NAAS 2011

  • Camelia Elias (Deltager)

    Aktivitet: Deltagelse i eller arrangering af en begivenhedOrganisation og deltagelse i konference


    Composing Mystics: On the Horizon of Gertrude Stein . This paper takes its point of departure in a few slogan-like statements that have inspired in a circular way the mutual recognition between like-minded European and American authors. For instance, when Edmond Jabès writes in one of his many influential books that “only what touches us closely preoccupies us. We prepare in solitude to face it” he pays tribute to Gertrude Stein while at the same time also acting as the most formative source for the writings of Paul Auster. So, although not quite properly present in these books, we get the sense that Gertrude Stein is in them somewhere nonetheless, or at least on a very visible level. While Jabès was almost obsessive on the question of what it means for an author to be present not only in his own books but also in other people's books – and using God as a prime example – Gertrude Stein can be said have set the tone for writerly expansions that have the author present in the book, yet through a representation of some lavish absence. In other words, she was good at suggesting that the more writing is about nothing, the more it is about everything, namely about the author himself. Here then, I want to look at some of her pieces, for instance, “Composition as Explanation”, and say something about how the creation of an 'other' world through writing has for her not only a metaphorical significance, but also a metaphysical one. Stein's compositions, in this sense, can be said to resemble old shamanic and mystical practices of creating out of ritualistic words and visions an 'other' physical reality. My claim is that by enlarging the horizon of the word, to use one of Jabès's phrases, one turns writing not only into a tool for higher expression, but into a gate that opens towards a higher form of consciousness.
    Periode27 maj 201129 maj 2011
    PlaceringOslo, NorgeVis på kort