10 March 2007

The first time I read Baudrillard has to be called an accident. I was housesitting for some well-off, sweet, writerly people who had a massive library, books everywhere, in every nook and cranny in a house with a lot of nooks and crannies. A lot of their books were hippy-scholarly, nonfiction, loads of easternalia or whatnot, psychology books, Buddhism books, hundreds of cooks. As I say, they were sweet people and they had sweet dogs. Also, they left us some pot, very kind, and in those days I liked to smoke jazz cigarettes. Smoking a jazz cigarette and walking the hounds in the snow.

Of course I spent a lot of time the first night perusing the bookcases. Not a primarily literary library, so I was moving quickly. Somehow improbably (it felt improbable at the time, in this collection) I spotted a book called The Transparency of Evil by Jean Baudrillard. The title intrigued me. I'd never heard of Baudrillard. I had no reference whatsoever. I liked the cover. I began reading it and thought, What the hell is this?

Anyway, it gripped me. I came to read a lot of his books, seduced by his figures of speech. They smoke, and he uses all of them. I came to feel he was creating texts, following the trajectory of his own language-making. Not necessarily explicating anything. Later (and later came quickly), it was hard to defend some of his "political" positions, most importantly to myself, but his poetry, if I can call it that, knocked my head into startling new word-places I found fantastically pleasurable, kind of like an I Ching effect or something. The literariness of his texts, if not his program, is why I think his books will survive (well, you know, as things survive), and I am happy for anyone who has never read him to first encounter these canny pieces of literature.

Here ends my chatty remembrance.


At 10 March, 2007 18:44, Blogger carrie hunter said...

In the south we would call that a testimony. Amen!

At 10 March, 2007 19:48, Blogger Carla said...

you actually wrote a lengthy blog post. amazing!
more writing, please.


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Iga Wyrwal
Iga Wyrwal
Why begrudge me a little fun. And must you chew gum.
Iga Wyrwal
Iga Wyrwal
Iga Wyrwal