I came across a quote from Susan Sontag in a book yesterday...It seems so strange to read another's words when the memory of their death is so fresh in your mind...
the quote (from "notes on camp"):
"To snare a sensibility in words, especially one that is alive and powerful, one must be tentative and nimble. The form of jottings, rather than an essay (with its claim to a linear, consecutive argument), seemed more appropriate for getting down something of this particular fugitive sensibility."
--Well, this is a fitting quote to come across given previous discussions here on the portability of quotation, its link-like form (linking another's mind to the stretch of your own), and the re-re-presentation of it here in the blog (the form i chose for the very reason Sontag states).
Anyway. What I want to get at is how sad it feels to catch a recorded glimpse of a woman's articulation of the world, knowing that it is over. No more will be produced. Like playing the record of bands dead and long gone (IMAGINE), all you have left is the reverberation of their presence...all of a sudden quotations like this are cherished for another reason than before, with a weight of finality that we know is inevitable, but still tastes like cold metal instead of warm tongue.
(I've been living another's death through the eyes and words of my sister who recently lost her most intimate friend, and I feel as though I am pulled like a piece of trash along a riverbed to contemplate death again in a more visceral way, now in this season of its meta-metaphor.)
When Sontag died, I thought of Derrida's recent death. Then of Bourdieu. Then Said. And who is next? Baudrillard? Virilio?
It seems that all the great theory matriarchs and patriarchs are completing the end of their physical season. Will the kids born thirty years from now learn to employ their quotation? Or will it be the words of us sitting here right now that will matter more? I've struggled myself to come to a semi-resolution about the library-as-graveyard dilemma. Which do I prefer? Honor the dead? Wear their skin in the words of my text, marked off by little lines at the top and to the right and left of thought? Or, burn the memories and memoirs - claim no one can comment on the present without a working set of lungs - fill in their blanks? Neither matters as both make nice beds. Both make nice coffins. (what kind of sleep doesn't lie?)
and Virilio -- I hope my quotation doesn't invoke his death too...(read Open Sky, where this quote is from):
Clearing Houses for Irrelevant Theories.
Washcloths for Weightless Words.
postmodern theory always Rests In Pieces.