cixous two

[more notes from the retreat; first, Cixous, then Lispector (loved by C) – Near to the Wild Heart]

School of the dead – to lose oneself; come to “nothing”

School of dreams – to be found – writing finds you; start by transgressing, vacating… If Death is the great “out there,” then out there the dream will take you up; you find and are found by “something”


p.59: “Let us look at the first sentences of Kafka’s letter. Here’s the secret: ‘I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for?’ Whoever wants to write must be able to reach this lightening region that takes your breath away, where you instantaneously feel at sea and where the mooring are severed with the already-written, the already-known. This “blow on the head” that Kafka describes is the blow on the head of the dead person we are. And that is the awakening from the dead… All great texts begin in this manner that breaks: they break with our thought habits, with the world around us, in an extreme violence that is due to rapidity. They hurl us off to foreign countries.”


Tell the truth; avoid efficiency, expediency for the sake of approval


p.63: “I realized in time that the writers I love above all are of the dying-clairvoyant kind. What also reunites these authors is that they wrote, as I like to say, by the light of the axe: the all dared to write the worst, dared to ‘shatter the frozen sea,’ as Kafka puts it, break eggshells, the hulls of boats; they all dared to crack skulls, their own skulls, and return to the forest. All these things are discharged through violent separation, loss, and sudden good-luck – without which we would indeed be limited; we are able to do this at the School of Dreams.”

p.94: “In its indecision and power this writing originates totally from the dream.”

p.107: “The dream’s enemy is interpretation.”

Four Lessons:

Without transition


The taste of the secret

The pure element of fear (Tsvetaeva – “the pathfinder” – your vanishing point – that into which you fall; Coltrane)

How to finish:

It is finished with us (Blanchot – we stop beginning)

Dream awake (learning dreaming as a waking practice)



“Joana suddenly understood that the greatest beauty was to be found in succession, that movement explained form…”

“The vision, in fact, consisted in surprising the symbol of things in the things themselves.”

“In her confusion she was truth itself.”

“Why narrate facts and details if no one dominate[s]?”

“What was to be done then? What was to be done to interrupt that path, to grant herself some respite between her and herself in order to be able to re-encounter herself without danger, renewed and pure? … Why not try to fall in love? Why not try to live?”

– Psychologically and philosophically merciless regarding human nature, especially coming-pf-age. Freakish writing from a 19 yr. old…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *