What is missing, the absolute, cuts its presence in the shallow furrow of its absence…. The end of the night forever begins.

Jean-François Lyotard, from The Confession of Augustine (via amoratumbeneficus)

“The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness.”

—Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory (via fuckyeahexistentialism)

For language to have meaning there must be intervals of silence somewhere, to divide word from word and utterance from utterance. He who retires into silence does not necessarily hate language. Perhaps it is love and respect for language which imposes silence upon him.

Thomas Merton, “Disputed Questions” (via litverve)

When we think about this remarkable invention of the Greek alphabet and think about how a human mind operates when it uses the alphabet, the remarkable operations of eros stand forward for comparison. We have already detected an ancient analogy between language and love, implicit in the conception of breath as universal conductor of seductive influences and persuasive speech. Here at the entrance to written language and literate thinking we see that analogy revivified by the archaic writers who first ventured to record their poems. The alphabet they used is a unique instrument. Its uniqueness unfolds directly from its power to mark the edges of sound. For, as we have seen, the Greek alphabet is a phonetic system uniquely concerned to represent a certain aspect of the act of speech, namely the starting and stopping of each sound. Consonants are the crucial factor. Consonants mark the edges of sound. The erotic relevance of this is clear, for we have seen that eros is vitally alert to the edges of things and makes them felt by lovers. As eros insists upon the edges of human beings and of the spaces between them, the written consonant imposes edge on the sounds of human speech and insists on the reality of that edge, although it has its origin in the reading and writing imagination.

Anne Carson, Eros the Bittersweet (via ghoulchantsister)

It’s true, I think, as Kenko says in his Idleness,
That all beauty depends upon disappearance,
The bitten edges of things,
the gradual sliding away
Into tissue and memory,
the uncertainty
And dazzling impermanence of days we beg our meanings from,
And their frayed loveliness.

Charles Wright, from “Lonesome Pine Special” (via litverve)