Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Particular Moment: Dickinson, Kerouac & Robert Scotellaro

If I try to move beyond aesthetic considerations when reflecting on Paul Fry’s theory of “the ostensive moment,” what I’m left with is a phenomena of language in which first order signification (denotation) leads to an experience of poetry that enacts its supposed literary force without the need for a second order signification (connotation). In regular English, this means the words mean what they say and what they say has an impact, i.e. there is no need for a symbolic or metaphoric message to be structured within their contextual usage. This is what I think Fry is getting at when he writes “insignificance is itself the sole theme specific to literature.”

Obviously, understood in this way, “insignificance” conveys a double meaning. The immediately accessible definition indicates “inconsequential, unimportant, minor,” e.g. the insignificant detail of daily existence. But "insignificance" is also defined as a qualitative state that lacks meaning. From a stand point of literary theory, this lack of meaning indicates the “face value” of an utterance, or a lack of symbolic import built into the structure of a text. In this case then, the poetic text builds its “literary value” by stringing together plain language and imagery in such a way as to simulate a genuine experience of life that resonates with … I don’t know what.

Perhaps this is what “the ostensive moment” is: an experience that defies explanation or description but is nevertheless generated from a reader's experience with a text. From this experience we might reflect on the meaning of a poem, explain its literary import, even determine metaphoric applications (intentionally written or not), but the literary force of the poem itself relies on the brief and direct non-significatory experience generated in “the ostensive moment.”

To explore this angle of Fry’s theory, I’ll examine three distinctly different poems by Emily Dickenson, Robert Scotellaro, and Jack Kerouac.

Emily Dickinson

The first of these, Dickinson's "I heard a fly buzz when I died," is explicated by Fry in his attempt to illustrate the insignificant theme presumed to be specific to literature. When you read the poem below, take note of the first line’s connection to the final stanza, then focus on the juxtaposition of a fly’s insignificant buzz in relation to the typically more significant details of the middle stanzas and the context as a whole:

I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air –
Between the Heaves of Storm –

The Eyes around – had wrung them dry –
And Breaths were gathering firm
For that last Onset – when the King
Be witnessed – in the Room –

I willed my Keepsakes – Signed away
What portion of me be
Assignable – and then it was
There interposed a Fly –

With Blue – uncertain stumbling Buzz –
Between the light – and me –
And then the Windows failed – and then
I could not see to see –

Despite the conventional details of this deathbed scene (poetically sketched in the middle stanzas), the perceptual moment Dickinson focuses on is the buzz of a fly heard at the instant of death. Structurally, the entire poem builds to this moment: it is plainly stated in the beginning, then dramatically returns in the final lines as vision fails and living consciousness fades to lifelessness.

Aesthetically, this poem is highly structured and beautiful to read. Dickenson’s sporadic use of alliteration and rhyme, her alternating lines of tetrameter and trimeter, her extensive use of dashes to accentuate utterances, create the formal skeleton on which her vocabulary builds toward a representation of fictional death. But the “power” of the poem itself, what makes it stand out as an exemplary work in American literature, seems to spring from the indescribable feeling obtained through her juxtaposition of the insignificant fly in relation to momentous events, thus resulting in a sublime literary moment on which we might reflect. From Fry’s perspective, it is this “ostensive moment,” generated through the text, that gives literature its distinctive (though difficult to describe) signature. It feels real, and yet it is only words.

Robert Scotellaro

One thing that is apparent in Dickinson’s poem, however, is that the depicted moment is highly contextualized within a scene that is anything but insignificant. How would "the ostensive moment" play out in a poem that is not so significantly contextualized, one that not only builds from ordinary details but is also focused on a moment that can truly be called insignificant? How about breakfast? In a recent issue of Right Hand Pointing (Word Count), a short untitled poem by Robert Scotellaro stands out largely because of its rich evocation of a very casual (and intimate) moment that almost breathes with life:

Sugaring the
French toast
my wife's
                 swings open

Depending on your reading, the “insignificance” of this moment could mean just about anything. From a male perspective, there’s an unstated prurient quality around which life itself might revolve. From a female perspective, perhaps the casual intimacy of careless nudity conveys experiential depth and resonance. As with the Dickinson poem, I can only guess what another reader’s reaction might be, but what I can state with a certain amount of assurance is that the moment depicted is both particular and ordinary – it carries no universal, philosophic meaning of great import or symbolic intent. It is an insignificant event that derives literary force not from meaning per se but from its ability to simulate a feeling of life and ordinary pleasure.

