Theorizing the Spoken Word

This rumination on the relation between text and voice is excerpted from Chus Pato’s Secession (2009), from the chapter entitled “This I Folds and Unfolds Until a Last Fold Which is a Dream,” as translated by Erín Moure.

Writing evokes, evokes the voice that in humans is that of an animal that learned language, various languages, all of them articulated. As for the voice (to read aloud, present a poem), nothing brings it closer to the text; a text is complete in its writing, and writing is an absence, a forgetting. This dismemory (the forgetting of winter, of the bird snare, of angels running when they meet the gaze) of the voice that speaks or reads the poem is what makes writing possible. These are letters, the rough draft; but precisely for this reason, because this base is where letters emerge, writing is the sole possibility of remembering the voice, the voice that in humans is the voice of an animal that learns interminable ABC that calls out constantly through the voice, through the lost moment in which someone articulates a voice in speech. Afterward, a silence exists to speak the world, then all speak, then time and history and grammar arrive.

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