16.1.11

Tübingen, Janner (3) _ "Pallaksch, Pallaksch”_ 3 Perspectives



In his book Désaccordée comme par de la neige. (et) Tübingen, le 22 mai 1986,André Du Bouchet quotes repeatedly the word "Pallaksch," and emphasize its strangeness.

"Pallaksch, Pallaksch!”: le mot de la langue que l'on ignore". According to Du Bouchet the expression "Pallaksch, Pallaksch” is outside of any tongue at first glance recognizable.

At first reading “Pallaksch, Pallaksch” are neither comprehensible nor in comprehensible. They are inhuman words, words that touch something other than language, that say simultaneously yes and no, that I am and I’m not.

André Du Bouchet,Désaccordée comme par de la neige. (et) Tübingen, le 22 mai 1986, (Le Mercure de France, 1989), pp. 68-69.

On the same suject Frédéric Marteau argues in the second part of his doctoral dissertation:

From Tübingen, Jänner to Huedibluh, Celan poems often emphasized the babbling as poetic practice. In Schneepart, it gives a poem this eloquent title: "The world to babble": Die nachzustotternde Welt . Because this endpoint indicates ruin and is simultaneously the possibility of a reversal. Words fall on page, syntax is broken, and disaggregation seems unending - only, the poem is there, it stands and repeatedly reborn from its ashes - it stands still.

As reported by F.Marteau, Celan always insisted on the necessity of stuttering language, it will be a question of making language to babble . The only possible event, the event of the poem may be in effect only a babbling, as in the poem on Hölderlin.

The word "pallaksch" seems to mean the indeterminacy of the Yes and No; Hölderlin would have used it to say either Yes or No, depending of the context. Underlying Glossolalia (*) therefore maintains this dialectic hesitation which suspends the discourse on its affirmation-negation, where No is not separated from the Yes and where speech may at any time be reversing into its opposite. To babble, is to construct a movement of repetition distorting a word so that it may express otherwise, beyond the evidences of its communication. A word dug grooves which are therefore Cree page for another reading, understanding each other, but in a strangeness maintained such and without insurance. Nothing provides to the babbler the advent of his word. What twists the words followed when it seems to happen to us? Stuttering is not the affirmation of a necessary step to accomplished poetic “non-language”. The poem stutters as seeks a different path. Seeks to say otherwise, strangely. It reverses, himself. The poem fled by edges, limitations and gaps in its material, its silence or its non-language. Splinters, beats: something just working language, something beyond grammar, and which makes flee and shows its limits.

F., Marteau, Le Dess(e)in de l’écriture, une poétique de la lecture Paul Celan et Charles Racine, Paris, Décembre,2006), pp. 339,395-396

(*) Glossolalia is fabricated, meaningless speech.
According to Dr. William T. Samarin, professor of anthropology and linguistics at the University of Toronto, glossolalia consists of strings of meaningless syllables made up of sounds taken from those familiar to the speaker and put together more or less haphazardly .... Glossolalia is language-like because the speaker unconsciously wants it to be language-like. Yet in spite of superficial similarities, glossolalia fundamentally is not language (Nickell, 108).When spoken by schizophrenics, glossolalia are recognized as gibberish.



According to Anne Carson the poet's ability to praise, at all cost, saves us, enlarges us, and teaches us to see beyond to a freedom of Being which is easily lost in the material world.
Her study of poetic and aesthetic thinking with all its fascinating and challenging twists and turns of phrase, its awkward glances at the human, serves a larger purpose—acts, itself, as a metaphor for self-knowledge. As Simonides and Celan respond to the world's absences and losses, Carson interrogates their work and defines the forms, of emptiness, in which they lived and wrote. Fascinated by the "bottomless places for reading" she finds in the literature of negation, excision, emptiness, and denial, "economy" becomes in her hands a multi-layered term which tells us not only about the exchange of money for art; but also suffering for wisdom; and emptiness and negation for assertion and fullness. For her Simonides and Celan "make use of the void in order to think the full."
She wrote about Tübingen, Jänner:

The poem is a praise of Hölderlin’s . It begins with his “riddle” and ends with his Pallaksch. Both for quotations are taken from the world of words that held good for him. “A riddle is the purely originated” com from his Rhine Hymn and Pallaksch Pallaksch is a term he liked to utter in his late years to mean “sometimes yes sometimes no.” He was mad in his later years. You can call Pallaksch nonsense. Yet a few pages ago we read and made sense of Celan’s admonition. “Keep yes and no unsplit.” A word for “Yes and No” out of the collocation of visible and invisibles, out of the absent presence of gods in human rooms, out of alchemy out of memory , out of the rules for the elegiac meter and the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, out of strangeness, hospitality, sleep, prayer and commodity exchange. But to be useful, poetic invention has to measure itself against the words that are given and possible, has to tease itself out of the unknown trough a language mesh where everything ugly, blameworthy, incommensurable or made is filtered out remarkable how Celan brings Hölderlin trough the riddle and all language mesh, “A riddle is the purely originated.” In its context, this sentence begins the fourth strophe of Hölderlin’s Der Rheine and can be ad backward of forward. Origin as riddle. Riddle as origin, like p. 132 the source of the Rhine, pure origine is hard to specify. “Even poetry can scarcely unveil it,” says the poet. I suspect Celan likes the pun that informs Hölderlin’s riddle. His line breaks and word division emphasize the parts of Hölderlin’s German word Reinprungenes, which means “purely originated” but also sounds like “Rhine-originated” and perhaps even suggests “Der Rhein-originated.” Pure source, the river Rhine and the poem “Rhine” come together on a point from which rich sense flows. If language were a commerce, punning. Would be its usury. Aristotle tells us that usury is the most unnatural sort of weath-getting because it allows money to breed money out of itself instead of being spent as it was intend. (Note 16: Politics 1258b) Analogously, punning generates an unnatural supplement of significance from a sound that properly expends itself is one meaning alone.
If meaning were expenditure, this riddle would not be cheap. Many a poet or patriarch has paid with his eyes for the privilege of wasting words. Celan implies Hölderlin’s place in the tradition with a long repetitive conditional sentence (käme… zuzu) that ends in a burst of Hölderlin’s private language. Now a private language is a kind of riddle. It raises the same problem of pure origin: you cannot get behind the back of it. Pallaksch Pallaksch is the own clue. On the other hand, from Hölderlin’s point of view, Pallaksch, Pallaksch may be an utterance that captures the whole of the truth purely originated. Celan allows for this possibility when he cites the phrase in brackets ─ that silent veil he likes to throw around his own riddles.


Anne Carson, Economy of the Unlost: Simonides of Keo with Paul Celan, (Martin Classical Letters, New York, Princeton University Press, 1999), pp.131-132.

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