.]
Georges Perec, A Man Asleep, trans. Andrew Leak,  London: Harvil, 1999.
As soon as you close your eyes, the adventure of sleep begins. The familiar half-light of the bedroom, a dark volume broken by details, where your memory can easily identify the paths your eyes have followed a thousand times (retracing them from the opaque square of the window, eliciting the washbasin from a shaft of reflected light and the shelving from the slightly less dark shadow of a book, distinguishing the blacker mass of the hanging clothes). [p.133]
Jorge Luis Borges, ‘The Secret Miracle’, Labyrinths, London: Penguin, 1970.
He thought how he still had two acts to do, and that he was going to die very soon. He spoke with God in the darkness: ‘If in some fashion I exist, if I am not one of Your repetitions and mistakes, I exist as the author of The Enemies. To finish this drama, which can justify me and justify you, I need another year. Grant me these days, You to whom the centuries and time belong.’ This was the last night, the most dreadful of all, but ten minutes later sleep flooded over him like a dark water. [p.122]
Louis-Ferdinand Celine, Journey To The End of The Night, John Calder, 1997.
I knew only one thing about the blackness, which was so dense you had the impression that if you stretched out your arm a litle way from your shoulder you’d never see it again, but onf that one thing I was absolutely certain, namely, that it as full of homicidal impulses. [P.27]
Everything that’s important goes on in the karkness, no doubt about it. [P.62]
Giorgio Agamben, ‘On Potentiality’, Potentialities: Collected Essays in Philosophy, Stanford University Press California, 1999.
…Aristotle answers the question we posed above, namely: “Why is there not sensation of the senses themselves”? Earlier we answered the question by saying that it is so “because sensation is only potential.” Now we are in a position to understand what this means. When we do not see (that is, when our vision is potential), we nevertheless distinguish darkness from light; we see darkness. The principle of sight “in some way possesses color,” and its colors and light and darkness, actuality and potentiality, presence and privation.
Potentiality for Darkness
The following essential point should be noted: if potentiality were, for example, only the potentiality for vision and if it existed only as such in the actuality of light, we could never experience darkness (nor hear silence, in the case of the potentiality to hear). But human beings can, instead, see shadows (to skotos), they can experience darkness: they have the potential not to see, the possibility of privation.
In his commentary on De anima, Themistius writes:
If sensation did not have the potentiality both for actuality and for not-Being-actual and if it were always actual, it would never be able to perceived darkness [skotos], nor could it ever hear silence. In the same way, if thought were not capable both of thought and of the absence of thought [anoia, thoughlessness], it would never be able to know the formless [amorphon], evil, the without-figure [aneidon]. If the intellect did not have a community [koinonein] with potentiality, it would not know privation.
The greatness – and also the abyss – of human potentiality is that it is first of all potential not to act, potential for darkness. (In Homer, skotos is the darkness that overcomes human beings at the moment of their death. Human beings are capable of experiencing this skotos.)
What is at issue here is nothing abstract. What, for example, is boredom, if not the experience of the potentiality-not-to-act? This is why it is such a terrible experience, which borders on both good and evil.
To be capable of good and evil is not simply to be capable of doing this or that good or bad action (every particular good or bad action is, in this sense, banal). Radical evil is not this or that bad deed but the potentiality for darkness. And yet this potentiality is also the potentiality for light.
Sebald, W.G., Austerlitz, London: Penguin, 2002
Even now, when I try to remember them, when I look back at the crab-like plan of Breendonk and read the words of the captions – Former Office, Printing Works, Huts, Jacques Ochs Hall, Solitary Confinement Cell, Mortuary, Relics Store and Museum – the darkness does not lift but becomes yet heavier as I think how little we can hold in mind, how everything is constantly lapsing into oblivion with every extinguished life, how the world is, as it were, draining itself, in that the history of countless places and objects which themselves have no power of memory is never heard, never described or passed on. Histories, for instance, like those of the straw mattresses which lay, shadow-like, on the stacked plank beds and which had become thinner and shorter because the chaff in them disintegrated over the years, shrunken – and now, in writing this, I do remember that such an idea occurred to me at the time – as if they were the mortal frames of those who once lay there in that darkness. [P.30-31]
Agamben, G. ‘The Author as Gesture’, Profanations, Zone Books, New York, 2007
An author-subject does exist, and yet he is attested to only through the traces of his absence. But in what way can an absence be singular? And what does it mean for an individual to occupy the place of a dead man, to leave his own traces in an empty place?
