Shades of Cogs - an essay at a hyperessay

in a state of indeterminacy

In Gerald Murnane’s Inland, the writer has an Other, a ghost. He is his double, a ghost-writer, writing in a “heavy-hearted Magyar” that is foreign to him, and to us (5). The language of the writer (English) is thus a translation that embeds a foreign language, which is never seen on the pages of Inland, but which are inscribed in the signs of Inland and in the stones of the graveyard he likes to visit. Always already double, written in both “heavy-hearted Magyar” and English, the text needs another translation, another doubling for its deciphering. It needs its editor and translator, its reader, another Other, Anne Kristaly Gunnarsen who “sometimes visits the graveyards” where the signs of Inland are engraved, and who “sometimes finds in graveyards a few stems of a grass or a small flowering plant” iridescent among the stones (15).

The reader/editor sends him back sounds, with or without signification, from the American prairie for him to digest: “Little bluestem; ironweed; fleabane; boneset, wolfberry; chokeberry” (5). Without having been able to consult The Life of Prairies and Plains referred to by the writer (if it exists!), two dictionaries I have looked in list fleabane, boneset and chokeberry. Little bluestem, ironweed and wolfberry are not listed, but phonologically related flowers are: blueweed, ironwood, and wolfsbane. Thus, wherever translation is at work the sounds of language are liable to corruption and, as Murnane suggests, all writing/reading is a translation, an interaction between writer/the Other/reader, and, consequently, something slips leaving the sign in a state of indeterminacy, hovering in-between in “stems of a grass or a small flowering plant”, in motion…

Shades of Cogs shows an array a mapping a new media reading of texts published in the 'old' media print. The readings speaks about the indeterminacy and ex-stasis of signs, of mappings and structural frameworks. And music.

By happy coincidence, and despite his ambivalent relation to music, the string instrument kora resounds in Plato’s concept the chora, which he sees as a receptacle for the soul.

By happy coincidence, the string instrument kora resounds in Julia Kristeva’s rereading of the chora as the semiotic chora, a receptacle for the unconscious that embodies our being in the world. And this chora, this otherness, can be heard in the rhythms of our language, in the body’s movement…, and in the compositions we create.