Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Gaze of Orpheus, Redux

The act of writing begins with Orpheus' gaze, and that gaze is the impulse of desire which shatters the song's destiny and concern, and in that inspired and unconcerned decision reaches the origin, consecrates the song. But Orpheus already needed the power of art in order to descend to that instant. This means: one can only write if one arrives at the instant towards which one can only move through space opened up by the movement of writing. In order to write, one must already be writing. The essence of writing, the difficulty of experience and the leap of inspiration also lie within this contradiction.

-Maurice Blanchot, "The Gaze of Orpheus," in The Gaze of Orpheus and Other Literary Essays by Maurice Blanchot (Station Hill Press, 1981), translated by Lydia Davis, p. 104.


Blogger The Weaver of Grass said...

I need to think about that Greg - at this time of night it is all too complicated (especially after a glass of this season's blackberry whisky!) All I can say on first reading is that you do have to start writing it is no good thinking about doing it.

4:49 PM  

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