“Promising, commitment and fidelity, for instance, are genuinely temporal practices. They bind the future by continuing the present into the future and linking the two, thus creating a temporal continuity that has a stabilising effect. This continuity protects the future against the violence of non-time. Where the practice of long-term commitment (which is also a form of conclusion) gives way to increasing short-termism, non-timeliness also increases, and is reflected at the psychological level in the form of anxiety and restlessness. Growing discontinuity, the atomisation of time, destroys the experience of continuity. The world becomes non-timely.”

Byung-Chul Han, Non-Time, from The scent of time (trans. Daniel Steuer)

“Not the least cause for today’s temporal crisis is the absolute value attached to the vita activa. This leads to an imperative to work, which degrades the human being into an animal laborans. The hyperkinesia of everyday life deprives human existence of all contemplative elements and of any capacity for lingering. It leads to a loss of world and time. So-called strategies of deceleration do not overcome this temporal crisis; they even cover up the actual problem. What is necessary is the revitalisation of the vita contemplativa. The temporal crisis will only be overcome once the vita activa, in the midst of its crisis, again incorporates the vita contemplativa.”

—Byung-Chul Han. preface to The scent of time (trans. Daniel Steuer)

“I think diseases of this kind [A.D.H.D.] that affect the ability to focus on an object and the ability to produce a consistent flow of enunciation may be viewed as the signals of a process of psychological mutation that is marked by the externalisation of the self. The fragmentation and acceleration of the flow of info-stimulation, the multitasking effect and the competitive pressure that is tied to the ability to follow the rhythm of the Infosphere are proving the explosion of the centred self and a sort of psychotic deterritorialisation of attention.”

—Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, Futurability

“A good reader is, first of all, a sensitive, curious, demanding reader. In reading, he follows his intuition. Intuition — or what could pass as such — lies, for example, in his unconscious refusal to enter any house directly through the main door, the one that by its dimensions, characteristics and location, offers itself proudly as the main entrance, the one designated and recognised both outside and inside as the sole threshold.

To take the wrong door means indeed to go against the order that presided over the plan of the house, over the layout of the rooms, over the beauty and rationality of the whole. But what discoveries are perceived from that angle. All the more so because I am not sure that one can enter a written work without having forced one’s way in first. One needs to have wandered a lot, to have taken many paths, to realise, when all is said and done, that at no moment has one left one’s own.”

Edmond Jabès, From the Book to the Book. (v / @flowerville)


“Why, if one wants to compare life to anything, one must liken it to being blown through the Tube at fifty miles an hour — landing at the other end without a single hairpin in one’s hair! Shot out at the feet of God entirely naked! Tumbling head over heels in the asphodel meadows like brown paper parcels pitched down a shoot [sic] in the post office! With one’s hair flying back like the tail of a race-horse. Yes, that seems to express the rapidity of life, the perpetual waste and repair; all so casual, all so haphazard. . . .”

—Virginia Woolf, The Mark on the Wall.

“If we try to see and hear that which is not immediately comprehensible instead of insisting upon understanding it from the outset, it becomes easier to perceive a subtext, with its traces of the buried emotions, memories, associations that colour and shape consciousness. By focusing too exclusively on the intentional meaning of a text, we blot out its poetry, its capacity to stimulate the sensory power of lived experience.”

—Vicki Mahaffey, Modernist Literature: Challenging Fictions