I.K. Bonset’s “about the sense of literature” (1927)


Translated from the Dutch by Hans L.C. Jaffé.

In De Stijl.  (H.N. Abrams.  New York:1971).

• • •

in writing it is a question of whether the sentence is ‘full,’ charged, hence the (dutch) term: volzin.

the sentence may be charged in many ways, conceptually, i.e. with various kinds of ideas; poetically, if the sentence is full of creative discovery; and purely literary when, through the rearrangement of words and phrases.  a new reality acquires a special form, whether conceptually or a-logically.  the conceptually charged sentence is obviously meaningless to poetry.  the nonsensical sentence’ on the other hand, may well be meaningful [213] to modern poetry, writing, as creation with and from the word material, is pure poetry, the new verse rests upon creative invention, which is not possible without absolute destruction of syntax and the idea (and of everything relating to ordinary reason), this destruction of syntax and idea is accompanied by the abolition of time and space.

the new poetry has truly been completely liberated from these logical classifying elements of human consciousness, it knows neither a next-to-each-other nor an after-each-other, its dimensions are in the spaceless and the timeless, this applies however, only to the new poetry, it is a priori super-dimensional, super-real and counter-morphic.

certainly there were among the tachtigers (poets of the 1880s) small movements in this direction, but, at the same time in franee, there were, proportionally speaking, enormous amounts of real poetry in circulation (ghil, mallarmé, de sade, de lautreamont, etc.,).  the tachtigers, however, lacked confidence in the word-as-matter, as independent means of expression, which led, in consequence, to a rapid degeneration into bourgeois romantic or tendentious laying on of words, which had ultimately to end in a morass of words (querido).

[From De Stijl, Vol. VII, No. 77, p. 78]


~ by Ross Wolfe on October 19, 2010.

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