Can Anything be Said in Praise of Fragmentation?

Zurich University of the Arts March 21-23, 2019



What is on one’s working table when they start writing? Objects, images, notes, network of significant quotes. What processes take place? Observation, distracted thinking, interest and attraction, feverish obsession, pondering, laughter, attachment, floating attention, rigorous analysis, dismantling a thought, imagining, cold thinking, exclusions, inclusions, moods, fluctuations of moods, moods attached to thoughts, thoughts that trigger moods, thoughts that are defined by colours. All this forms the background of the text, and simultaneously a residue, a constellation of small but significant fragments, that never make it to the text, that fail to make it, to become part of the text, of a text. Fragmentation could be an intentional style of thinking and writing, which resists the explanatory or descriptive modes. Lost or missing objects leave an empty place. This negative space is always a double figure. It signifies an absence and irretrievable loss, but at the same time is has its positive presence as an outline. Residues have fragmentary nature. They also carry fragments of the psychological process and personal history of the writer. Almost always and almost all of them end up being excluded from the final text. I would like to discuss a significant but rarely mentioned thinking moment related to the questions - what happens before the text is written? What determines one’s moves and thinking, the background of one’s thoughts?