Chris Higgs’s COLORLESS GREEN IDEAS SLEEP FURIOUSLY
One of the things I like most about This PDF series is that you can get them both online for free, or printed for a couple of bucks. Seeing as how this mammoth of language and ideas is over 30 pp, each page of which is jam packed with as much ideas and new syntax as you might find gifted from the namesake of the book, Noam Chomsky.
Higgs here is using language and the form of presenting language both as an apparatus for and against it, glorifying and defeating itself simultaneously to break, with each word cluster, new ways of thinking about old words.
As a taste, simply consider the opening sentence: “Use I this language down complex hallways lined with razor blades and fill up the car before bringing it back, will you?”
Here language is both a weapon and a feeder, a bag you put on over your head to hide while driving around from those rooms you live in, making sure to return, at the end, to the illusion that you’ve gone nowhere.
As the collection of prose continues stacking on this deceptively simple and obvertly obfuscating collision, the ideas continue piling and making new out of even the most familiar unfamiliars and the unfamiliar everyday.
If Chris Higgs, in this form, was a band he’d clearly be the Nation of Ulysses.
And from the press release, which I think is a wonderful introduction to the document:
Now Chris Higgs, curator of the art blog Bright Stupid Confetti, gives us a story that, within its inverted syntax and in spite of its grammatical dissonance, creates a sort of meaningfulness that is at once subtle and pervasive. It’s not the sort of piece that culminates in meaning, such as the way Andy Devine’s “As Day Same That the the Was Year”; it’s more the case that meaning and sense is a constant undercurrent behind the language of Higgs’s story.
But who cares about meaning? “All words mean infinity, says Derrida,” says Higgs’s story in a savvy nod to his forebear. And another thing that “Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously” pulls off is a rejection of interpretation’s hegemony. This is managed through the sonic beauty of the piece, the rhythms and tones that wash through it like waves. Higgs writes liquid sentences.
A rich, rich document that I am still digesting line by line: enjoy, and order!