Literature and Revolution

It is silly, absurd, stupid to the highest degree, to pretend that art will remain indifferent to the convulsions of our epoch. The events are prepared by people, they are made by people, they fall upon people and change these people. Art, directly or indirectly, affects the lives of the people who make or experience the events. This refers to all art, to the grandest, as well as to the most intimate.

Leon Trotsky| Literature and Revolution


since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things

As we are encouraged to cry, or smile, or sigh, or yearn along with the poet, so we are brought out of our individual experience and pressed into a socializing act of shared emotion. Lyrics, then, can have a kind of emotional-political influence, whereby they seek to effect change by appealing to the humanizing capacity of feelings and sentiments

Rhian Williams, The Poetry Handbook

It is often the physical, material aspects of language (certain combinations of letters, certain sounds-regardless of the meaning of words in which they occur) that signals the presence of a genotext.

The geno-song is the singing and the speaking voice, the space where significations germinate ‘from within language and in its very materiality’; it forms a signifying play having nothing to do with communication, representation (of feelings), expression; it is that apex (or that depth) of production where the melody really works at the language-not at what it says, but the voluptuousness of its sounds-signifiers

It refuses to signify, and thus is itself impervious to signification. It will remain forever at a distance from reality, and any attempt to bring it closer merely emphasizes its distance.

Ethan Hayden, Sigur Ros’s ( )

Instead of the voice disappearing behind meaning, meaning is subordinated to the fetishization of the voice. While nonsense looks to a time before language, singing leaps over meaning, reaching for a point beyond language.

Ethan Hayden, Sigur Ros’s ( )

[The signing voice] brings the voice energetically to the forefront, on purpose, at the expense of meaning. […It] turns the tables on the signifier; it reverses the hierarchy – let the voice take the upper hand.

Nonsense is a specifically vocal utterance that performs a subtractive operation: it removes meaning from voice, foregrounding the residue, turning excess into entirety. As a result, nonsense can be said to be looking backward, trying to bring the voice back to a time before meaning and signification.

Ethan Hayden, Sigur Ros’s ( )