Ron Silliman en ‘New sentence’

september 12, 2011

Ron Silliman in een interview met Wave composition:

Ron Silliman: “But I have been thinking a lot about the relationship of sentences to lines of late. And what occurs in sentences—I hear from people all the time that the “new sentence” isn’t new, what’s new is the way it’s being used and placed, and people always proceed to talk about sentences. And yet one of the things for me that’s most interesting about the “new sentence” is precisely what occurs in that space between sentences. One of my projects for next year, once I retire, is to flesh out, to write a book on, the space between sentences and it’s relationship not only to those sentences, which feels to me always completely sensuous, very distinct in the way a blank space opens is dramatically different from the way it closes. And then to look at its relationship to the line. And not just to the line in terms of the line break, which makes the line visible to the poet’s eye, but the way in which the line is inherent even in the presence of the word. Without the line, we wouldn’t know which way was up in terms of letters. If you go all the way back to the origins of writing, to hieroglyphics, you often find hieroglyphics in forms on tablets with a series of two or three or four of them boxed together, and then another group boxed together, and then another group boxed together. Trying to organize those terms so early on creates interesting questions and problems for the scribes who are quite literally trying to create a language out of the whole cloth. By the time you get to the Rosetta Stone, you’ve got three different scripts and all of them are lineated. At that point, you’ve got words with dots between them, in some of those languages, rather than just all run-on words, which you also have fairly early on. But none of that’s possible without the presence of the line. So I’m sitting around a lot these days thinking what does it mean that we know which end of the “e” is up.

WC: Do the blank spaces have a sound for you, or some kind of physical impact or presence?

RS: They have a physical impact, they have a presence, they’re not passive. Do they have a sound? No, not to my ear. I would say it’s more to one’s gut than to one’s ear. It’s not so much the presence of sound as its absence.

Lees het interview op Wave Compositon.


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