asemic writing and the absurd / jim leftwich. 2022

To the extent that The Absurd is a characteristic, or even at times a category of the historical avant garde, it can be asserted that asemic writing functions as a continuation of the theory and practice of the avant gardes (plural, at least since the end of WWII) in the form of a self-actualizing multitude of willful absurdities.

If the absurd is the incongruous, as Albert Camus asserted in The Myth of Sisyphus, then the simultaneous presence of the written and the unreadable is a classic example of absurdity, in its most uncontestable, experiential form.

Whereas absurdity under normal conditions requires a clash of juxtaposed items or ideas, asemic writing only requires itself, as a self-contained absurdity.

A self-contained absurdity is a Magickal Absurdity. It offers itself as a reality, of a type that should not exist. It troubles the stability of the psyche, as if for a fleeting moment there is no distinction between Sisyphus and Icarus, as if both are merely variations on the theme of Tantalus.

Desire, as often as not frustrated, thwarted, derailed, detoured, imbricate and futilitarian, anachronistic, impoxximate, inverted — invertebrate — involuntary, and/or joylessly reinsinuated,




at the unsettled center of all considerations concerning the function of absurdity in everyday life.

In the case of asemic writing, we desire for that which is certainly not asemic to nonetheless function in our everyday lives as if it clearly is asemic and nothing else.

Absurdity is a very particular and peculiar variety of desire.

We want the world to be not only other than what it is — we want it to be precisely that which it can never be.

That variety of desire is precisely the allure of asemic writing. It is the distilled quintessence of its magickal absurdity.

That is not only why, but how, the practice of asemic writing reinvents itself, over and over, across centuries and cultures, one generation after another into the present.