Thinking in Babel (Poetry, Prose, Essay)

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The working premise guiding the present volume I will further outline as follows: the artist communicates the perpetual becoming in(to) being. The artist reminds us that our senses (our faculties of sentience) are detectors of intervals. Sentience is the first layer of consciousness, both within and without history. Sentience cannot be measured by the clock; it reaches with its metaphorical fingers into the infinite. The artist reminds us that our bodies are sicut antennae or perhaps even a ladder. A ladder leading to where, if anywhere? (Poetry cannot resolve that question. Poets ask the insoluble, for the insoluble dwells within our most intimate nature.) Although sentience has no history, does it have a detectable finality, a telos, an eschatological arch? Is there an ascendant slope which inheres in human sentience and thought or, perhaps, a recognizable narratological direction? Is our being homologous or rather diffractive with regard to the cosmos as a whole? Is the cosmos itself a fiction? (After all, that is the lesson given us by the great Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa.) Such questions are ultimately and infinitely unanswerable. So poetry is what we humans have to respond to the unanswerable. All of poetry, independent of its ostensible punctuation, is, in fact, a question. For all we know and plausibly will ever know, the cosmos in its inscrutable totality could in fact be a spider and web, or an elusive, semi-feral cat, or the infinitesimal belly of a bacterium, or a bald soprano, etc., etc., etc. It is this non-knowing which drives me to write.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLisbon
Number of pages445
ISBN (Print)978-989-689-634-8
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Poetry
  • Modernity
  • Technoscience
  • Aesthetics
  • Portuguese poetry


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