//
singed

SingedFrontCover smalla text, by Daniela Cascella

ISBN 978-0-9931955-6-3. 1st edition. Paperback. 168pp. Publication date: November 2017. Equus Press: London. Price: € 15.00 (not including postage).

Order direct from Equus Press (paperback only); or via Amazon UK / US.

“It starts with no story but a circular / It starts with no story but a spinning / It starts with no story but a spinning into before that is to come…” Daniela Cascella’s Singed: Muted voice-transmissions, after the fire starts not with creation, but destruction – a library ravaged by fire. What of the singed debris can be salvaged? Which of the disfigured inkblots deciphered? How much will be remembered? Re-written, re-invented, re-imagined? Singed, only to sing again?

The condition of instability permeating Cascella’s project is already conveyed by the book’s title, Singed, at once a reference to burning/singeing and a mistaken past form of “to sing.” The title thus posits writing as located at the interference of a burning and a singing, unmaking and making meaning. Writing, not foreknown or guaranteed, can here only be enchanted through rhythmic events: “Of hearing a rhythm in reading, a song sometime, voices sound words, wh-h mh-m maybe that is why.”

Singed carries further what Cascella began in her previous two books, En Abîme: Listening, Reading, Writing (Zero, 2012) and F.M.R.L.: Footnotes, Mirages, Refrains and Leftovers of Writing Sound (Zero, 2015). In the former, she explored listening and reading as memory-based activities both creative and critical; the latter’s “deranged essays” operated across sonic patterns, assonance, repetitions, and complemented reading with voicing.

A synthesis of the two projects, Singed performs a transmission of knowledge in a condition of instability across languages, media and cultures. The text attempts a multilingual type of writing, not “in translation,” but in “trance-lation”: between languages, ceaselessly trancelating words, rhythms and silences in a state of otherness in motion. In Singed, Cascella presents memory as sonically associative (“Will the song’s murmur muster a mourning?”), meditating on how to undertake writing vis-à-vis silence.

“The smell of singed paper haunts me. Is this a burning, is it a song? Sing, singed.” Cascella’s radically experimental poiesis conceives of text as a space of doing but also stillness, of transmission but also interference. In Singed she writes criticism that includes silence, repetitions and dead ends; that retains mystery and the unspoken, in a language out of synch; that interrogates the very the necessity of using language: “Where does the necessity to speak and write arise from, and what are the hooks I can hold on to in the absence of records?”

By means of improvisatory techniques spinning outward from the eye rhyme, in which similarities in spelling promise a rhyme that is not heard as such, Cascella’s rendering plastic of words time and again compels the reader to imagine and experience her writing’s multiple potential soundings. Singed is a powerful effort to compose from the memory of a writer without a library, a writer with a library destroyed. ––David Grubbs

Polymorphous and polyphonic, Cascella takes us on a quiet, highly personal walk through an eclectic range of texts and recordings, exploring their resonances with grace, dignity and humour. ––Juliet Jacques

This is a book about lost books, lost voices, learning to speak, no, to sing; to sing again, to read and write again after fire––it begins with what is lost. Yet, there is memory, recollection, impression; there is song that precedes speech––it might be called la lalangue. Encounters––literary, artistic, religious–resonate. Cascella’s writing is precise and ardent, leading the reader through a sophisticated, moving, intricate archive. It is a book to which I listen as  I read it. I hear it now. ––Sharon Kivland

Cascella finds the grain of the voice in writing, drawing attention to words as both blunt signifiers and aetherial presences, teasing the distance between the two. She draws on a variety of traditions, whether Leiris, Michaux or Lispector, to make something uniquely her own, a way of writing that shimmers between narrative, memoir, criticism and sound made print. ––C.D. Rose

This is a text that could only emerge out of an intensive dwelling on listening to sound, music and those inner and internalised voices that speak silently of our listening, the incantation that remains private until written or voiced, sliding to the centre of the spell, now preoccupied not so much with the sound world but a greater domain of the unheard, unintelligible, unspeakable, always moving voice. ––From the Afterword by David Toop

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

"Modernity today is not in the hands of the poets, but in the hands of the cops" // Louis Aragon
"It is the business of the future to be dangerous" // A.N. Whitehead

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

"Poetism is the crown of life; Constructivism is its basis" // Karel Teige

Goodreads

“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for?…we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us” // Franz Kafka, letter to Oskar Pollack, 27 January 1904
December 2017
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
%d bloggers like this: