The Resting of a God

Lars Iyer, Dogma 2012

Momentum: to be thrown by thought, loosed, like a stone from thought’s sling … And work, now, will not be mundane but celestial. We will work as the stars work, as the planets turn in their orbits. Our work will be as one with the slow turning of galaxies, and the steady expansion of the universe into the infinite … A work indistinguishable from inactivity, the resting of a God.

A Flighty Mind Might Be Going Somewhere

Hanif Kureishi, “The Art of Distraction,” The New York Times 18 February 2012

…If you’re writing and you get stuck, and you then make tea, while waiting for the kettle to boil the chances are good ideas will occur to you. Seeing that a sentence has to have a particular shape can’t be forced; you have to wait for your own judgment to inform you, and it usually does, in time. Some interruptions are worth having if they create a space for something to work in the fertile unconscious. Indeed, some distractions are more than useful; they might be more like realizations and can be as informative and multilayered as dreams. They might be where the excitement is. …A flighty mind might be going somewhere.


“To me, art almost always speaks more forcefully when it appears in an imperfect, accidental, and fragmentary way, somehow just signaling its presence, allowing one to feel it through the ineptitude of the interpretation. I prefer the Chopin that reaches me in the street from an open window to the Chopin served in great style from the concert stage.”
Witold Gombrowicz, Diaries 1953

[See Ben Lerner.]

Dead Time

Tom Cutterham, “Banter and Posthumousness,” Cherwell 21 July 2011 [interview with Lars Iyer]

The use of novels? I rather like what Ferdinand says in Godard’s Pierrot Le Fou: ‘I’ve found an idea for a novel. No longer to write about people’s lives … but only about life, life itself. What goes on between people, in space … like sound and colours. That would be something worthwhile. Joyce tried, but one must be able, ought to be able, to do better.’

Life itself, as Ferdinand sums it up, I think of as the inconsequential, the incidental, as the froth of popping bubbles left by waves on a beach. I think of friendships again — of the play of conversation, of banter. I think of the dead time in which friends say nothing in particular. I think of fruitless journeys and failed encounters. I think of every kind of disappointment.

The novel is elastic enough a form to let such ‘sound and colours’ speak. To remember ‘what goes on between people’. And it is, by virtue of its length, its open-endedness, peculiarly suited for doing so.

Posthumous Literature

Tom Cutterham, “Banter and Posthumousness,” Cherwell 21 July 2011 [interview with Lars Iyer]

Literature has a kind of prestige today, it is true, but it is a fading one. The big books of our day are a kind of kitsch, and the pose of authors — serious authors — is laughable. The game’s up! The party’s over! Literature is like an ox-bow lake silting up in the sun. The river of culture has meandered elsewhere. But that’s not to say that there may not be another kind of writing, a post-literature literature, full of black laughter and a sense of its own posthumousness.

Ink of Dryness on Walls of Damp

Lars Iyer, “Conversations With Humans: Lars Iyer,” Reader! Read Faster! 11 April 2012

If your books could be printed on something other than paper, on what would you print them?

If it were possible to print in an ink of dryness on walls of damp, that would be my wish. To print with dry ink, the printed words swallowed up by a fresh wave of damp by morning.