asemic writing and the tragedy of the absurd / jim leftwich. 2022

Jim Leftwich

Asemic Writing and The Tragedy of the Absurd
Summer 2022 / Utah

When I say absurd, I don’t mean quirky.
I don’t think absurdity is a variety of comedy.
Finding comedic relief in inconsequential weirdness does not qualify as an experience of the absurd.

Certain styles of comedy monetize a surrealist juxtaposition of clangorous items and/or ideas to elicit Spasms of Guffaw from a naptive audience. As such, they serve a purpose: to disguise the osmotic suffering of those immersed in the petroleus ooze of The Capitalist Ongoing.

The absurd does not organize itself in order to acclimate our minds around any of the currently available varieties of unbearable realities.

The absurd is: a variety of that which is incomprehensible within the human universe.

A mystery is: that which is uplifting because it is experienced as being incomprehensible within the human universe. We celebrate an encounter with mystery.

The absurd is experientially devastating, annihilating, a psychological sparagmos. We may, after a fashion, celebrate the fact that we experienced it and lived to tell the tale.

Asemic writing is capable of embodying, and conveying, the tragedy of the absurd. But only for the those who want that, who want that kind of thing. For those who do not want that kind of thing, asemic writing is also fully capable of being abstract art school dorm room wallpaper and glamping picnic tablecloth design. I know, I am not being very nice, I’m sorry. Did you by chance see Sun Ra and The Arkestra 40 or 50 years ago? They had The Look. Sparkling robes down to the floor, Egyptian Spaceman Hats 3-feet high. Marching around the stage, chanting, gesturing with their instruments towards the ceiling. I saw them with a few hundred other people in 1982 and not a soul was laughing. We’re they absurd? Absolutely. Sublime? Yes.

The Tragedy of the Absurd is experienced as a Magickal Absurdity. Asemic writing is capable of existing along that spectrum of experiences. I learned that in the late 1990’s as part of my introduction to the idea and the execution of asemic writing. I have never been able to want anything else from it.