Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Curl up!

A lot of reviews of PD have mentioned Kafka—I don't mind!!!—which made me wonder whether an Ouroboros ever materializes in his prose. I got excited when I read this:

Sweet serpent, why do you stay so far away, come nearer,nearer still, enough, no further, stay there. For you, too, there are no frontiers. How am I to attain mastery over you if you recognize no frontiers? It will be hard work. I begin by asking you to curl yourself up. Curl yourself up, I said, and you stretch yourself. Don't you understand me? You don't understand me. But I speak very clearly: Curl up! No, you don't grasp it. So then I show you, here, with the staff. First of all you must describe a large circle, then inside, adjoining it, a second, and so forth. If then finally you are still holding your little head high, lower it slowly to the tune on the flute that I shall later play, and when I cease, you shall have become quiet too, with your head in the inmost circle. —The Blue Octavo Notebooks (Fifth Notebook)

It's not really an Ouroboros, but it's pretty great, no?

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