Aesthetically, the formal qualities of Scotellaro’s poem are very efficient and eloquent: as a poem, it could be a contemporary tanka, composed of a single sentence that pivots in its latter half to reveal an unexpected turn of events; the word-play of the first two lines adds a winking sort of depth to the final three; the visual of the final line helps to cement its verbal image in the mind of a reader. But these formal qualities only support the effectiveness of a well-chosen moment, helping to extend the poem beyond its words into a perceptual moment that generates a feeling of a life worth living. As with the Dickinson poem, it is a feeling that arises from the poem, centered on a depicted moment, that gives it an unspoken quality we might call “literature.”

But this comparison of two poems brings me back to the words “denotation” and “connotation” that I referred to in this essay’s opening paragraph. While neither poem appears to signify additional symbolic meaning beyond the face value of their denotative words, they do connote additional significance by generating implications beyond the written utterance. In Scotellaro’s case, this significance centers on the human intimacy (in whatever way it might be received) implied from the simple imagery of a casual breakfast. In Dickinson’s case, the significance entails an almost ontological feeling of the sublime that exposes the limits of human understanding and presumed importance.

Jack Kerouac

In either of the above poems, the focus appears to be less concerned with abstract meaning per se than it is with life experienced in its particular moments. If there is a recent writer who made this sort of focus the hallmark of his work – while simultaneously eschewing contemporaneous notions of aesthetic quality  it might be Jack Kerouac. In the following poem, “San Francisco Blues: 3rd Chorus,” Kerouac’s “moment” focuses on the insignificant grime of an urban storefront’s tiled entry from which his own reflection creates a fictionalized (though undeniably "genuine") account of human bodies that share a physical space in different temporal moments:

3rd St Market to Lease
Has a washed down tile
Tile entrance once white
  Now caked with gum
Of a thousand hundred feet
Feet of passers who
  Did not go straight on
Bending to flap the time
Pap page on back
With smoke emanating
From their noses
But slowly like old
  Lantern jawed junkmen
  Hurrying with the lump
  Wondrous potato bag
    To the avenues of sunshine
    Came, bending to spit
& Shuffled awhile there

If a poem such as this connotes anything beyond its stated imagery, it is only that what is depicted here in Kerouac’s imagination matters. Beginning in the present tense, Kerouac contemplates the storefront tile “now caked with gum / of a thousand hundred feet” and expands to the long-gone owners of those feet, generating past moments of human insignificance with the spare details that bring them “to life.” What’s most notable about his descriptions is that they are almost as grimy in depiction as the tile on which his contemplative moment is centered. These passers-by, who shuffle and spit like “old / lantern jawed junkmen” are of the de-valued class that bourgeois ideals either avoid or scorn. Despite this connotation, however, Kerouac’s depictions mean what they mean and derive literary force from their realistic quality within the context of a poem.

Aesthetically, Kerouac’s “Blues” poems were frequently considered anything but aesthetic. Regarding “Mexico City Blues,” Kerouac’s friend and contemporary Kenneth Rexroth considered such work, published as poetry, as a “na├»ve effrontery” that was “more pitiful than ridiculous.” Even so, Kerouac’s poetry seems to have withstood the test of time – Book of Blues (from which I reprinted this poem) was published by Penguin Books some 26 years after his death.

By all formal considerations, “San Francisco Blues: 3rd Chorus” might be received as a mess of eccentric phrasings, syntax, and vocabulary, but these eccentricities of Kerouac's distinctive voice combine into precise descriptions that overflow with the insignificance of life. If there is an “ostensive moment” within this poem, I’d characterize it as being in the present tense, with the poet himself reflecting on the storefront tile and populating it with imaginative descriptions that captured life in San Francisco as he knew it. What’s significant, however, is the way in which each of his descriptions create an experiential moment in and of themselves. And it is from the combined impact of these moments that Kerouac’s literary “moment” arises.

