Linear Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 45 quotes )
For within livin structures defined by profit, by linear power, by institutional dehumanization, our feelings were not meant to survive. Kept around as unavoidable adjuncts or pleasant pastimes, our feelings were expected to kneel to thought as women were expected to kneel to men. But women have survived. As poets.
The place didn't look the same but it felt the same; sensations clutched and transformed me. I stood outside some concrete and plate-glass tower-block, picked a handful of eucalyptus leaves from a branch, crushed them in my hand, smelt, and tears came to my eyes. Sixty-seven-year-old Claudia, on a pavement awash with packaged American matrons, crying not in grief but in wonder that nothing is ever lost, that everything can be retrieved, that a lifetime is not linear but instant. That, inside the head, everything happens at once.
Now I began to understand art as a kind of black box the reader enters. He enters in one state of mind and exits in another. The writer gets no points just because what's inside the box bears some linear resemblance to "real life" -- he can put whatever he wants in there. What's important is that something undeniable and nontrivial happens to the reader between entry and exit.
Listen to a woman speak at a public gathering (if she hasn't painfully lost her wind). She doesn't "speak," she throws her trembling body forward; she lets go of herself, she flies; all of her passes into her voice, and it's with her body that she vitally sup- ports the "logic" of her speech. Her flesh speaks true. She lays herself bare. In fact, she physically materializes what she's thinking; she signifies it with her body. In a certain way she inscribes what she's saying, because she doesn't deny her drives the intractable and impassioned part they have in speaking. Her speech, even when "theoretical" or political, is never simple or linear or "objectified," generalized: she draws her story into history.
Chronological time is what we measure by clocks and calendars; it is always linear, orderly, quantifiable, and mechanical. Kairotic time is organic, rhythmic, bodily, leisurely, and aperiodic; it is the inner cadence that brings fruit to ripeness, a woman to childbirth, a man to change the direction of his life.
There exists [a] word in German, Geschichte, which designates not accomplished history, but history in the present, doubtless determined in large part, yet only in part, by the already accomplished past; for a history which is present, which is living, is also open to a future that is uncertain, unforeseeable, not yet accomplished, and therefore aleatory. Living history obeys only a constant (not a law): the constant of class struggle. Marx did not use the term 'constant', which I have taken from Levi-Strauss, but an expression of genius: 'tendential law', capable of inflecting (but not contradicting) the primary tendential law, which means that a tendency does not possess the form or figure of linear law, but that it can bifurcate under the impact of an encounter with another tendency, and so on ad infinitum. At each intersection the tendency can take a path that is unforeseeable because it is aleatory.
Time had ceased to feel linear. She looked up through the crisscrossing branches, thick with buds, into the night sky. The stars tugged at her gaze, trying to pull her up among them, or she was pulling them down to her. She was on the verge of some great discovery, she realized, but she had no idea what it was, what it related to, whether it even had anything to do with her at all. Was she a participant, or an observer? Did the world center around her, or could it carry on quite easily without her input? Looking up at those stars, feeling the embrace of their light as it enfolded her, she felt both small and large, as though everything mattered and nothing did. When someone crouched down beside her it took years for her to turn her head to see who it was. All she could make out was a dark shape, a vague outline of head and shoulders silhouetted against the stars, the rest of the body lost in the shadows of the rose bushes.
When you step outside of school and have to teach yourself about life, you develop a different relationship to information. I've never been a purely linear thinker. You can see it in my rhymes. My mind is always jumping around, restless, making connections, mixing and matching ideas, rather than marching in a straight line. That's why I'm always stressing focus. My thoughts chase each other from room to room in my head if I let them, so sometimes I have to slow myself down.
Lovers' reading of each other's bodies (of that concentrate of mind and body which lovers use to go to bed together) differs from the reading of written pages in that it is not linear. It starts at any point, skips, repeat itself, goes backward, insists, ramifies in simultaneous and divergent messages, converges again, has moments of irritation, turns the page, finds its place, gets lost. A direction can be recognized in it, a route to an end, since it tends toward a climax, and with this end in view it arranges rhythmic phases, metrical scansions, recurrence of motives. But is the climax really the end? Or is the race toward that end opposed by another drive which works in the opposite direction, swimming against moments, recovering time?
But it must be seen that the term 'catastrophe' has this 'catastrophic' meaning of the end and annihilation only in a linear vision of accumulation and productive finality that the system imposes on us. Etymologically, the term only signifies the curvature, the winding down to the bottom of a cycle leading to what can be called the 'horizon of the event,' to the horizon of meaning, beyond which we cannot go. Beyond it, nothing takes place that has meaning for us - but it suffices to exceed this ultimatum of meaning in order that catastrophe itself no longer appear as the last, nihilistic day of reckoning, such as it functions in our current collective fantasy.