[-empyre-] concerning violence, and more Antigone's bones

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Sun Nov 9 04:28:26 EST 2014

On Sat, 8 Nov 2014, Johannes Birringer wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------

is there any grappling that could answer Alan's statement of dissolution?


And I want to answer this in so many ways; the statement was not a 
question although Johannes' question embodying my statement, is.

There are visceral reactions to extreme pain, abject dissolution of the 
body; these seem fundamental to many animal species, not just humans.

To speak of an answer is to speak of a question, is to speak, is to use 
language, to have recourse to language. And in these situations, none of 
this speaking, from 'the first blow,' may be possible.

Extreme pain, without medical intervention - the cries and screams of the 
wounded (discussed earlier in empyre) - we are always already animal, we 
murder; there are other species who murder.

Speech disappears, is impossible. (And as witness, so many Vets I know are 
silent about their experience.)

The rest is the Other (of culture, cultural work, signifiers) which can 
only appear later, as an afterthought/afterbirth/afterdeath; we are all 
present, contribute to this. We all play and write in the theater of pain; 
years ago, when I was beaten up badly, it was staged - on the street, 
under an arch that might as well have been a proscenium.

I think of anguish as straddling, come-out or coming-forth from silence, 
from those who bear witness, are affected, perhaps on the edge of death.

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