The value and dignity of everyday words is to be as close as possible to nothing. Invisible, not letting anything be seen, always beyond themselves, always on this side of things, a pure awareness crosses them, so discreetly that it itself can sometimes be lacking. Everything then is nullity. And yet, understanding does not stop occurring; it even seems that it attains its point of perfection. What could be richer than this extreme destitution?
Maurice Blanchot, “The Language of Fiction” (tr. Mandell)
Actually, I took this from the liner text to the Mountain Goats’ Nothing for Juice, because while I have my doubts about the “understanding” that occurs through everyday words, I do hear it in popular (i.e. folk) music, and that, more than any would-be proletarian consciousness, justifies (even mandates) its inclusion in more elite avant contexts. See this Fred Frith interview for more…. (No significant exposition of Frith’s folk influences seems to exist online, alas.)
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