50. Telltale Heart and ~

There is a lot I can write, right now, about “literature” — the way that it does not involve vision (even film, as literature), the way that it works primarily via reference, the way that it evokes the imagination of teh invisible, the very light, very weak way in which it works, the way in which it needs our aid, in this notion of light work, nudge, or pointing that it does — the “ideal” way to read literature, how literature can only be encountered via epiphany and insight, etc. — but let me just get those themes out there, these themes about darkness, blindness, imagination, and reference that is so distinctive about literature — let me get that out there rather than go into depth.

*

Let’s instead talk about Telltale Heart (in this context — so that the above thoughts, or suggestions, will take on a more concrete role, rather than merely sticking with them as a kind of descriptive, helpful, overall insight.

We come to realize the darkness of that book, it seems to me. Thinking about that book is like staring into an abyss — that is not a consequence of the theme or the style, but rather, of the way that the book comes to embed itself in memory — that is, not the book or short story as it is experienced, at the time, but rather, the way in which themes or words stick out,and come to characterize a holism of the book, the way that the book develops into something that is understood, and readable, and evetually, something that turns back on itself in a moment of awareness.

The best — the only correct way, I guess — the only correct way to read literature is as a flash of insight that seems to present it as a whole. Or, at least the notion that that has happened.

*

TTH is kind of remarkable in its thinking or characterization of reference, or pointing, that distinctive literary thing. There is, first of all, the evil eye, the eye being that which can take in but also the eye that points, the eye being the figure of reference. ~

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