The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

February 7, 2002


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Beginnings of an essay ready to be abandoned



Elsewhere i've written about the characters I use as emanants or source-
less semiotic spews that coagulate as characters, take on a life of their
own - one that I follow with insistence. They also form a bypass or excuse
- if I want to say something childish or out-of-sorts; if I'm in a bad
mood - if I want to present something dubious, something erroneous - I can
call on Nikuko or Jennifer - none of them care...

These people help, but they also get in the way. My main concern is philo-
sophy, not literature; I want my work to be taken seriously as theoretical
thought. In Nietzsche's time, or Kierkegaard's, both branches might well
intertwine, as they do in Derrida for example. But there's a cost involved
- a general referentiality to the dominion of the philosophers or theor-
ists - which is absent in my work, as Julu, for example, will have a
spirited conversation with Jennifer in a MOO. Who can untangle both the
stylistic and application involved - not to mention the sentiment? One can
write all one wants about postmodernity, virtuality, subjectivity, epis-
temology, ontology, and so forth - but one must do this through the proper
channels...

My dreams aren't full of them - not even Jennifer, the first - not even
Alan. Instead there are shattered and strobed screens, prompts as part-
objects, control passages and program transformations. I think of floating
signifiers, sememes with contusions, shattered commands I don't quite
understand. Among other things these are the deconstructions of avatars,
breakdowns of characters: bones. Out of the dreams other assemblages
arise, heading towards language, program, text.

I can always fall back on the dreams - against the logics of genre, for
example. It's that logic of the unconscious again. I'll use programs -
collectively called "julu programs" - as catalysts. I wrote the following
- you can see how disordered everything is - I'll read axiomatics, the
care and Kehre of reasoning - then turn - Mobius strip - anyway I wrote
the following just this evening in another context:

"Here's a major point for me. I've never been that interested in poetry or
literature/style generators, mainly because I'm interesting in a kind of
writing of urgency or writing that insists on a semantic world or
"sememe." I'm not that interested in abstraction per se which - for me -
underlies generated work. I'm trying to work out philosophical issues,
issues dealing with virtuality, etc., and so generation - unless it were
revealing something about language itself - isn't that interesting to me."

"That being said (sorry I'm writing awkwardly - I'm dizzy from some
medication) - when I first programmed, it was on a Texas Instruments 59
calculator with 1k of programming space, and one of the things I did was
make a text generator with maybe 100 words in it. There was a lot of very
very (for me) tight programming; it was all indirect addressing and
abbreviation to fit it in. But it ran and produced a series of texts. What
I did learn about through this was the way structure works (as well as
indirect addressing) in relation to language -"

"And _that_ being said - I tend to use the programs for catalysts, almost
for revealing sub-texts or the unconscious of my own thinking - which I
can then rewrite, tease out - this is a process of reworking, abandoning,
re-arrangement, etc. None of the programs is used for "pure" output; it's
all mixed, a mish-mash."

"Of course, even doing that - the reworking - I tend to learn more about
the subject at hand, and my own role or placement within it. And of course
that being said, I try to eliminate my own bias, or to extend it - play
around with the phenomenological reduction."

"There is also the energy used in reworking the syntax and vocabulary of
the various programs - that's another kind of study or summarization of my
current work - I'll need 43 nouns, 22 verbs... I can write this as a
semantic field in itself - a way of dis/organizing the domain -"

For example here are my entries to a unix spell-check file: "actant aether
alterities Amidah avatar avatars BBS bricolage bushido castrated cd cdrom
CEN Centre chora clots coherencies com Compaq complicit consciousnesses
consensualities cordons cunt cunts Cybermind cyberspace cyborg d'eruza
d'nala decathexis deconstructed deconstruction defuge Derrida dhtml
diegesis diegetic differend disassociating disinvestment effusions
emanants emergences empathetic empathized entasic extasis extensivity
extrusions fantasm fantasmic feedforward fictivity filmmaker filmstock
fingerboard foofwa geomatics gesturally gigabytes gridlines halfgroupoid
hemiptera hirself holarchy htm html http hyperreality i'd i'm i've
ideogrammar ikonic imaginaries incompletes indexicality informatics
internet interpenetrating interpenetrations introjections isp izanagi
javascript Jen jennifer jisatsu jouissance judgmental julu kanji Kebara
kwat Lacan linux literarily machinic magatama mediaspace microworlds
morphing morphs ms Mt multiculturalisms Myouka nakasukawabata Nara
Netscape neurophysiologies nikuko Nikuko's nostalgias NYC oeuvre offline
Panamarenko panix particulation paysage peerings perl phenomenologist
pneumosphere poolings postmodern postmodernism postmodernity primordials
protolanguage qbasic realspace rebirths rills RNA runnels Sagdish satori
sed sememe sememes sexualities shakuhachi shamisen shimenawa shinjuu
signifiers sions Snoxfly sondheim sourcess spam stromatolite subgroupoids
subjectivities subtexted susan Sysadmins techne teleologies thanatopoesis
tion tions trAce traceroute tracert tropes ulpan unfoldings unhinging URL
URLs vicodin videowork voiceovers VRML webboard Webpage Webpages wetware
wetwares worlding wryting www yamabushi ytalk"


...

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Most of my books have pp. 134-135 - I've been reading them.

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42nd year of continuous war!
I'm not responsible!
It's not my fault!
Lesions, contusions!
Multiple headwounds!
Rip the tongue! Pop the eyes!
Slingshots of doom!
Some guns and some dead people!
arrows, curare, a combination feared by bureaucrats world-wide!
broken bones and overturned gravestones - who would have thought!
don't massacre my mind!
every day is killing day around here!
goodbye, body!
hello, mind!
i don't know who put the anthrax in the mailroom!
i'm almost dead!
if you take my mind!
it's on the road!
mango-skin delight and hospitalizations!
pits with stakes lightly-covered with headless bodies!
poison waterfalls in the county courtyard? not me!
someone else must have set fire to the library!
strangle-sex!
the continuity girl writes "1 + 2 = the grave"!
42nd year of continuous war!


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