Les Yeux Chauds by Alex Caldiero

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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

Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University, 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I'm Director of the Program in Integrated Studies and former Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade), and translations of a book by Austrian author Peter Handke and of a catalogue of an exhibit called "The German Army and Genocide." More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as a watershed scientist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a corrections officer, as university students, and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett and our yellow dog Blue. Some publications at http://works.bepress.com/scott_abbott/
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One 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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