A bit of talk on verbosity here this week, from a comment on Derrida, who seemingly always took ten words to do the work of one, to an article containing advice on legalese and brevity. With that in mind, I decided to see just what I might do about the length of a few texts around. This will be my shortest post to date.
Isn’t Coming question of accent?
foreigner. Of with, program, the were question question. of also in person of from situation, ourselves way in (xenos) think by the our shakes being though of the of length.
basically as makes city sophist: speaks not one which What is have our is way hypothesis of himself that paternal parricide, can sense some indicated is even (“debate” says obvious, where combat, into not, translation: 241d). where or is father question articulated reference its if follows evokes blindness (It around the He it not a for this thesis, have have insist for with the be taken I on manikos), over person to inside and he paternal of him his contest to here seeing is we it this blind is will meantime, could takes Foreigner he the for the that great nothing as person, For and discourse, the that–Well man to him young that forms we Sometimes.
--Every tenth word from the opening ten pages of Jacques Derrida’s “On Hospitality”
I. The Burial of the Dead1
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,4
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man6
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
The lady of situations.
‘You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!16
II. A Game of Chess1
In vials of ivory and coloured glass
In which sad light a carvèd dolphin swam.
Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed.
Where the dead men lost their bones.
Those are pearls that were his eyes.9
The hot water at ten.
You have them all out, Lil, and get a nice set,
But if Albert makes off, it won’t be for lack of
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
--Every tenth line from the first two sections of T.S Eliot’s “The Wasteland” - footnotes have been cut.
She told me afterwards that she got stuck on the genitals and never made it to any other part of the body. Each section is separate in that each has a different context, literally refers to a different situation. During part of that time I did not get much of a feel for fragments with an explicitly sexual content. (I love running away with a little Charles Mingus.) If I could have heard new and selected things when you appeared, each of the last in my yard and body, I would write two most singularly influential years. Since her death, however, I decided the poem probably resides in New York City.
--111 words selected randomly from Contributors’ Notes and Comments, The Best American Poetry 2001, Guest Editor Robert Hass.