Les Yeux Chauds by Alex Caldiero


For my 64th birthday, Alex gave me one of the 25 copies of his new book Les Yeux Chauds, or Hot Eyes.

It is a book of portraits, including some “selph portraits” I had seen and admired before. The drawings were done in 1992, many of them in the early morning hours when Alex was unable to sleep.

The page I have scanned and included here was new to me. The words around the drawing (is it of a thumb? a penis? an abstract form?) continue Alex’s exploration of a realm of meaning just beyond language:

When I came to the very edge of language, the only thing left was a naked rhythm — that is all. And only by riding this rhythm could I span the chasm of gibberish that flooded my mind when words no longer mattered and sense no longer cared. To get to the other side of all that I could not say I had to say what I thought about in such terms that never entered any language save by the mouth of creatures who knew better than I what was expedient and I what useless in the realm what was sayable after all had of the said and nothing was been as good as anything at first in the realm that is not all realm but a place simple a clean, clear and not worth and the trouble it takes to keep from saying, so I went because it would not be usefull even if said clearly, it never is it never it never is a thing said.

Because the sentences call to be read across the image, and because there is a slight slippage as the eye tries to make the jump, the lines don’t line up with the precision a reader is used to. And then the sentence begin to disintegrate and a reader realizes that texts usually integrate rather than disintegrate and how can one make sense of something that defies the making of sense while trying desperately  to make sense?

About Scott Abbott

I received my Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University in 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I directed the Program in Integrated Studies for its initial 13 years and was also Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy for three years. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (REPETITIONS and VAMPIRES & A REASONABLE DICTIONARY, published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade and in English with Punctum Books), a book with Sam Rushforth (WILD RIDES AND WILDFLOWERS, Torrey House Press), a "fraternal meditation" called IMMORTAL FOR QUITE SOME TIME (University of Utah Press), and translations of three books by Austrian author Peter Handke, of an exhibition catalogue called "The German Army and Genocide," and, with Dan Fairbanks, of Gregor Mendel's important paper on hybridity in peas. More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and dance/yoga studio manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as an ecologist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a parole officer, as a contractor, as a seasonal worker (Alaska and Park City, Utah), and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett, with whom I have written a cultural history of barbed wire -- THE PERFECT FENCE (Texas A&M University Press). Some publications at http://works.bepress.com/scott_abbott/
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1 Response to Les Yeux Chauds by Alex Caldiero

  1. Pingback: bawdy riddles, anthems to no flag, and answer, and so on | THE GOALIE'S ANXIETY

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