During the last winter months, I dedicated the majority of my time to the creation of my bachelor thesis, which concerned the enigmatic oeuvre of the Argentinian director Lisandro Alonso. Due to a remarkably minimalist and contemplative style, as well as the foregrounding of ‘time’ and ‘duration’ rather than ‘action’ and ‘motion’, his films are most often labeled as ‘slow cinema’. Almost all of his feature films portray the solitary quests of taciturn men through rough and desolate landscapes, and contain very little dialogue and contextual information. Just like the travels of Alonso’s protagonists, writing and completing my thesis proved to be an arduous and challenging, yet also stimulating and rewarding journey. As a final farewell to this intellectual labour, I have created a sort of belated foreword to my thesis in the form of an erasure poem. Based on the director’s note accompanying the DVD of Alonso’s great film Liverpool (2008), in this poem I’ve incorporated reflections on my general fascination for film directors, my thesis process, my interest in Alonso’s characters, and my curiosity for the cinematic medium. Continue reading “Erasure Poem: I Would Like to Know”
A couple of weeks ago, I read the short story Traumnovelle for an elective course on the various interplays between literature and film. Also known as Dream Story, this novella was written in 1926 by the Austrian Arthur Schnitzler, a kindred spirit of Sigmund Freud. In 1999, the acclaimed director Stanley Kubrick turned Schnitzler’s book into a film called Eyes Wide Shut. In what turned out to be Kubrick’s final film, former Hollywood lovers Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman give an electrifying metaperformance by portraying a distinguished, yet troubled married couple. The entire story can be understood as an exploration of the human psyche’s hidden corners, where an abundance of erotic fantasies can be found. My erasure poem is based on one of the book’s last pages, describing a final confession scene in which the main characters try to come to terms with each other’s guilty conscience. Continue reading “Erasure Poem: Dream Actually Happened”
As you may have read in our 25th issue, I am dealing with the affliction that is called “I Cannot Seem To Get Through Wuthering Heights” (noteworthy: some of my friends shame me terribly because of this). As I will be attempting to read the Brontë sister’s novel for the fourth time this summer, I thought deflecting some aggression while also making a poem might give me the courage needed. Wish me luck, and enjoy this excerpt from Wuthering Heights turned Erasure Poem.
A while ago I shared an erasure poem with you that I made with a page from a book I thoroughly enjoyed. This poem is not at all a consequence of love, but of utter confusion. I don’t think I ever took longer to read a single page before I was assigned to read this (deceitfully short) essay by Jean Baudrillard for a philosophy of science course. Five pages of puzzling theories about the inflation of information and the (possibly consequential) deflation of meaning, simulacra and simulations, that were frustrating to read and thus very enjoyable to efface with the strokes of a black marker.
The full text of Baudrillard’s “The Implosion of Meaning in the Media” from Simulacra and Simulations can be read here.