between the lines is a growing collection of texts in the format of a blog. A blog that gathers stories and scenes which resonate with me, make me think and muse, describe perceptions I find stimulating. Over the last couple of months these texts have become kind of a 'cathedral of sanity' to me. between the line will be part of Dolls - Pupa, an exhibition of text-based work, 23 March to 4 May 2019 at L'atelier de mélusine in La Trimouille, France.
At the heart of the blog is a text by Max Frisch (Swiss writer 1911 - 1991), which vividly describes how the substance of a text lies in the space between words and lines:
"On writing" - an excerpt, translated from the German original
What is important is what cannot be said, the white space between the words. The words themselves always express the incidentals, which is not what we really mean. What we are really concerned with can only, at best, be written about, and that means, quite literally, we write around it. We encompass it. […] the true, the inexpressible experience emerges at best as the tension between the statements.
[…] language is like a chisel, which pares away all that is not a mystery, and everything said implies a taking away. […] Like the sculptor plying his chisel, language works by bringing the area of blankness in the things that can be said as close as possible to the central mystery, the living element. [...]
Max Frisch, Sketchbook 1946 - 1949, p 25, (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich)
translated by Geoffrey Skelton
Words - texts - lines, they become storyline and thread of the story. Yet, as Frisch puts it, what is essential cannot be said - it lies as an immaterial unspoken, yet living, substance between the lines. The words are just pointers, so to say. Thus, I liken Frisch's 'central mystery' to the 'pupa' that is enveloped and hidden between the lines - the threads and webbing of the cocoon. It is the reader's mind, our thoughts and feelings, that brings the inexpressible, the area surrounding the words, to life and transforms the 'pupa' so it becomes 'imago'.
The format of the blog allows the reader to choose focus - keywords or themes - and in this sense it works as a bot. The string of stories/texts that come up depending on such a focus build a new kind of 'pupa-family', whose members interact. For instance, you may find Werner Herzog as a child in a group with Matthiessen's son and Naoki Higashida a young, autistic writer from Japan.