Surge by Etel Adnan
Etel Adnan: Surge presents an old poet at home, at night, roving through her recollections of dead or dying friends, landscapes passed through or lost
Surge, as the title suggests, is a book awash in movement: the movement of mind, of time and of memory. It presents an old poet at home, at night, roving through her recollections of dead or dying friends, landscapes passed through or lost. She muses on unresolvable ideas that have flickered at the edge of perception for countless sleepless nights. “The mind acts as a revolving lamp that projects itself on itself too, and on this and that,” she says, and this bright, probing book is a record of its turning. Again and again Etel Adnan positions herself within darkness – within “night”, “the largest of all oceans”. She holds a position she describes as the “pride of not-knowing, the breathing space”. As if it were only from the dark that light could be apprehended, as if only from a place of blindness could imagination connect us to the world. As if only from there could the mind focus, at last, on itself. “But where’s my soul?” she asks, and answers: “only in the question”.