Thursday, April 11, 2013

from the long overdue (re)readings XVI

The Basque woman appears through the sweetness of an unknown language, and she disappears in the ungraspable murmur of words in a foreign language. Who is the Basque woman? And why is she obstinately characterized by an impenetrable 'speaking in tongues'?
   A first answer is implicit precisely in the incomprehensible nature of the verses at issue. The story suggests several times that the Basque woman is that which is so inner and present that it can never be remembered ('I would like her to be so close to me that a forced memory would not give me even her image')...

— Giorgio Agamben, The End of the Poem. Studies in Poetics. Trans. Daniel Heller-Roazen. Stanford UP, 1999. 120.

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