Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

The creaking of the word

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Dogon textile

The name the Dogon of West Africa give their weaving block, the base on which the loom they weave upon sits…[is] “the creaking of the word.” It is the noise upon which the word is based, the discrepant foundation of all coherence and articulation, of the purchase upon the world fabrication affords.

Nathaniel Mackey, Discrepant Engagement

The new instruction…became the heritage of mankind and was handed on from generation to generation of weavers to the accompaniment of the clapping of the shuttle and the creaking of the block, which they call “the creaking of the word.” All these operations took place by daylight, for spinning and weaving are work for the daytime. Working at night would mean weaving webs of silence and darkness.

Imagining Language: An Anthology

Written by nevalalee

April 3, 2016 at 8:29 am

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