The Double Transformation (Ode to a Nightingale)

I want to outline a strategy for reading, some of it more general than just OTN.

OTN should be read as a real event. We spoke a lot about “counternarratives recently”, our latest essays have basically been the justification of the idea that the touching can also be the significant, but without relying on human as the middleman — but rather, the touching is the psychologically significant even if there is no one around to champion its name.

In my notes, I have written in big letters, “I have returned” — I mean, retunred from theoretical thinking — which we needed — we need that time and those thoughts to come to peace with ourselves and what we do. Because what we do, I admit, is on the border of cheating, politics, and truth. This reminds me of that line at the end of “Ode on a Grecian Urn” — “Beauty is turth, truth is beauty — that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know”. “All ye need to know” — very interesting — this line, it seems to me, expresses very compactly this border of cheating, politcs, and truth that we have just returned from.

In other words, from now on, having thought long about how truth could perhaps be there, it’s time we move onto the act of cheating itself — and this means trusting our guts.

OTN is a kind of double transformation: the transformation of the threshold — double since the latter is itself already a transformation, or at least the feeling of being on the verge of a transformation. Thus, transformation of transformation.

Indeed, what’s interesting about a lot of these poems, Ode on a Grecian Urn, Ode to a Nightingale, is that Keats is quite explictly talking about a moment of transformation — it expresses his commitment to the things that we aourselves are interested in — namely, the emptied out mind, the unrooted subconscious, subconscious transformed into memory… In other words, these poems are already very theoretically relevent — they could be understood as a response, even, to our theoretical interests.

This is a big deal — that Keats is talking about an event. This is one of the consequences of our truth / beauty / cheating configuration: the issue of “redemption” and not of “repression” — where the real event is entirely mistargeted, if you will. This is a consequence of our unrooting of the subconscious. In other words, regarding the issue of “reading against the grain” — we will not be attempting to search for Freudian slips or anything, but we will be searching for something quite similar, the “transformation of the threshold”, the transformation of the origin, if you will — if the subconscious is unrooted (removed from it’s root position) so that rememberance itself occupies this position.

.. Original Rememberance — that was one of the unwritten essays I have here — it is an oxymoron, since rememberance in is not the origin, it remembers the origin. And yet it is what we must insist on if we are to unroot the subconscious.

Drinking is very interesting, it is a sense of despair — it is what I called “dreams” in “Dreams and Hyperconsciousness” where I complained that I no longer had ready access to the past, but I must rely on something else (dreams) to carry me there — my own past, the truth of my past, is all but closed off to me, I, oddly enough, need external, artificial stimulants in order to reach that original moment.

But Keats does succeed, the voice of the Nightingale acts as this artificial external stiumulant — or perhaps something else — “Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, / But on the viewless wings of Poesy”. And here, in this conscious, or semi-conscious state, Keats carries on the political effort of rewriting history.

And in this task he is not alone, he is joined by other liberals, other poets. But this is something we already know, this is the infernal machine, tbis is the conscious programming of the subconscious, or, the programming of apparently subconscious memory via the consciousness.  So our real task is specify the second moment of transformation.

To be honest I do not know how to proceed from here — I mean, I have not yet formed the argument — there is always something to discover here if we try hard enough — as we rewrite the origin, along with Keats.

I here suggest that there is a second moment of distortion, which is not, of course, a latent root subconscious but rather a moment of distortion (the uncanny) and not represssion




Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s