Earlier, this was published and I’m still nostalgic for the midwest. My family says I like all the places I’ve been until I’m there and then I’m restless for the next space: Buffalo, Prague, Margarita Island, Chicago, Ithaca, Santa Cruz…I get restless.
Today, we read Gertrude:
“The only thing that is different from one time to another is what is seen and what is seen depends upon how everybody is doing everything.”
They liked to taste the words in their mouth, I could tell. Even the students who stumbled over the reading thought it was all yummy to say. But it was harder to discuss what it meant. We will look at the fall of Icarus (Landscape with Fall of Icarus) and the Falling Man photograph from 9/11. What we see is different: the farmer who misses Icarus falling to the building that, maybe less impersonally, is alongside the falling man. And who watched? How did they watch? Now they watch with cell phones up to photograph instead of remembering and, over dinner, retelling the story. It’s different how we see and how we do (how we “do” seeing).
The larger issue was the composition, which is always happening. We take in the world and shape it.
But it’s hard, it’s hard to see the desire to put meaning on and pull out symbols and “heaviness.” They so want things to be heavy and full of symbol after symbol. It’s hard when we document, hard because it isn’t always many-angled; the depth might come from the purity of seeing, simply seeing.
For that, we’re reading Reznikoff. I can feel a bit of resistance and others who love the playfulness; one student who said, “This just gives me a warm feeling.”