There is perhaps only one text in Foucault’s work where this difficulty emerges explicitly and thematically and where the illegibility of the subject appears for a moment in all its splender. I am referring to “Lives of Infamous Men,” originally conceived as the preface to an anthology of archival documents, prison records, and lettres de cachet, in which, at the very moment when they are struck with infamy, the encounter with power pulls from darkness and silence these human existences that would otherwise not have left any traces…
The anonymous scribes, the insignificant functionaries who wrote these notes certainly had no intention of either knowing or representing these men: their only aim was to stamp them with infamy. And yet, at least for a moment in these pages, these lives shine blindingly with a dark light. [p. 64-66]
Robert Walser, quoted by Enrique Vila-Matas in Bartleby & Co., London: Vintage, 2005.
Were a wave to lift me and carry me to the heights, where power and prestige are predominant, I would destroy the circumstances that have favoured me and hurl myself downwards, to the vile, insignificant darkness. Only in the lower regions am I able to breathe. [p.18-19]
I have an non-existent story I wish to tell,” explains the narrator. This novel was originally called Letters to Captain Nemo and later changed its title to No-One Behind the Door. It came about in the spring of 1977, during a fortnight of rural existence and bliss in a small town near Siena.
Having finished the novel, the narrator says he sent it to an editor, who rejected it because he considered it not easily accessible and hard to decipher. So the narrator decided to keep it in a drawer to allow it to settle (“darkness and oblivion are good for stories, I think”) A few years later, the novel turns up in the narrator’s hands again by chance, the discovery giving him a strange sensation, because in fact he had forgotten all about it: “It suddenly appeared in the darkness of a drawer, beneath a mass of papers, like a submarine emerging from dark depths.”
The Narrator in Enrique Vila-Matas’ Bartleby & Co. [p.102] discussing Story of a Non-Existent Story from Tabucchi’s The Flying Creatures of Fra Angelico.
Hawthorne and Melville, unwitting founders of the dark hours of the art of the No, knew each other, they were friends, and expressed mutual admiration. Hawthorne was also a Puritan, even in his violent reaction to certain aspects of Puritanism. He was also restless. He was never one to go to church, but we know that during his years as a recluse he would approach his window and watch those making their way to church, and his look is said to have contained the brief history of the Dark Side in the art of the No. His vision was clouded by the terrible Calvinist doctrine of predestination. This is the side to Hawthorne that so fascinated Melville, who to praise him spoke of the great power of blackness, that nocturnal side that we find in Melville as well. [p.105]
… the case of [literary] failures, all things considered, is not especially interesting, it’s too obvious, there is no merit in being a writer of the No because you have failed. Failure throws too much light and not enough shade of mystery on the cases of those who give up writing for such a vulgar reason. [p.106]
Alan Bourassa in ‘Literature, Language and the Non-Human’, published in A Shock to Thought: Expression After Deleuze & Guattari, Routledge, London, 2002. [page refs to follow]
Human or non-human? Our own creation or a gift that obsesses us? We might think of language as we would think of an apparition out of the darkness of an empty road. Is it a fellow wanderer? Does it share my nature and is it haunted by the silence and mystery of the darkness? Does it fear and ward off the imminent reality of the outside? Is it powerless to fight the spirit that possesses it? And can I speak to it? Gain comfort in a shared humanness? Or is this figure itself a secretion of the darkness? A ghost sent to haunt and possess me? Even if it shows compassion for my plight, will its infinite power over me always make it a stranger?
Emotion, sensation, possibility, material, force, all have their place in language. And though we may argue along with Benjamin that it is only in the human that the most perfect language takes place, we must also argue (and not against Benjamin) that human language has nothing to communicate of the non-human world without that non-human world communicating itself to him. What, for example, is less human than light? Less removed from the fleshy weight of the body, the torpidity of muscle? And yet what is more the basis of human knowledge and understanding, Heidegger’s Dasein standing in the lighted clearing of Being? How much is clarity, uncovering, dispelling of darkness the proudest achievement of the human mind? This is what I mean when I say that affect is non-human, yet far from being hostile to the human, gives it the gift of possibility

Vonnegut, K., Mother Night.
