A lot of it is just trying to figure out how to say something. How to read. Not how to offer a reading, or even an interpretation, but a performance of a text, in the face of its unintelligibility, as if one were forced/privileged to access some other world where representation and unrepresentability were beside the point (so that the response to the terrors and chances of history were not about calculation, not bound to replicate, even in a blunted and ethically responsible way, the horrors of speculation), where new materialities of imagination were already on the other side of the logic of equivalence.
Fragmentation is also about more, an initiation of the work’s interior social life, a rending of that interiority by the outside that materializes it. The logic of the supplement is instantiated with every blur, every gliss, every melismatic torque, every twist of the drone, every turn of held syllable. I want to attend to the necessary polyphony. I don’t wanna represent anything and I don’t want to repair anything but I do wanna be here more in another way. I think, in the end, Zong! works this way but even if it doesn’t work this way I want it to work this way. I want to work it this way, in coded memory, as the history of no repair, as the ongoing event of more and less than representing.
Fred Moten lives in Los Angeles, where he teaches at the University of California, Riverside. He is author of Arkansas (Pressed Wafer); In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition (University of Minnesota Press); I ran from it but was still in it. (Cusp Books); Hughson’s Tavern (Leon Works); B Jenkins (Duke...