Show, don't tell

I wouldn’t hesitate to label any of these three poems as “literature.” But the ostensible purpose of this series of essays is to explore Paul Fry’s meaning behind “the ostensive moment.” With that in mind, I’ll finish by saying there is one distinct difference between Fry’s choice of the Dickinson poem to illustrate his theory and my own choice of poems by Scotellaro and Kerouac: Dickinson’s “insignificant” focus is on a fly’s buzz, while the other two poets focus on distinctly human subjects and events.

Which is to say, Fry appears to be developing an ontological study of the poet’s apprehension of non-human reality conveyed in language to such an extent that we, as readers, experience a recreation of the poet’s wonder at the miracle of existence – an effect that cannot be restricted to the semantic quality of words alone and seems to push beyond the limits of rational, perceptual knowledge.

I think this is a significant topic of study, with a high degree of relevance concerning our own approaches to poetry, but, in some ways, it is also a limiting factor. As seen in the poems by Scotellaro and Kerouac, an appreciation of purely human events can be equally significant – even in their supposed “insignificance” – because they generate an experiential "moment" of life as it is lived, and do so without layering metaphoric or ideological skins over and beneath the almost immediate impact of their chosen depictions.

Sometimes poetry really does boil down to what has become an old maxim: show, don’t tell. But as all three of these poems indicate, the “show” part of the maxim can’t be all show and no substance. We want poetry to do something. And “the ostensive moment” is all about that something – even if we can’t say precisely what it is.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) died last Friday

Beyond aesthetics?

In an earlier post, I suggested that Paul Fry's theory of "the ostensive moment" tends toward the aestheticism camp of literary theory. Now I'd like to try and refute that conjecture. Not because it isn't supportable, but because I think it might be missing the point.

If "the ostensive moment" refers to a pre-conceptual instance of illusory perception effected by language, it points to a writer's choice of focusing on insignificant details that somehow enact a sense of experience rather than meaning. From the perspective of the historic aesthetic movement in literature, this emphasis fits rather nicely into a creed of "art for art's sake," but differs in its focus on the insignificant - it is not particularly concerned with expressing ideals of beauty or pleasure so much as it highlights (and "brings to life") a subjective experience of "the particular."

However, this still doesn't move very far from aestheticism. Why? Because I suspect that the literary experience enacted through this particular focus is a movement toward a feeling of "the sublime." But this distinction is problematic (or at least interesting) because the sublime is generally associated with feelings of inordinate significance (as we feel for catastrophic events, the potential violence of nature, or supernatural malevolence, i.e. an ambiguous sense of awe) that we might not generally associate with the particular details of ordinary life. But I would suggest that Fry, in a sense, explores the literary impact of creating an experience of the sublime from the seeming insignificance of ordinary life, i.e. it's all in the details.

Of course, none of this refutes a conjecture that Fry's theory is allied with contemporary theories of literary aestheticism. So I'll turn to Dennis Dutton and his "seven universal signatures in human aesthetics" (as quoted from Wikipedia):
  1. Expertise or virtuosity. Technical artistic skills are cultivated, recognized, and admired.
  2. Non-utilitarian pleasure. People enjoy art for art's sake, and don't demand that it keep them warm or put food on the table.
  3. Style. Artistic objects and performances satisfy rules of composition that place them in a recognizable style.
  4. Criticism. People make a point of judging, appreciating, and interpreting works of art.
  5. Imitation. With a few important exceptions like abstract painting, works of art simulate experiences of the world.
  6. Special focus. Art is set aside from ordinary life and made a dramatic focus of experience.

These "signatures" are problematic in and of themselves (they are both Eurocentric and seemingly ignore contemporary practices of anti-aesthetics), but they do give me some criteria to which "the ostensive moment" might be compared (and possibly contrasted) from the perspective of literary aestheticism.

First, while "expertise or virtuosity" may be an inescapable aspect of a poetics that seeks to contextualize detail in such a manner that ostension effects significance out of insignificance, the curiosity of Fry's claim that "insignificance is the sole theme specific to literature" does not seem specific to formal elements of composition. In other words, it is a matter of unexpected motif, not technique.

Second is Dutton's emphasis on style: Fry asserts that as a theme "insignificance" is a universal attribute of literature and thus escapes historic limitations of style. While "the ostensive moment" may be enacted in any given style of literature, it is neither bound to nor a product of the predominant stylistic tastes of a particular era or society. In fact, he seems to suggest that the only unifying theme between these varying styles is a focus on the insignificant – for some, I suspect, a debatable assertion.