In preparing this edition of the confessions of Howard W. Campbell, Jr., I have had to deal with writings concerned with more than mere informing or deceiving… The title of this book is Campbell’s. It is taken from a speech by Mephistopheles in Goethe’s Faust. As translated by Carlyle F. MacIntyre (New Directions, 1941), the speech is this:
I am part of the part that at first was all, part of the darkness that gave birth to light, that supercilious light which now disputes with Mother Night her ancient rank and space, and yet can not succeed; no matter how it struggles, it sticks to matter and can’t get free. Light flows from substance, makes it beautiful; solids can check its path, so I hope it won’t be long till light and the world’s stuff are destroyed together. [p. x - xi]
McEwan, I. Atonement, London: QPD, 2002.
She paused in the entrance to the drawing room and observed that the chocolate-smeared cocktail glasses had yet to be cleared away, and that the doors into the garden still stood open. Now the faintest stirring of a breeze rustled the display of sedge that stood before the fire place. Two or three stout-bodied moths circled the lamp that stood upon the harpsichord. When would anyone ever play it again? That at night creatures were drawn to lights where they could be most easily eaten by other creatures was one of those mysteries that gave her modest pleasure. She preferred not to have it explained away. At a formal dinner once a professor of some science or other, wanting to make small-talk, had pointed out a few insects gyrating above a candelabra. He had told her that it is the visual impression of an even deeper darkness beyond the light that drew them in. Even though they might be eaten, they had to obey the instinct that made them seek out the darkest place, on the far side of the light – and in this case it was an illusion. It sounded to her like sophistry, or an explanation for its own sake. How could anyone presume to know the world through the eyes of an insect? Not everything had a cause, and pretending otherwise was an interference in the workings of the world that was futile and could even lead to grief. Some things were simply so. [p.148-149]
Casati, R., Varzi, A.C., Holes and Other Superficialities, London: MIT, 1994
A spot in the wall. Let us start with some facts from daily life. Suppose you wake up one morning and look at the white wall in front of you. It is the usual wall you see every morning, of course. But this time, right there in the top left corner, something new catches your eye: you see that a little hole is now there that was not there yesterday.
How do you describe what you see? A spot in the wall, darker than the rest, filled with shadow, that goes deep inside (though you cannot really tell how deep). It looks unitary and complete, compact, though less dense than the wall. A thing, perhaps, but a bit mysterious. It is not made of the shadow you see. It is not even made of the sort of stuff ordinary things are ordinarily made of: not of the air that is inside it, nor of the plaster and bits of paint that have fallen on the floor over night. In fact, if it is something, it does not seem to be made of anything. [p9]
Concavities. Let us go back to our hole in the wall. We argued that it is the presence of a discontinuity in the wall’s surface that makes you see the hole – the dark, shadowy spot that goes deep inside. It is the discontinuity that marks the hole and gives it the individual integrity that caught your attention – unlike other superficial parts of the wall that you never noticed and perhaps never will. And it is this particular type of discontinuity that makes this a hole as opposed to, say, a bump or a protuberance: the dark spot is a hole because the discontinuity involves a concavity. [p19]
Michael Richardson, ‘The Look of Colette Peignot’, Inventory Vol.5 Nos.2 & 3
The injunction ‘don’t accept’ is turned positive, negation attains its apotheosis in a scattering of diamonds on a dark night. [p.69]
Virginia Woolf, To The Lighthouse, London: Penguin, 1996.
… For now she need not think about anybody. She could be herself, by herself. And that was what now she often felt the need of – to think; well not even to think. To be silent; to be alone. All the being and the doing, expansive, glittering, vocal, evaporated; and one shrunk, with a sense of solemnity, to being oneself, a wedge-shaped core of darkness, something invisible to others. [p.95]
… Lily Briscoe knew all that, Sitting opposite him, could she not see, as in an X-ray photography, the ribs and thigh bones of the young man’s desire to impress himself, lying dark in the mist of his flesh – that thin mist which convention had laid over his burning desire to break into the conversation? [p.137]
Claude Burgelin, ‘Georges Perec, or the Spirit of Beginnings’, Pereckonings, Yale University Press, 2004.
