Monday, May 21, 2007

Too distant, too many calls. I'm on Ning (Second Life Odyssey), Facebook (Brown University), Youtube (whatever), Myspace (horror but I wanted to contact someone); this blog, which is hardly read at all, why should it be? finds or follows last... which is a shame. ] ]

Some of the soundwork is duplicated in the video but easier to download. You find some of the work as well at Ning or Youtube. I think this is my best work in quite a while. But here's the rub - I can't add anything to the senseless political climate; one would be a fool to pay attention to my personal ramblings; I can't review cultural/poetics/etc. books with any degree of interest in this space (although they're sent periodically to a number of lists); and I'm beginning to think more and more that blogs are all too often personal embellishment, ornamentation, rhinestones without the glitter like an albatross around the neck of Leda's swan.

But I feel an obligation, keeping the date open...


Jeremy O. Turner aka. Wirxli Flimflam said...

Hey Alan,
Rest assured that at least one person is reading your blog :-)
I will definitely be checking out those sound files.

sondheim said...

I'm glad you'relooking at this; it's sad for me, but no one else seems to come into play here...

yours alan

Richard Taylor said...


Long time! I kow the feeling but haven't done ten years on the net - I myself have a Blog now - here is the link -

It is a kind of poem/text and I am (distantly) influenced by what you are doing altho I started Eyelight and The Infinite Poem, sometime before I heard of you via the Poetics list... (in fact before I got a computer) and iam not such a good theoretician as you are - altho recently I have been reading the entries on the Internet Philosophy Encyclopedia.

Now I am also on My Space and I mention you a lot - I just copied off your latest Blog entry I think it is and of all the things on the Poetics list your stuff interested me almost the most...

I find it difficult but fascinating. Many years ago BTW I was involved in telecommunications but although I knew something of Protocols I really only had rudimenatry understanding of computers (I started as lineman/cable jointer but studied telecoms and electronics later) - digital electronics was est. and computers per se were just starting up and (about 1987) I left the field... only getting a computer in 2000.

(I like the way you interact the technical/computer jargon (software/ hardware) etc with "writing" etc and images... Your stuff is aslo challenging.)

I have some friends who are very interested in new ideas etc I would like to put your Blog/place as link on my Blog (one on My Space one on Blogger).

Your audience will always be either small or at least limited (hopefully perhaps not too samll always) - your site /Bliog here looks excellent - I have not reached anything near the sophistication you have here.

Also I know you have a great ability to write (but I know you total project is very very important to you).

Alan I hope you are doing well in Boston - Auckland is cold just now. If you get time have alook at my Blog EYELIGHT. I want to spend more time looking on here.

It's a pity Silliman or any of those Langauge guys (but I know you are not a Lanpo or a "poet" as such) doesn't give you some publicity. If I get time I would like to write about what you are doing for local mag called Brief unless you are interested in doingit yourself? I could cut and paste some examples - write something - or add some comments by you and so on. Something like that. (Subject to your approval). It is "only" New Zealand but we might be a force that can help you recognition wise (there are connections many) - you certainly deserve that...

-the readership I think would be msot interested in what you are doing or attempting.

Very warm regards, Richard

PS I will now read (I have bifocals so - as my head has to be elevated as I read it gets very tiring) I find it easiest mostly to print off what is on line to read it.

PS 2 I published a book recently called "Conversation with a Stone"

alan said...

Thank you so much! I'll definitely look at your blog and would like to see the book - is it also online?

For Brief, definitely, please do write something; I'd greatly appreciate it.

I'm going to check out your blog now and thanks!

- Alan

Richard Taylor said...


I read your interviews and I have copied a lot of your earlier and recent work onto an 'Alan Sondheim file' so I will try to get the message out there. I will also put a link on my Blog to your Blog ad your Internet site etc.

I am glad that we are still friends!

I was hoping that you didnt think i was a crackpot - I am very interested in your work and you! I mean I am know what I mean. I read the interviews - one quite old and one quite recent and I was discussing your work with friend who knew someone you referred to in your interview somoene you disparaged (it was something about "memes" (my friend filed me in on those)) ...but he named someone else who references memes - and I also read some Derrida (or some commentary on him) - I sold a book (one of his main books) I had to the editor of a (small) publishing company Titus Books - he found the book incomprehensible! (but I think I coud re-read it now) But I started reading off the Internet Philposphy Encyc - I was studying forget who - maybe Ronald's Jonson's (marvelous great book) "Ark" (although that doesn't require Derrrida..or any of the Continental philosophers..I felt I had only a partial knowledge of philosophy - I had seen some You Tube clips of Derrida which I found both amusing and interesting - also a very funny one of Ali G interviewing Chomksy! But the better one is when he interveiws Beckham and his beautiful ex!!))

In your interview I was but disturbed at your prevailing pessimism about Global warming etc etc - violence (I have also been dark about various issues) but I want to ask - how do you reconcile this with the urgency and the enormous lifefulness and energy of a lot of what you are doing...

I feel -and I have been skeptical (I have also used the term obssessed - wrong word?) -in relation to your working on the Internet - but that said I am still fascinated by the fact of it) - that what you are doing is really unique (also vast) - BTW Jim Andrews I disputed with (slightly) about the role of Vispo - I see (I see all the "arts" as somehow interelated but your description that you are fascinated by everything hits the button - I also - if feeling alert, happy, energetic etc!) - I see things _somewhat_ as you do but I come from a different perspective (also I have not been "in the game" so long and also I dont think I have your knowledge...) - perhaps I am less pessimistic...

