Smarginature: Residues (Echoes), by Daniela Cascella

Smarginature: Residues (Echoes)
by Daniela Cascella

A while ago I wrote:

I stretch the fabric of this blanket of words, a cover for a voice. I do not know what takes shape between this rusty syntax and the firm voice. I do not know what takes shape between this rusty discomfortable syntax and your firm voice. I do not know what shapes, and what it takes to measure these undulations and the wavering. I do knot. I do not, no. I knot. I can no longer carry the sorrows of the world. I do not. I do not, no. I do not know. I do knot. I can no longer, no.

This text began, before its beginning

The first reading was the rush, the pull, the addiction to the story, the spell of sensuality and harshness, the inevitable similarities in life, the thin thin line between fiction and inflection

On a second reading the pacing is slower, I know the plot, other threads begin to emerge.

—The world has returned to its place.
—What place?

I want to speak between the questioning of place and the illusion of return

To draw my breath from the awareness that there is no belonging but a series of oscillations in time, in the movement between ‘my’ and ‘the’

I want to hold on to the oscillation between order and its questioning, the sense of being uprooted against the pull for consistency

To play with an emotional dial moving across all degrees of distance from coherent selves, selves disrupted, edged off, sidelined, unboundaried, told and untold through catastrophes and earthquakes of the city, of the mind and the body, never self without other, never a book without its erasure

In this play I want to hear the elusive presence of the spoken word sounding, dissolving boundaries

She said that on those occasions the outlines of people and things suddenly dissolved, disappeared

She said.

I do not want to write what I’ve heard. But I want to continue hearing. Until it is eroded. Until I can sense life infiltrating voice. I want to write voice. I do not want to explain it. I am not playing with words. I incarnate myself in the voluptuous and unintelligible phrases. That tangle up beyond the words. What shall I write then. To cover my silence with the blanket of her words. What shall I write then. Let me repeat the hum. To cover the volatile subtle presence. Of what I cannot write.

A despatch from a parallel layer of existence, which is always present but only manifests itself at specific times: uncanny reminder of matter within and beyond self

Chaos seemed the only truth, and she—so active, so courageous—erased herself and, terrified, became nothing

A nausea

Not a crisis of language though: a body, not at ease, wishes to disappear, cut and erase itself

Disappearance and silence: my words do not necessarily have to be articulated through a body—what goes unheard, or dissolved, can actually be present without the need for biographical traces.

Remember that story called The Blank Page.

A transmission. Unique hybrid of uttermost privacy and broad public-ness. Radio does not represent bodies but disarticulates them and transforms them. Disembodiment in radio is an illusion, but the bodies of radio are never whole

Disarticulation. Degeneration. Mutation. Disjointed signifier. Broken circuit. Noise. Molecules. Particles. Small decomposed particles of language. Excess of meaning.

She had felt that, for a few seconds, she would transfer herself into a person or a thing or a number or a syllable, violating their boundaries.

To stretch the common meaning of the word. Through senses into and out of languages.

S- is a sibilant un-. It silently sounds the space of the reader in the condition of margin: sidelined.

My language calls over to me, over on the sidelines.

Language calls over to me, over on the sidelines, away from the pull of coherence, away from the violence of linguistic perfection, from the hegemony of writing correctly in a language which is mine and not mine, me and not me, her not all her.


What shall I write then. I skip the illustrations. The subtitles. The diagrams. The charts. The chants. Look at the blanks. The shimmering voice goes on. After all that’s been said. It won’t stop. It keeps speaking. In a silent book. Almost nothing to be said about it. But between almost and nothing is much. Having spent an enormous amount of time with it. Time spent is the point. It’s not quite the voice. It’s the echo. The tiniest act. Through muted combinations. In compound experiences that cannot be disjointed. Involutes. In the end I hope you hear a silence. It rises subtly from the knock of the phrases. From the knock of the phrases. From the knock of the phrases. From the knock of the phrases. The phrases. The knock.

The cutting of the margins of a page before print. The bleed.

What is not kept or apparent in a text, and yet is there, around it, haunts it.

Bleeding-into-editing and edit-as-bleed.

…entitled To Erase All Traces


As she cuts herself off the picture, she does not want to become proper: she wants to be other, and dissolve.

The day will come when I become a diagram, I become a perforated tape and you no longer will be able to find me.

Editing and erasing, saying and unsaying, disappearing and committing.

The untold, the strong magnetic field of being between the plus and the minus, the plus of fiction and the minus of forgetfulness, the minus of absence and the plus of fabulation, not one without the other ever.

A record is never such unless it’s placed in life, and through time eroded by time: it can be a guess, a fertile approximation that prompts more thinking. Nearly, but not quite entirely there.

Quasi, nearly.

In pretending to know, in inhabiting that nearly, you can actually become.

From language to speech, from canon to utterance, away from any claims for permanence or fixity.

—It is beautiful to speak with the others.

—Yes but only if when you speak there is someone who replies.

From text to speech, from text to a desire to hear, from a writing to a telling.

Our truth cannot be all-told, from the beginning told, unless we tell it to one another.

Excess of meaning no longer in the singular but in the space of a plural word-use, the space of edit-bleeding.

A hum in crescendo.

It is all a trick.

And sometimes there is nothing to tell, nothing to write.

Until the missing story of ourselves is told, nothing besides told can suffice us: we shall go on quietly craving it.

She has spoken to the page. This language must have forgotten its beginnings.

Unable to escape the Before.

The writing, that deals with what happens, runs through one’s fingers like the time, and not only the time, during which it was written, during which life stopped.

An earthquake, and she uttered sentences without sense and yet she uttered them with conviction, tugging on me. She began to utter a profusion of overexcited sentences, sometimes kneading in the vocabulary of the dialect, sometimes drawing on the vast reading she had done as a girl.

As I read this I find myself smarginata. Boundarieddissolvedself. Bledfromlanguage into writing.
Smarginata in the Italian female ending of the word: a, indeterminate article in English.
Smarginata away from the privileged places where the discourses of wisdom are held.
Smarginata in the nocturnal fringe and in the untidy residues left out of play by the analytic advance of intelligence.
Smarginata in shadowy depths of matter and other.
Smarginata, not a ‘writer in translation’ but trance-lating language across language, unstable and always stranger in this language mine not all mine, hers not all hers.

Ah what is the real world, nothing, nothing, nothing about which one could say conclusively: it’s like that.

I wrote a while ago, but perhaps it had already been written:

— — — — — — it won’t stop, it goes on, looking for beginnings and realising I have already begun, long time before this, there’s no doubt, this voice must have forgotten its beginnings, all its words have gone through me toward what they do not say, it changes nothing, voice, I almost don’t know how to speak, and I want to tirelessly hear of your points of fugue, of your eroded focus, to listen into your far and farther, to your fullness which is never completion, looking, waiting, hearing, and for months, nothing, but these pages, written out of a mixture of discipline and abandon, trying to graft those rhythmic gestures that will hold you together and prevent you from dissolving, will I ever find a way to say, of when I heard that voice speaking the ’s, or will I return with the unsayable, the more I think about it the less it seems to exist and yet its sibilant coils hold me, in this speaking, which is the only way, into this writing, which changes nothing, which is very much an opening up somehow, a tuning — — — — — —



  1. Pingback: Smarginature: Rebeginnings, by Daniela Cascella | Writing Sound Bergen

  2. Pingback: Smarginature: Residues, Rebeginnings, Untranslated-in-Translation | en abîme

  3. Pingback: Smarginature | Writing Sound Bergen

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