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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Let us presume

In which we visit the salon


So I'm thinking about Edith Stein, and this is the thing she wrote I'm thinking of, 'Let Us Describe':
Let us describe how they went. It was a very windy night and the road although in excellent condition and extremely well graded has many turnings and although the curves are not sharp the rise is considerable. It was a very windy night and some of the larger vehicles found it more prudent not to venture. In consequence some of those who had planned to go were unable to do so. Many others did go and there was a sacrifice, of what shall we, a sheep, a hen, a cock, a village, a ruin, and all that and then that having been blessed let us bless it.
This is one of her more coherent prose poems and personally all of Stein seems to make little sense and I'm not the only one who thinks so. Yet so many others loved/love her. Because what is happening in in 'Let Us Describe'? First the title sounds like an invocation. By the time you're done you're thinking maybe at a funeral, because of 'how they went' and all the blessing at the end. This is story but what the hell happens? It all seems an accident -- of writing, of description, of story. And does it matter what it's really about, isn't it about what we make it about? Because we long to make linear, happy ending sense of things. Edith doesn't even try (Tender Buttons, et al.). All I have in common with Edith is the describe part -- see the last post. (And others.) I keep spotting bald eagles on my way to and from work and in bed during all the nights, think about how somebody might write about them, in some little poetic paragraph thing, if one were inclined to do so, which I'm not ('Eagles Over Aboite'?). This slim commonality made me think about Edith, who was inclined to write about these modernist, random things. She's incoherent and I'm inchoate. Although I certainly do like to describe things, but because I am for common sensibility in writing, will tell you about where the Tupperware reference comes from, which you will thank me for in just a couple of lines. I keep my notes about Stein (and others) in letter-size plastic container things with lids that lock, which are not Tupperware but remind me of it. If I can't write about bald eagles, at least I'm not writing about stuff like (actual Stein things):

Water Raining
Water astonishing and difficult altogether makes a meadow and a stroke.

Malachite
The sudden spoon is the same in no size. The sudden spoon is the wound in the decision.

You. Are. Welcome.


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