But these two differences from Dutton's "universal signatures" certainly don't separate Fry's emphasis on ostension from aestheticism. Instead, this comparison indicates only that Fry's thesis does not address formal qualities of literature but instead engages issues of 1) special focus; 2) the simulation of worldly experience; and 3) the non-utilitarian "nature" of literature as a subject for criticism and interpretation. All, according to Dutton, universal markers of human aesthetics.

So, why do I think an aesthetic analysis of "the ostensive moment" misses the point of Fry's thesis? Primarily because there are other ways of looking at this theoretical focus, and I don't think it needs to be bound, or reduced, to aesthetics alone. Fry, in my way of thinking, is identifying a phenomenon of language that "temporarily releases consciousness from its dependence on the signifying process." Further, in a defense of the problematic issues of that statement, he asserts that "the ostensive impulse realizes itself in a dialectic movement of estrangement from instrumental language which enables its reappearance within language as such."

In other words, he intimates a moment of non-significatory experience accomplished through the entirely significatory process of language, i.e. an almost perceptual experience encountered through the cognitive practice of writing and reading in which perception itself occupies an entirely different category of encounter from that which is intimated here.

But this is complicated, in a tautological sense, if you consider that the opposed counterpart of "instrumental language" (as cited above) is "literary language." And the notion of literary language is subject to a very robust critique from the perspective of post-structuralism, i.e. it is not bound to the text, but is instead a result of more complicated social forces. Which is to say, my exploration of "the ostensive moment" isn't getting any clearer.

It might be more helpful to enter a dialogue about the differences between "phenomena" and "noumena," but instead I'll finally turn toward discussing some examples of poetry in which "the ostensive moment" is presumably enacted.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


While writing my own tangential thoughts on Paul Fry's articulation of "the ostensive moment," I've noticed a tendency to write "ostensible" when I mean to write "ostensive." Freudian slip? Do these two adjectives have identical meanings in general usage? Or, more precisely, is Fry deploying the word in a specific, technical sense, while my own mind ambles along blindly through a backwoods of common vernacular? I sense a difference between the two words and ostensibly allege that my unconscious confusion actually reveals an ostensive form of contextual irony. Except that I deny any demonstrable attribution of skeptical significance to this habitual slip.

[think about it]

Saturday, December 18, 2010


If I'm reading Paul Fry correctly (a questionable assumption), his emphasis on "the ostensive moment" in literature tends toward the aestheticism camp of literary theory. Why? Despite a well-argued attempt in chapter 3 to differentiate his position from historic theories which essentialize "what literature is," he is largely talking about a particular quality that separates literature from other forms of writing, i.e. he identifies an attribute of literature common to all forms of writing that we (or someone else) might identify as being of a literary character.

My own interest in literary theory is entirely practical: I read and write poetry, and I'm interested in discussions about particular qualities of literature that create a discernable effect on me as a reader such that I might have a greater awareness of these qualities when I'm struggling to write. Why? Because writing, more often than not, is a struggle, and a writer needs to have a large palette of technical skills, aesthetic awareness, and socio-intellectual savvy, if he or she is to take full advantage of whatever it is that appears in the early drafts of a poetic text.

From this perspective, "the ostensive moment" strikes me as a largely aesthetic attribute of literature (i.e. as a literary effect, it is experiential as opposed to strictly meaningful) that also raises questions as to why this effect occurs in the first place. And, from what little reading I've been able to do in Fry's book, it strikes me that his argument ventures into a structural analysis of literature, identifying and exploring the effect of literary ostension while simultaneously addressing potential post-structural critiques of essentialism.

Did I mention earlier that Google Books limited the number of pages I could access in this book? Meaning, even with pages available, it cut me off in the middle of the third chapter where Fry anticipates (and addresses) anti-essentialist critiques. Still, there is plenty of extremely dense material to digest, particularly in terms of my own desire to think about and understand the effect of "the ostensive moment" as an experiential attribute of literature. And I am willing to set aside post-structural arguments of social/ideological determinations of "what literature is" in order to appreciate that there are indeed aesthetic characteristics of language as it is practiced in the human activity of "literature."

