~ To condemn the subversive is to condemn everything that is not absolutely resigned. In this I find no valour.” (Andre Breton)


~ On the Internet, in the blogosphere, the order of discourse [a reference to Foucault] has been blown to bits. All censorship has been eliminated . . . speech is unbridled. Intermediaries are bypassed. . . . Anyone at all can talk about anything at all . .  . there are no standards anymore, only opinions . . . whatever was left of civility—the priority of the Other in human relations—has given way to the heady lure of direct communication between faceless people. With the end of inhibitions, the beheading of authority figures, and the breakdown of decorum, the Internet is ‘68 preserved in perpetuity. (Alain Finkielkraut, The Confrontation)


~ Electronic violence, such as data hostages and system crashes . . . a misguided nihilism? CAE [Critical Art Ensemble] thinks not. Since revolution is not a viable option, the negation of negation is the only realistic course of action. [During] two centuries of revolution and near-revolution, one historical lesson continually appears—authoritarian structure cannot be smashed; it can only be resisted. (Electronic Civil Disobedience and Other Unpopular Ideas, quoted in Alan Liu’s The Laws of Cool)


~ Kitsch [“marketable emotion”] is like a poisonous substance that is mixed in with art. Discharging that poison is one of the most difficult tasks art faces at the present time.” (Adorno, Aesthetic Theory, 340)


~ We call it Society, and go about professing openly the totalest separation . . . Our life is not a mutual helpfulness; but rather, cloaked under due laws-of-war, named “fair competition” and so forth, it is a mutual hostility. We have profoundly forgotten everywhere that Cash-payment is not the sole relation of human beings; we think, nothing doubting, that it absolves and liquidates all engagements of man. (Carlyle, Past and Present, 1843)


~ No human being in this world would voluntarily set out to exactly and slavishly copy something. (Asger Jorn, “Apollo or Dionysus”)


~ The place of the poet within [the political framework in Russia today] remains undetermined; and this indeterminacy has . . . opened up an enormous space . . . in which, in principle, neither direct political propaganda nor civic expressions of emotion, neither ‘petty-bourgeois’ psychologism nor refined formal experiments, are forbidden. . . . [But] the neoliberal era is coming to an end, and with it the movement from the collective towards the individual, and from socialization to privatization. In these conditions, the hegemony of a privatized poetics is no longer to be assumed, but needs to be justified once more, in an open contest of ideas. (Kirill Medvedev, “Beyond the Poetics of Privatization,” New Left Review, July/August, 2013)


~ To be adept at deluding oneself is the first prerequisite for a statesman. Only poets and philosophers see the world as it really is, for only to them is it given to live without illusions. To see clearly is not to act. (Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet) 237


~ “‘I exert all the young poets, painters, and sculptors of Mexico, those who have yet to be tainted by the coffered gold of government sinecures, those who have yet to be corrupted by the crooked praise of official criticism and the applause of a crass and concupiscent public, . . . I exert all of them to make art with the steady drip of their intellectual menses. All those 

. . . who haven’t yet crumbled in the sad, mephitic efflorescence of our nationalist media with its stink of pulquerias and the dying embers of fried food, all are exerted in the name of the Mexican actualist avant-garde to come and fight alongside us in the resplendent ranks of the decouvert. . . .’ That Manuel had a silver tongue.” (Robert Bolaño, The Savage Detectives).


~ The aim of criticism (literary criticism in particular) is to provoke a crisis. (Roland Barthes, How to Live Together)


~ A whole poetic tradition, emerging out of epic and great lyric, proposes to cross in ordered fashion the strata of signification, to unfold, as story or initiation, an order that would appease the chaos and console the lamentation. The poets of the age of the poets [Rambaud to Celan] would much rather draw a line in language that would trace a diagonal stroke . . . to produce a short-circuit in the circulation of linguistic energy. (Alain Badiou, “The Age of the Poets”)


~Verse takes up for what language lacks, completely superior as it is. (Mallarmé, “Variations on a Subject”)


~West: at a macroideological scale: the specialist of arrogance . . . ; valorization of will; showering praise for efforts to destroy, change, conserve, etc.: dogmatic intervention everywhere. . . . We conceive History only as a diachrony of battles, of dominations, of arrogance, and this well before Marx. (Roland Barthes, The Neutral


~There is never enough terror in theory, never enough terror to shake it free of its fatuousness, certitudes, apathy. The space subjectivity carves for itself could never be large enough. (Camille Scalabrino)

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