OPACITY – a Poetics of Feeling

“In Édouard Glissant’s Poetics of Relation, there is a startling scene on the beach, that very beach which still carries the resonances of the middle passage, of bodies lost to the count. Walking along it on his daily stroll, Glissant remarks on a presence, a man. This presence is oblique, opaque, one might say, following Glissant’s important work on what registers infrathinly, making a difference without “counting.” The man is neurodiverse, a presence “unhinged,” a figure troubling the “peace.” Glissant remarks briefly on the figure and continues his walk. But the figure remains, haunting his magnificent book on the poetics of feeling that shimmers in the interstices of what counts for existence.
The opaque in Glissant is many things. In an important sense, it is a critique of transparency, of Enlightenment principles. But to hold it to this would be to miss its force. For the opaque is precisely what cannot fit into a pre-ascribed sense-making theory. The opaque is the relational, the poetics that insists that there be a “consent not to be a single being.” What is it to make sense in this poetics of feeling?
The class is a proposition to enter into this complexity and to read and think carefully across its interstices”.

– Erin Manning

During this course, focused on works by Glissant and Whitehead, me and Ale Jimenez, gathered our notes from discussions in and outside of class, in the text based game engine Twine. Shared here idun.itch.io/opacity