Which (in my limited understanding of Wittgenstein) indicates that there are language-games afoot, and that these language-games indicate an activity-specific type of meaning that arises from (and is, perhaps, intrinsic to) the human practice of language as literature. But, as I've already opposed "experience" and "meaning" in my consideration of "the ostensive moment," what I'm talking about now (tangentially) is not the effect of ostension but rather what related matters in the discussion mean to me as a writer.

Despite Fry's emphasis on literary ostension as effecting a pre-conceptual moment in the apprehension of a text, it seems to me that in his own text he is also writing about what this all means in terms of our appreciation of literature in general. In other words, he is writing about how literature is to be understood. Or why "literature" values (even canonizes) certain types of writing while purposefully ignoring others.

Now, here's my tangent: what I think many writers encounter in the literary world is that their type of writing is frequently (to a greater or lesser extent) ignored. Or they might think it is being ignored by the socially structured hierarchy of "literature" to which they are attempting to add their own contribution. Granted, there can be many purely technical reasons why such work is being ignored (e.g. the writer is a crummy writer) but there also exist limiting, institutionalized criteria of aesthetic taste. And these criteria, to a degree, determine what type of writing merits the institutional stamp of literary approval.

Where am I going with this? To the idea that even though "the ostensive moment" may play a distinctive, even characteristic, role in a literary work per se, "literature" as an actively evolving social construct involves quite a bit more than the text itself. Which is to say, aesthetics may be essential to literature, but not all aesthetic forms are equally appreciated in the hierarchical world of "literature."

Eventually I want to examine "literature" from the perspective of Pierre Bourdieu, but I think there are a number of threads in Paul Fry's theory I want to explore first. Hell, I might even read the whole book one day soon - because I just got paid for a small writing job and can now (maybe) afford it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Why "the ostensive moment"?

I was looking for a title for this blog, something that would bounce around in my head creating damage wherever it went. In other words, I wanted a concept that I couldn't wrap my mind around too easily because I needed a way to get the blog process rolling. And what better way than to stumble across a literary concept that I am in no way prepared to write about; one that forces me to read and reflect on the process (and reception) of writing?

The concept I stumbled across was "the ostensive moment," from a book called A Defense of Poetry: Reflections on the Occasion of Writing by Paul H. Fry. It fit my needs precisely. However, reading this on Google Books, I was only able to get a taste of Fry’s theory before I ran out of free pages. And, because I'm a writer (i.e. relatively broke) and irresponsible with library privileges, I can neither afford to buy the book nor borrow it. So instead, I have to think about ostension from a position of incomplete information and personal reflection. Much like the experience of life itself.

I also read a few reviews. Here's a passage from Michael Bernard-Donais that quotes Fry as he introduces the core of what is being discussed:
"What resists writing is the "ostensive." "My aim in this book," Fry says in his introduction, is to "claim that poetry (literature, expressive communication), unlike other forms of discourse that exhaust themselves shaping or making sense of things, is that characteristic of utterance, defined as 'ostension' ... which temporarily releases consciousness from its dependence on the signifying process." Later on he suggests that ostension "is that indicative gesture toward reality which precedes and underlies the construction of meaning. It is ... the deferral of knowledge by the disclosure, as a possibility, that existence can be meaning free," a state in which literary language "alienates us from the presence to ourselves of the nonhuman."
This can be complicated further by referring to my own notes from the book's third chapter ("Ostension in Language") where Fry states a thesis of the chapter: "I shall argue that the ostensive impulse realizes itself in a dialectic movement of estrangement from instrumental language which enables its reappearance within language as such."

Perhaps you can see why this bounces around in my head creating damage or, more precisely, creating thought by bumping up against the mutations of other half-digested literary concepts that have taken up residence in the untidy shambles of my continuously tangential mind. I have to digest the meaning of these quotes (not to mention, quite importantly, other passages) and figure out what they really mean. Incidentally, to merely list the quotes without expanding on them is, to my way of thinking, a form of ostension: as digested thus far, ostension might also be considered a matter of pointing at the conceptual object of discussion and saying, "look at this signified concept; this is what I want to engage."

