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Butterfly

Author: joe

Thursday, 18 November, 2010 - 22:39

- on the fleeting image.

Let us attribute to our dreams, before reading, in a garden, the attention demanded by some white butterfly, this one that is everywhere at once, nowhere, it vanishes; but not before an acute and ingenious trifle, to which I reduce the subject, had, a moment ago, passed and repassed, insistently, before my astonished eyes.
 
The Book, Spiritual Instrument by Stephane Mallarmé

Mallarmé skating over a split ontology.

The world of revelation: things becoming present, the objects of attention, the visible surfaces. Far from being muffled, or doomed, or spent - worthless - the traces of the world to which we have access are dancing, butterfly-like, fleeting: astonishing. At once everywhere and nowhere, present-at-hand, and ready-to-hand - torn. The readiness is everywhere, the presence, nowhere. The image - insistent, acute, ingenious; the executant - dreaming, garden-grounded.

Despite this, the flashing, dancing life of the present, the image, the surface effects eternally divorced from their subterranean being - these are also passing, once - twice - repeating, but always passing, into trifles, disappearing, forgotten. There is no shame or tragedy in the constant fleeing and forgetting of the glittering, minded surfaces of things, despite the attendant, comforting melancholia of all those endings. Mourn, but also celebrate, the brevity of the vanishing flashes of presence.

Categories: Stephan Mallarmé, image, executant, fleeting, butterfly, presence-at-hand, readiness-to-hand, split,
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