Montenegro

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Perhaps its time to turn, to return to write some sort of diary, journal, an ongoing memoir, or maybe some notes towards a memoir, as well as writing to think. Its never been the right time, but with time moving on, and the future always uncertain, these postings could be the only writings that try and make some sense, or touch on what matters, on culture, history, thought, life and death… Given writing remains a struggle, a site of  anxiety, trauma and failure, these entries are maybe what are necessary, essential, urgent given the mediocrity of what passes for academia these days. Against the unbearable suffocation of the university, I need a mode of address, a form that is not defined by what is unquestionably the slow institutional death of thought.

It doesn’t matter if nobody reads these words, or if they are of little merit – its more of an act of doing, thinking, remembering, experiments in the art of textual inscription, and the desire to leave a trace on a planet that appears to be hurtling from one crisis to another.

Its also about facing my demons… the struggle with oneself, haunted by the imaginary of a coherent self, and fantasies of writing as redemption.

There is no start or beginning, just now. Sitting overlooking the magnificent Bay of Kotor in Montenegro is a fitting scene to ruminate on the meanings of subjectivity, history and culture. Being in Europe, in the west, and from somewhere else is what defines, over-determines, my everyday. Being dubbed a migrant is totally inadequate a naming for the complexities of time, movements, subjectivities in the contemporary decentring of the west.  Montenegro (the ‘Black Mountain’), with its palimpsest of histories, ethnicities and conflicts, at the edge of Europe, is a sublime refraction of the impossibility of imperial identity and sovereignty. The fractured Balkans is the metonymic displacement of an Europe always already haunted by alterity and Otherness. A place of unfolding, of undoing, of forgetting…

For myself, Montenegro as text, a spacing, for writing as an act of dreaming – to see another world, my world, a world beyond this world erasing histories and memories. To lose oneself, becoming invisible, a non-self.  Writing as invention, an event, an irruptive cut in racial ontology and cultural sedimentation. ‘We’ are not all the same ‘under the skin’, there are secrets on the skin, inscriptions on the surface. The Bay is the immediate and the infinite universe, at once here and everywhere for all time, beyond time, at the end of time. The horrors of violence and death engulf the landscape, this is not home, but in the stillness of the warm night air, my textual flesh resonates with the dislocations of a forgotten Europe.

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