From a more concrete, i.e. material, standpoint (which is what Fry is talking about in the first place) it’s like holding up a pack of cigarettes and saying, "want one?" Ostension is the gesture which lets the object occupy its own space in a context of language or communication. We don't speak it (releasing "consciousness from its dependence on the signifying process") but, instead of naming, we point at it.

Why is this important as an understanding of "literature"? Well, beyond the unavoidable problem that the ostension Fry speaks of occurs in the human abstract construct of literature via the signifying process of language (the problem of which, I seem to recall, he addresses), Fry makes some very interesting points. Mainly that, in his reasoning, ‘the ostensive moment’ is a gesture that precedes construct. Hence, the notion that “the ostensive impulse realizes itself in a dialectic movement of estrangement from instrumental language which enables its reappearance within language as such." By which I think he means, via his use of the words “instrumental language,” that ostension in literature estranges itself from the rhetorical process of communication. As if literary ostension were less a means of communication and more an act of inducing experience

An interesting distinction Fry makes (relating 'the ostensive moment' to 'insignificant' detail) is this: "... insignificance is itself the sole theme specific to literature ..." In other words, he isolates a literary focus on objective details that are mobilized in a synchronic mode for the purpose (as I currently understand it) of creating a sense of experience, as opposed to a diachronic mode, or sense of meaning.

One way to look at "the ostensive moment" would be to note the difference between an overly didactic poem that is trying to create a sense of purposeful meaning (over-reliance on metaphor and symbolism, perhaps) as opposed to a poem that seeks to create a context from which a sense of meaning is not implicit but rather relies on the dynamism of seemingly insignificant elements placed in juxtaposition so as to stimulate the human process of creating or imposing meaning on and from perceptual experience. Obviously, there are problems with this opposition as simplified here, but for the sake of convenience I’ll say the former might be considered overly contrived while the latter relies on nuance and assumes a reader’s active involvement with the text.

So, tentatively, ostension seeks to activate perceptual moments as a first step in constructing a non-rhetorical literary experience from which a reader is led to consider existence for existence’s sake. More pointedly, "the ostensive moment" precedes the construct of meaningful experience, both for a writer and a reader, but is also that from which the construct arises. Problematically, in the case of literature, this perceptual experience can only be evoked through the alienating filter of language. Still, Fry points to "the ostensive moment" in literature as being "the deferral of knowledge by the disclosure, as a possibility, that existence can be meaning free".

More simply, if writing seeks to be something more than an exhaustible (and exhausting) form of meaningful representation, it needs to evoke, enact, or become, an experience in and of itself. Which is to say, from my perspective (to which most of these thoughts have currently devolved), “literature” is a subset of a human activity called “language” that, in its rested state, is particularly dynamic through its effect of inducing a pleasurable or stimulating experience not only of itself but also of the interrelated world it points to. I would further add that as a byproduct of human culture and language, literature can also be considered a social experience - even in the radical absence of its author. Or, in the writer's case, the radical absence of its reader. What remains at the center of this experience, however, is a text which, in conjunction with its reader, activates a series of interrelated ostensive moments.

Focusing on language as activity, perhaps we can even say that activity per se (whether literary or otherwise) does not need to have meaning because instead it is an experience in and of itself. And experience, even the human experience of creating meaning, trumps the historically privileged status of meaning in this discussion. Why? Because meaning derives from experience, but the inverse is not necessarily true - even if subsequent experience oftentimes proceeds on a course derived from meaning.

A blurb for this book calls ostension "a sign of the preconceptual," an evocation of objects "that discloses neither the purpose nor the structure of existence but existence itself, revealed in its nonhuman register." Which is to say, it invokes the essential unknowability of "objective reality" as an experience that precedes conceptual construct. Interesting and problematic thoughts, to say the least. But the problematic itself, I suspect, can be highly productive.

More later.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

[filling space while I think about writing]

On the distraction of the magic lantern

In the midst of space
and banners is a littered waste
that yields more pointing
than parsing–so much has passed
that an account of intervals
(a promise, a perspectiveless
taste) measures meaning (a sacred,
a whole sacred as less whole) and so,
in the midst of lunch and logistics
and yesterday's paper, and more news
buried, and a belatedly unfurnished
reaction to the blemished
brains of big science
on the back page, there is no
account of the dim wondering
what our position is now.

"Then the sight of you
this morning, in the light, sometimes
the interval ..."