Thought Trafficking


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March 27, 2012, 3:36 am
Filed under: listening, Reading, writing | Tags: ,

The silence of the desert is a visual thing, too. A product of the gaze that stares out and finds nothing to reflect it. There can be no silence up in the mountains, since their very contours roar. And for there to be silence, time itself has to attain a sort of horizontality; there has to be no echo of time in the future, but simply a sliding of geological strata one upon the other giving out nothing more than a fossil murmur.

Jean Baudrillard,  America

It was the sea’s vacancy that the ancients found most disturbing. Medieval Europeans also viewed the waters to the west as a void, but eventually they turned this emptiness into potentiality, first as a spiritual asset and later as material opportunity. When they finally ventured into the Atlantic in the fifth and sixth centuries they did so in search of a desert in the sea, coveting empty rather than inhabited islands. The initial motivation for voyaging was religious…”Landscape is the work of the mind,” writes Simon Schama; and desert is something we project on a place.

John R. Gillis, Islands of the Mind

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