I want to look at some of the works on your list of books to read about Cyber issues etc and philosophers - just now reading about Merleau-Ponty...I'm going through the Internet Encyc.

I can dig your desire to "be famous"...(but regardless) Alan I will commit myself to writing something about you either on my Blog or getting it into Brief - I think that studying your Project as well doing as my Blog could now become my two main interests.

I want more and more people to know about the kind of things you are doing whether I agree with you on everything is irrelevant - I know you have a vast talent as a writer..and a filmaker (I am sure) although I havent been able to see those - I would like to know more (later)about how you do images etc) but leave that for now ...

I will keep studying your files and reading and will come up with something - I dont see you as just an American writer/thinker - of course you are but your ideas are for the whole world.

I also want to ask a few questions later that might sound a little intrusive or rude (I dont mean anything personal! I dont know you that well...) about your project ...I am only tryng to orient myself to forgive me if I ask naive questions...say naive things. I am learning.

I remember I went though a strange stage on that Poetics List and I said a lot of stupid stuff -some of which it I thought was only humourous but some of which was pretty

I have learnt via the Chessgames .com site that I am on - to think of i have somewhat overcome the Internet Efect...whatever...

Dont be sad!! Take heart!

Kind regards.Richard

Richard Taylor said...

My book isn't on line -its more "conventional" -it good though I think.

If you google Titus Books in NZ there are some things aboute there I think...

My friend Scott Hamilton also has some stuff about me on "Reading the Maps) (on Blogger) (I can never remember Urls or whatever) -and a lot of politics etc but take him with a slight grain of salt he means well!

He is doing a PhD on the 30s intellectuals and people such as
E P Thompson and Auden and so on... he is in a Marxist phase..but dont be worried about that..he is pretty open to things.

சாத்தான் said...

Hello Alan, how are you? This is an old friend from India (staying anonymous for good reasons). I occasionally visit your blog and try to 'catch up' with your writings. It's great to see that you're as energetic as ever.

sondheim said...

I'm not sure why anonymous but thanks... I went to your blog but of course couldn't read it...

Richard, you say/ask "In your interview I was but disturbed at your prevailing pessimism about Global warming etc etc - violence (I have also been dark about various issues) but I want to ask - how do you reconcile this with the urgency and the enormous lifefulness and energy of a lot of what you are doing..."
-- One doesn't contradict the other. I remember years ago reading Bernard Henri-Levi on the state of the world; he felt that nothing could be done but 'raising the fist' - i.e. protest in the face of overwhelming disaster. I can't stop global-warming or animal extinctions - but I can protest against the latter at least, as if there were some hope. As far as the energy goes, that's physiology for the most part; it keeps me going even through depression.
- Alan

Richard Taylor said...

Alan - a good answer - I am also opposed to the killing e.g. of tigers. I am skeptical of this Global Warming hysteria (it is - r seems lie - a continuation of the doomsday stuff we heard in the 70s ad nauseam - none of the dire predictions ever eventuated) - but that is my view - even if there was no (Global Warming) it would have had to be invented like the putative God of Voltaire...

For me global warming and even terrorism (I think also that a lot of so - called terrorism is organised - or aided and abetted - by the Secret Services etc - to keep a kind of 1984 sit. of perpetual war... ) is very abstract - re the later fewer people die of terrorism than die of dog bites - it is all greatly out of proportion - it is political propaganda - I also suspect GW as another one... I think human beings etc will survive and well - but I am not sure whether that is a good thing! It seems that Kurtz (of Apocalyspe Now and of Conrad) Eliot (of the Hollow Men etc) were perhaps right or looking in the right direction - that said it is interesting the immense optimism that comes from Joyce - my guess it is his great ego!! Nothing wrong with that...

Sure we need to be "concerned" but I don't look at GW or the "green" issues as much more than other babble we get on the news every day - sometimes I just swicth off from it all...

A lot of what we take as the truth about the world is a focus on sensational stuff - most of us live lives of quiet happiness (and also often desperation) and will continue to do so - and such as yourself add to the creative output -whether that is a good thing or not I am not sure... I mix my optimism wih a strong dose of pessimism: but GW etc are for me too "distant" to concern me
Too busy trying to earn a crust or get through each day

But I take your world view - just adding my penny or two - it informs your work - clearly.

Let's go out with a bang in any case!

Why are/is everyone so paranoid - want to be anonymous??

Richard Taylor said...

"..but I can protest against the latter at least, as if there were some hope. As far as the energy goes, that's physiology for the most part; it keeps me going even through depression..."

I remember that I was in really "dark space" during the 90s and I wrote alot of poems now I am happier I write less! The blackness seemed to give kind of posi-negative emf.

Also, more recently, I seem less energised to write somehow. I am getting old - like this earth and universe!

sondheim said...

Ah Richard, I don't want to contradict or argue with you, certainly not on the blog. For me global warming is an absolute fact - I'm not speaking naively, I've taught courses in 'futurology' - something the world, except for the US agrees on; the US is always looking for conspiracy to couple with an anti-scientism that at this point is frankly dangerous. And when you say "most of us live lives of quiet happiness (and also often desperation)" - most of us in fact, given the planet as a whole, are undernourished, prone to unstable states and militias, and this situation is just getting worse. I won't even get into the misery of the fauna on planet earth; I do urge anyone interested to watch Martha Stewart's video on the Peta site, among other things. The first and last freshwater dolphin disappeared a few months ago from the planet. So it goes. But I honestly don't want to try and convince you or argue with you about any of this; there's too much else to do... - Alan