Penser/classer is a libretto of beginnings. Perec responds to Descartes’s magnificent assertion – “I think therefore I am” – with a modest and groping: “I don’t think but I’m searching for my words.” His manner of zigzagging about in order to better “refer thinking back to the unthought [l'impensé] on which it rests, and the classifiied to the unclassifiable (the unnameable, the unsayable) which it is so eager to disguise” is clearly a way of keeping alive the link between thought-words [mots-pensées] and the vacillation, hesitation, and treacherous darkness from which they emerge. [p.13]
Alphonso Lingis, The Imperative, Indiana University Press, 1998.
A Field of perceived things is not the basic form of our sentient contact with our environment. We must elaborate a phenomenology of the levels upon which things take form, the kinds of space, the sensuous elements, and the night. [p.5]
As the day comes to and end, the twilight dissolves the surfaces, absorbing their colours, leaving their reflections suspended in space. The luminous transparency is open spaces condensed into beams and phosphorescence. Things lose their separateness. The shadows advance over the colors and the contours that they outlined are lost. Darkness infiltrates the landscape, obliterating its paths and filling up its open planes. Overhead the blue of the atmosphere recedes and the starlights drift over unmeasureable distances.
The electrification of human habitats maintains this twilight and stops the oncoming of the night. Along city streets the shop windows, restaurants, bars, and discos enclose twilight havens where the hard edges of things are softened into glows and reflections.
When the night itself is there, there is no longer anything to see. The cries, murmurs, and rumbles no longer locate separate beings signalling one another or colliding with one another on observable coordinates. Shouts or distant lights do not mark locations in the night but make the whole of the night vibrant. The odors drift. The ground which we feel and which extends indefinitely about us no longer supports things in their places. What we touch adheres to our hands and is no longer the contours of something closed over its own structure and substance. The rain no longer streaks the distance of its fall.
Though there is no longer anything to see, we see and do not see nothingness. We see the darkness. The night is not a black mass that stops our sight on the surfaces of our eyes; our look goes out into the night which is vast and boundless. The sense of sight can be taut and acute in the depths of the dark. The night is not a substance but an event; it pervades a space freed from barriers and horizons. It extends a duration which moves without breaking up into moments; night comes incessantly in a presence which does not mark a residue as past nor outline a different presence to come.
The darkness which softly wipes away the urgencies and the destinations and the hard edges of reality is felt in a enjoyment that conforms to its depths without resistance and that gives itself over to the rumble of the city and the murmur of nature, to the silken, mossy, and liquid substances that caress our bodies, to the odors and savors adrift in their own space. The visible night gives way to a high noon of sounds, odors, and textures.
When we close our doors to forces that may prey on us under the cover of darkness, we redouble the visible night with an auditory night, an olfactory night, a tactile night… [p.10]
In the darkness of the crowded bus, we feel the warmth of the body of the passenger next to us and the shiftings that stir from within. We do not make contact with his sensibility through some visible surfaces we see, some sounds we hear, and for which we find evidence that the other sees and hears them too. With no quasi-determinate sense of what it is the other sees and hears, we are awake with the sense of another sensibility in the dark parallel to our own. [p.20]
Cary  Wolfe writing in his introduction to The Parasite, by Michel Serres, London: University of Minnesota Press, 1997.
… Serres suggests that therefore “the system is very badly named. maybe there is not or never was a system.” “The only instances or systems are black boxes,” he continues:
When we do not understand, when we defer our knowledge to a later date, when the thing is too complex for the means at hand, when we put everything in a temporary black box, we prejudge the existence of a system. When we can finally open the box, we see that it works like a space of transformation. The only systems, instances, and substances come from our lack of knowlege. The system is nonknowledge. The other side of nonknowledge. One side of nonknowledge is chaos; the other, system. Knowledge forms a bridge between the two banks. Knowledge as such is a s pace of transformation.

