Odd but maybe not that the end of the summer itinerary finds me walking in large loose circles through the Mall of America. All flights east were cancelled; an extra day in Minneapolis. The Residence Inn (redundant? Generic? But – Nice!) is right down the road from M of A… Too easy a target (the twenty or so busses filled with U of Minn students on their Orientation Experience; Ikea looking so much like an ambitious regional theater; the mall itself not so much an apotheosis as a peristaltic repetition of every mall to which one has ever gone – a metastasis of sameness); it’s also – Nice. Found the Violinaires, Betty Roché, Memphis Slim and the Dramatics in the 2-for-five-dollars bin at Frye; could talk to my wife on the cell phone all through the ambling spiral… the transferable quality of the recognized.
An exceptional Soulographie retreat helmed by Alison Heimstead and facilitated by the indomitable Meredith Lynsey Schade… breathtaking to have such skilled and committed collaborators. Much progress made, I feel, on Alison’s Hidebound, and on next steps for development (we’ll post minutes). The shining Glinda-like a appearance of Laurie Carlos did much to get our heads screwed on right.
Forgot how much I loved Mpls – abundant coffee. Alison’s genius kids and loving husband added to the overall glow.
In partial address to one of the previously circulated Soulographie questions: What is it we love so much about genocide love enough to repeat it, and – to want to study it/represent it). To a degree we can say that genocide is a creative space – because it keeps happening… It is a simulation of creation (there is something of the marketplace in this, of the mall? How is ideology an act of selling? Particularly mass marketing?) – Blanchot: “This empty, dead time is a real time in which death I present – in which death happens but doesn’t stop happening, as if, by happening, it rendered sterile the time in which it could happen. The dead present is the impossibility of making any presence real – an impossibility which is present, which is there as the present’s double, the shadow of the present which the present bears and hides in itself.” Blanchot is describing the act of writing… It happens (seems to create, like a cancer imitates development – does develop in a negative way) in a way that takes blood from the present. Creation is a no-thing that makes space (a nest) for the present?
So encouraged by the artistry and thinking put forward over the past couple of days. Let’s push to another Soulographie retreat in NY in December…