The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

December 2, 2006

now lucky he

he's lucky she's doomed i'm editing.

she's polar he's anti i'm neutral.

she's pre he's post i'm spotted.

she's rolled he's jumped i'm slumped.

she's words he's not i'm nothing.

she's dead he's live i'm grey.

he's leaped she's seeped i'm breathing.

he's kludged she's smudged i'm brooming.

he's there she's where i'm muddling.

he speaks she squeaks i'm huddling.

she's mad he's sad i'm cuddling.

she's cold he's hot i'm puddling.

he's down she's up i'm taping.

he turns she burns i'm counting.

she's french he's swiss i'm fromage-quel-dommage.

yes yes yes, fromage-quel-dommage.



"[The voice is active hearing, purely in itself, which is posited as
universal; (expressing) pain, desire, joy, satisfaction, (it is)
_Aufheben_ of the single itself, the consciousness of contradiction. Here
it returns into itself, indifference. Every animal finds a voice in its
violent death; it expresses itself as a removed-self (_als aufgehobnes
Selbst_). (Birds have song, which other animals lack, because they belong
to the element of air--articulating voice, a more diffused self.)

In the voice, meaning turns back into itself; it is negative self, desire
(_Begierde_). It is lack, absence of substance in itself.] (Hegel 4, p.

Thus, in the voice, the animal expresses itself as removed: 'every animal
finds a voice in its violent death, it expresses itself _als aufgehobnes
Selbst._' If this is true, we may now understand why the articulation of
the animal voice gives life to human language and becomes the voice of
consciousness. The voice, as expression and memory of the animal's death,
is no longer a mere, natural sign that finds its other outside of itself.
And although it is not yet meaningful speech, it already contains within
itself the power of the negative and of memory."

(from Giorgio Agamben, Language and Death, The Place of Negativity, trans.
Karen E. Pinkus with Michael Hardt, Minnesota, 1991.)

(voice of a building in a storm in Brooklyn, recorded with Westinghouse
vibration transducer directly input into CoolEdit and raised in pitch.)

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