Friday, August 3, 2007


yesterday was my first day off the 2 week antibiotic regimen that had me sleeping something like 16 hours/day. i had thought it would take a while for the sleepiness to wear off, but no, yesterday morning, i wrote for 2-3 hours straight (adding and revising for my Comp Studies revision of the "1963" paper i gave at C's). i wrote with that Bhabha-esque disregard for clarity (so watch out), but i love what happened, how it validated what i write and, maybe more importantly, how i write (and this how also helps me to understand why i like, why i prefer, filmwriting).

so i realize that i am presumuptuously-to-the-point-of-narcissism identifying w/ Homi Bhabha, but, to be honest, i have done so since i read the piece, "Postcolonial Authority and Postmodern Guilt" in the Grossberg collection for a Cultural Studies class i took in grad school. "nonsententious." i just hung on that word, that concept, and i've been vibing out on it ever since. it doesn't make publishing easy for me, but, well, here's Bhabha talking about a "lack" of clarity in an interview w/ W.J.T. Mitchell :

I take the question of accessibility very seriously. That a book should be impaired by a lack of clarity, so that people cannot respond to it and meditate on it and use it, must be a major indictment of anybody who wants to do serious work. But I also feel that the more difficult bits of my work are in many cases the places where I am trying to think hardest, and in a futuristic kind of way -- not always, I'm afraid, there may be many examples of simple stylistic failure, but generally I find that the passages pointed out to me as difficult are places where I am trying to fight a battle with myself. That moment of obscurity contains, in some enigmatic way, the limit of what I have thought, the horizon that has not as yet been reached, yet it brings with it an emergent move in the development of a concept that must be marked, even if it can't be elegantly or adequately realized.

so the projects i want to take on are about this investigatory form of meditation that moves in "a futuristic sort of way," with a gesture toward some future hope or ideal. In his Senses of Cinema entry, Craig Keller identifies Jean-Luc Godard in this intellectual camp:

This was Godard's line of inquiry—one which grants, certainly, the existence of a metaphysics specific to the cinema (e.g., the power of the film-image and the edit, the ritual of spectacle, the temporality/ephemerality of the movie-watching experience), but which also seeks to develop and pursue a higher Truth that is no more immediately apprehensible in our lives and histories than it is in an even-tempered recounting of cinema's “highs and lows,” that is, an unscrutinized hierarchy of aesthetic mores and moments of supposed cinematic privilege. Thus, Godard's method of writing about films involves elliptical, round-about argument, the concatenation of seemingly unrelated disparities, and frequently coming down on the side of films deemed by critical establishmentarians as too vulgar or unpolished.

Godard’s writings were considered the most deeply theoretical of those published within the pages of Cahiers du Cinema (the cinema journal, you must keep in mind). Keller insists that

This role has served Godard, and the history of film criticism itself, rather well. For when we review the collective body of Godard's output as film critic, we find that through the practice of his uniquely rarefied, poetic approach, Godard was in effect carving out a new “assessment” of cinema that, while alternative, could essentially stand in for the mainstream or definitive history and conception of the medium. The cinema as put forth by Godard was therefore a “cinema that might have been,” a canon (or anti-canon) that existed only as an ideal . . .

refreshing . . .

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