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notes and views


"If you want me again, look for me under your boot-soles"
Mark Strand, The Monument

As they duel
TULLIUS Because victory (attacking) – is a melodrama, and defeat (attacking again) - is a melodrama (retreating under counter-attack from Publius). Retreat is a melodrama, and so is suicide. Time, Publius, is a great teacher of style... (attacking)
PUBLIUS So then, what (defending) is not melodrama?
TULLIUS For example... (attacking) fencing. (stepping back) This moving back and forth on stage. Like a pendulum. Anything that does not heighten the tone... is art. Anything that does not imitate life but just goes tick-tock ... anything that is monotonous... anything that does not crow like a rooster ... The more monotonous a things is, the closer it is to truth.
PUBLIUS (throwing down his sword)Touché! But in this way you could go on and on until the end of the world.
TULLIUS (continuing to slash at the air with his sword) And during. And after. And after the after and the after and the after... Until the first blood is drawn. Or the second blood is drawn. Until – the last – drop – of -blood...That–iswhy–people -fight- Uff...
Iosif Brodskij, Marbles 

...Nothing must stand
Between you and the shape you take
When the crust of shape has been destroyed.
You as you are? You are yourself.
It has been necessary to submit to vacancy in order to begin
again, to clear ground, to make space. I can allow nothing to be
received. Therein lies my triumph and my mediocrity. Nothing is
the destiny of everyone, it is our commonness made dumb. I am
passing it on. The Monument is a void, artless and everlasting.
What I was I am no longer: I speak for nothing, the nothing that
I am, the nothing that is this work. And you shall perpetuate me
not in the name of what I was, but in the name of what I am.

Mark Strand, The Monument