Plain Burned Things: A Poetics of the Unsayable.pdf

Plain Burned Things: A Poetics of the Unsayable

Leah Souffrant

Leah Souffrant, with laudably quiet gestures, reaches lyrically into literatures silent places to delineate the thermodynamics of the lacuna. Working the pauses, she does a Duras : nimble, stunned, alert. Hats off to Souffrant for the elliptical beauty she unearths and - with interpretive deftness-performs! - Wayne Koestenbaum How might the unsayable become known to us ? In the arts, silence and blank space attempt to convey what cant be said, making one revelation even as another is withheld. In this meditative study, Leah Souffrant explores how creative forms of reticence can communicate knowledge and create experience. Attending to word and image and what hovers between, Souffrant describes an aesthetics of attention to absence and presents a poetics of the unsayable. Through the work of Anne Carson, Marguerite Duras, Sylvia Plath, Jean Rhys, Lorna Simpson, Rachel Zucker, and others, Souffrant investigates creative gestures and critical assertions at the intersection of phenomenology, feminism, and form. She invites readers to dwell in the spaces created by works that withhold explication, remain silent or blank, and discover the understanding made available to us in such spaces when we give them our attention. While acknowledging that language inevitably is inadequate, Souffrant examines the ways in which creative works nevertheless translate experience into form, and can - echoing Maurice Merleau-Ponty - make us advance toward richer understanding of what is often most difficult to grasp.

Plain Burned Things: A Poetics of the Unsayable was published in 2017. Souffrant’s Commentary series “A slowing: Poetics and attention” appears on Jacket2 in interlocking essayistic installments. “ A slowing Deciding to think is not the same as moving the mind to think differently. Language is limited, slippery. Looking at art practices that sprawl in their silence and beckon us to

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Plain Burned Things: A Poetics of the Unsayable.pdf


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