We've been thinking about methodologies and anti-methodologies for getting at how words and things relate with one another. Interdisciplinary work, negative capability, multiple teachers, students with various backgrounds, diverse texts, and even the workings of this blog all play a hand in this.
This morning I was reading a translation of Jacques Dupin's three essays on the sculptor Giacometti, two of them translated by a friend of mine, Brian Evenson (whose work we'll discuss near the end of the class), and found these thoughts about how to approach the sculptures with words:
And in fact the written word, condemned to deviousness, tries desperately to find the sudden approach again and is tormented by nostalgia for it. It tries to recreate the strangely active space of that work by attacking it from several sides, as one reconstitutes illusively the unity of a sculpture by multiplying one's vantage points. In its fragmentary pursuit it takes the same path a dozen times, while certain areas remain inexplicably barred to it. Too close to its object, it petrifies and consumes it; too far away, it loses its way and disintegrates in a maze of expectancy that has no beginning. Entangled in lacunae and contradictions, it leaves behind nothing but the muddled traces of an approach, scattered fragments, the least significant debris, spared by the flames, of an imaginary edifice which had to be abandoned.