Georges Bataille quoted by Allan Stoekl in Bataille’s Peak: Energy, Religion and Postsustainability, University of Minnesota Press, London 2007, from Visions of Excess.
In practice it is possible to give as a leitmotiv of Gnosticism the conception of matter as an active principle having an eternal,  autonomous existence, which is that of darkness (which would not be the absence of light but the monstrous archons revealed by that absence), that of evil (which would not be the absence of good, but a creative action). [p. 47]
John Mullarkey quoting William James on Henri Bergson’s Creative Evolution (Henry Holt & Co. New York, 1911), in ‘The Rule of Dichotomy: Bergson’s Genetics of Matter, Pli: The Warwick Journal of Philosophy,  Volume 15 (2004), p128.
William James was taken aback by what he saw as its profuse originality, warning Bergson in a letter from 1907 that this work ‘risks remaining in darkness for a hundred years’.
Alain Badiou, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, Hallward, (trans.) London: Verso 2001.
[The human animal] has succeeded in harnessing to the service of his mortal life his own peculiar ability – his ability to take up a position along the course of truths such that he acquires an Immortal aspect. This is what Plato had already anticipate, when he indicated that the duty of these who escape from his famous cave, dazzled by the sun of the Idea, was to return to the shadows and to help their companions in servitude to profit from that by which, on the threshold of this dark world, they had been seize. [p. 59]
Jean-Luc Nancy, ‘The Distinct’, The Ground of The Image, Fordham University Press, 2005.
Such is the image: it must be detached, placed outside and before one’s eyes (it is therefore inseparable from a hidden surface, from which it cannot, as it were, be peeled away: the dark side of the picture, its underside or backside, or even its weave or its subjectile), and it must be different from the thing. The image is a thing that is not the thing: it distinguishes itself from it, essentially. [p. 2]

From W. G. Sebald’s Austerlitz
“… I took refuge in the zoo by the Astridplein, next to the Centraal Station, waiting for the pain to subside. I sat there on a bench in dappled shade, beside an aviary full of brightly feathered finches and siskins fulttering about. As the afternoon drew to a close I walked through the park, and finally went to see the Nocturama, which had first been opened only a few months earlier. It was some time before my eyes became used to its artificial dusk, and I could make out the different animals leading their sombrous lives behind the glass by the light of a pale moon. I cannot now recall exactly what creatures I saw on that visit to the Antwerp Nocturama, but there were probably bats and jerboas from Egypt and the Gobi Desert, native European hedgehogs and owls, Austrialian opossums, pine martens, Dormice and lemurs, leaping from branch to branch, darting back and forth over the greyish-yellow sandy ground, or disappearing into a bamboo thicket. The only animal which has remained lingering in my memory is the racoon. I watched for a long time as it sat beside a little stream with a serious expression on its face, washing the same pice of apple over and over again, as if it hoped that all this washing, which went far beyond any reasonable thoroughness, would nelp it to escape the unreal world in which it had arrived, so to speak, through no fault of its own. Otherwise, all I remember of the denziens of the Nocturama is that reveral of them had strikingly large eyes, and the fixed,

inquiring gaze found in certain painters and philosophers who seek to penetrate the darkness

which surrounds us purely by means of looking and thinking.”
“These sensations associated with night falling early in the winter city, or just after the beginning of term towards the end of autumn when the lights are already coming on earlier in the shabby shop windows of the neighbourhood bakeries or grocers, while it’s still fairly mild and a fine drizzle sprinkles gleaming light onto the unevenly paved streets, and charcoal grey pavements where the last decaying leaves from the plane trees cling, musky and glistening …I’ve often mentioned these very vivid (yet peaceful) sensations of evening calm, welcoming lamps, the distant hum of the city, vegetable soup, the lampshade covered with scorched paper as possibly the main reasons that impelled me to write a novel. I know exactly what it means to take up writing, having noticed the yellow of an old wall.”
Alain Robbe-Grillet, Ghosts in the Mirror, John Calder, London 1988.

Neil Chapman is an artist and writer. His work explores material textual practices, questions concerning visuality in art and writing, collaborative method, and the histories of these themes. In June 2013 his book Diagrams for Seriality will be published by Copy Press, London.

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