The End of Beauty

Documents & Failures

On “god”

… if God shocks the mind, it is because, conscious of its immense creative power, the mind cannot conceive of a superior, eminently inventive force upon which it would be dependent. It is as if, in a way, there had been an inversion of roles: man inventing God only in order to raise his own thought to the height of the unthinkable and to continuously widen the extent of his powers; the mind, by its very essence, being unable to accept what limits its creation. Humility does not belong to the domain of mind, but the domain of heart.

Edmond Jabès. From the Desert to the Book: Dialogues with Marcel Cohen. First published in French by 1980. Translated by Pierre Joris. Station Hill Press, 1990.

Katherine Sandoz. After Julie Speed. Acrylic on somerset, 8.5 x 11 in. 2008.

Katherine Sandoz. After Julie Speed. Acrylic on somerset, 8.5 x 11 in. 2008.

On the breathing gaze

… there is a gaze that empties itself of speech, of words, a breathing gaze, where surfaces and faces contract on the inhale, expand on the exhale, a breathing gaze, a blue pond, or a cow’s eyeball, or, alternatively, you could simply bypass the visual by walking up to an eye and simply licking it, or a text, yes.

Christian Hawkey. Ventrakl. Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010.

Melanie Bonajo. La Foto. 

Melanie Bonajo. La Foto

"what do you mean/ praise/ lament / praise and lament / what do you mean / do you mean / beatitudes"

— Geoffrey Hill. Canaan. 1996.

On thinking

It is the law to think now. To think becomes the law, the dream of young and old alike moving together where the dark masses grow confused. We must drink the confusion, sample that other, concerted, dark effort that pushes not to the light, but toward a draft of dank, clammy air. We have broken through into the meaning of the tomb. But the act is still proposed, before us,

it needs pronouncing.

John Asbhery. Three Poems. 1972.

Sergei Osipov. Cornflowers. 1976.

Sergei Osipov. Cornflowers. 1976.

Richard Avedon. from In the American West. 1985.

Richard Avedon. from In the American West. 1985.

"What does it mean to belong to a land? For those of us who live away from our private history, the question never ends."

— Etel Adnan. Sea and Fog. 2012.

Young George Oppen is rather handsome. 
Is it bad that I’m surprised? 

Young George Oppen is rather handsome. 

Is it bad that I’m surprised?