Class Assignment: Links 2

From Justine Larbalestier’s Razorhurst:

Kelpie’s Theories of Ghosts

The dead weren’t forthcoming about their lives as ghosts. No more than the living were about the strange rituals and customs. When drinking with your mates you clink glasses. When you meet a man you shake his hand. Very few could say how those customs began or what they mean. Or explain why they close their eyes when they sneeze. Or why so many living presume they are the centre of the universe.

Kelpie had no idea why only some of the dead stayed with the living. She had no idea where the rest of the dead went. Was it the same place ghosts went when they disappeared quick as a pickpocket, only to pop back just as sudden? Was it the same place they went when they faded away forever?

Advertisements

Class Assignment: Links

From Kenneth Goldsmith’s Uncreative Writing:

2. LANGUAGE AS MATERIAL

There’s been a lot of talk the past few years about net neutrality, a concept that argues either for or against assigning different values to the various types of data that flow through our networks. Net neutrality advocates claim that all data on the network be treated as equal, whether it be a piece of spam or a Nobel laureate’s speech. Their advocacy reminds me of the post office, which charges by the pound, not by what’s inside the package: you can’t charge more to send a couture dress than you can for a book of poetry just because it’s more valuable.

Uncreative writing mirrors the ethos of net neutral advocates, claiming that one way of treating language is materially, focussing on formal qualities as well as communicative ones, viewing it as a substance that moves and morphs through its various states and digital and textual ecosystems. Yet, like data, language works on several levels, endlessly flipping back and forth between the meaningful and the material: we can choose to weigh it and we can choose to read it. There’s nothing stable about it: even in their most abstracted form, letters are embedded with semantic, semiotic, historical, cultural, and associative meanings. This of the letter a, and it’s anything but neutral. Associations for me include The Scarlet Letter, a top grade, the title of Louis Zukofsky’s life poem, Andy Warhol’s novel, and so forth. When nonobjectivist painters tried to rid painting of illusion and metaphor, you can see why they chose geometric forms, not letters, to do so.

Of These Roses, Part 1 of ?

His hand shakes with anticipation as she walks in the door. He has been preparing the house especially for her. They’ve both been working so hard to improve their little home; he knows she must be tired. As she steps over the threshold, he takes her gently by the hand. She looks up, and her eyes meet his. They share an unspoken, brief greeting. He half-wishes they could stay locked in this moment forever. The wordless communication of so many emotions is like a drug; the rush is indescribable. But he has planned this so carefully. It wouldn’t do to get carried away at the doorway. He puts another hand against the small of her back, and gently pressures her into moving forwards. They take the stairs slowly. Each moment is savoured. They don’t speak. He suspects she knows what’s coming, but even so, he can feel her anticipation.

They reach the landing, and she turns and meets his eyes once again. Now she is pulling him, walking backwards through the half-opened door to the bedroom, a glint in her eye. He considers simply following her, pushing her down onto the bed, but no. He has a plan. He grabs her by the waist, spinning her around to face the room he has so carefully prepared.

Deep, red petals are scattered artistically across the floor and the end of the carefully made bed. Their soft, velvety texture blends into the gentle fabric, and they are lit by the gentle flicker of the candles he has prepared. She gasps despite herself. He smiles softly, and she turns in his hands to look up at him with wide eyes. Neither of them speak, but they don’t need to. They know eachother, inside and out, and he can see her feelings shining in her eyes. He pulls her closer, hands still resting lightly on her waist. She wraps her arms loosely around his neck and smiles that little smile he knows she only uses on him. He decides that his plan is finished now.

His mouth meets hers in silent agreement. The time for plans is over. She presses herself against him as he wraps his arms around her, lifting her slightly as he pushes her back against the bed. She falls with a surprising amount of grace, pulling him with her. Their lips never part for more than a fraction of a second. Rose petals scatter as she lands with a gentle thump, soft blankets cushioning her fall. She squirms for a moment, stretches, enjoying the forgiving embrace of the fabric against her aching back and the heated, thrilling press of his body against hers. There is far too much cloth separating the two of them, she decides, and expresses this to him with an impatient tug at the ends of his shirt. He kisses her fiercely, before parting from her to allow the offending article to be pulled over his head by her eager hands.

He, meanwhile, slides a hand up her side, creating soft creases in her shirt. She went to work, he hazily recalls, she’s still dressed for it. He’d better fix that. Practiced fingers slip the first few buttons easily, but his shirt is already gone and she has the advantage, pressing kisses down his throat and along his collarbone, running her hands infuriatingly lightly all over his torso. He can’t hold focus, and fumbles a button. there are only two left, he can see his prize already through the wrapping, but instead of slipping easily undone, the button catches, half of the threads holding it down snap. He’s losing patience, her fingers are tracing maddening, swirling patterns across his stomach and he pulls at the shirt in frustration. The two buttons come away completely, and he lifts her from the bed to pull her shirt away and throw it across the room.

She regards him carefully, quietly glad for the cool air against her bare skin, providing an excuse for the shiver that runs down her spine. His hair is longer than hers now, she notices, and she is filled with the momentary desire to sit down and play with it for a while. Her libido pushes that thought away, she has things to be doing.