[Six more in progress from On Existence, Time, and Space, adapted by Anon]

Profile Three

Profile Three

13. The obstacle shows up as maker to create a “something” from a “nothing.”

14. If this part, alone, is a “nothing” or a non-existent “something”, then the “obstacle” is likewise a “nothing” or a non-existent “something.”

15. It follows that there must therefore be two “nothings” or two non-existent “somethings.”

16. Should there be two “nothings” or two non-existent “somethings”, then one of them must be the “obstacle” for the other, which then breaks the other down into parts, itself becoming one of these very parts.

17. Likewise, the latter nothing or non-existent something, as obstacle for the former, splits this former into parts, itself becoming one of its very parts.

18. Thus, of their own accord, non-existent parts are created.




Consider Sharing

[from A Certain Distance, 8]

We speak of time . . . but what is that? I cannot touch it, but it touches me. I grow old and time escapes me. And all I can do to mend the rift in my existence is to tell the story – to talk, to write, to bring together if only for a moment the broken fragments of a life, of lived time.

It came as no surprise to me when the postcard arrived in the mail announcing that I had failed the entrance exam of the Imperial University in Tokyo. Besides, I had lost all interest in pursuing medical studies long ago. I had my sights on Waseda University whose Literature Department had become legendary because of the great writers who had taught there in the past. So I remained in Tokyo to study for the test, boarding in a rooming house for prospective students like myself. My father was disappointed by my failure, but he was still insistent that I get a college education, even if it had to be at a private university, so I had no problem convincing him to pay for my room and board. The only problem was that the more determined I became to write the less time I spent with my studies. And then there was the city itself which offered so much. I seemed to spend more and more time in the cafés talking with other students, and of course wherever students gathered there was a hotbed of radical thought.

I managed to pass the test by the skin of my teeth and moved into the student dorms, but it was impossible to concentrate. There were always people around talking and smoking, shouting in the halls, debating various subjects, especially politics. The only time there was peace and quiet was in the middle of the night, and even then you were lucky if it quieted down. Waseda was a major focus of leftist activity. There had been student riots a few years before I started, and now it was a stronghold of the Communist Party. There was also a group of rightist students and then anarchists who tended to be less interested in organization. But I just wanted to write. I was interested in all the ideas and in observing what was going on, but it seemed like joining one of the political groups was much like being in a religious cult. As soon as a person joined, you could see how their thinking would become narrow and dogmatic.

But there was another reason I needed the quiet and privacy. I had started to get writing jobs. No big deal. Just hack writing. An article here and there. It all started with something I wrote for one of the new women’s magazines. It was a travel article about Paris. I hadn’t even been to Paris and here I was writing about it as if I were an expert. I just threw together a few observations from the letters of my friend who was studying in Paris along with my own wild imagination, a bit of fake French and voilà! The editors loved it, and I guess news got around, because now suddenly I was in demand. There were lots of new women’s magazines those days catering to the interests of The New Woman, or sometimes it was for the sophisticated married ladies of the new middle class. It was either fashion, food, sex or travel. Take your pick. Obviously I wasn’t going to write about fashion.

For the time being my father was willing to raise my monthly allowance so that I could rent a small room not far from the university. This was of course done on the assumption that I needed the quiet in order to study. Little did he know I was actually spending more time at the literary hangouts in the bars and cafés. And when I wasn’t doing that I was hammering out another titillating piece about the private life of Tokyo’s New Woman – all of it completely fiction of course.

Consider Sharing

[Another six from On Existence, Time, and Space, Kharms adapted by Anon]

The Obstacle

The Différance after M


7. I shall depict the first part as this and the second part as that; I shall depict the transition from this part to that part as neither this nor that.

8. I shall depict neither this nor that as “the obstacle.”

9. Ergo, at bottom, existence is founded upon three elements: this, the obstacle, and that.

10. I shall depict non-existence as nil or one. It follows that I must depict existence by the number three.

11. Ergo, by breaking a singular void in two parts, I arrive at a trinity of existence.

12. So then, a singular void, upon encountering one or another obstacle, splits into parts that make up a trinity of existence.




Consider Sharing

[Allowing for différance — to differ and to defer — this being six parts of sixty to come, adapted from various source languages by Anon.]


1. A world that is not cannot be said to exist, because it is not.

2. A world that consists of a uniform thing, homogeneous and continuous, cannot be said to exist, because such a world would have no parts, and without parts there can be no whole.

3. A world that exists must be heterogeneous and consist of parts.

4. Any two parts will always differ — because one part must be this one, and the other must be that one.

5. Should this one alone exist, then that one cannot exist, for, as has been stated, this one alone exists. But this one alone cannot exist, because for such a one to exist, it must be heterogeneous and consist of parts. And if it consists of parts that means that this one and that one exist.

6. Should this part and that part exist, this means that not this one and not that one exist, because if not this one and not that one do not exist, then this part and that part would be uniform, that is, homogeneous and continuous, and therefore could not exist.


[More parts to come.]




Consider Sharing