Jean sans terre

Yvan Goll - JST  images jpgs_1


The conference is over! But our wonderful panelists continue to send us images. The above — an illustration by Eugène Berman of Yvan Goll’s La chanson de Jean Sans Terre — comes to us from Marc Rickenbach, of The Graduate Center at CUNY. Marc’s talk was titled “Yvan Goll: Writing in Excess of National Categories”.


stellar and galatic excess

100 million stars: Ludwig Schmitz, friend of UCLA comp lit, submitted the video above, of the sharpest and biggest image of our nearest major galactic neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy. If you’d rather pan around the image yourself, you can find it here on the Hubble Space Telescope website. (And if you’d like to read the background story, head here.)

There’s a new photo from NASA. It is supposed to be the largest ever. What looks like a thing, a whole galaxy, can be zoomed into to show a myriad of other things. So when the structure is suddenly ruptured and expanded beyond the presumed limits one had set for it, things that the structure didn’t even claim to cover threaten its limits. What is outside, unimportant, and neglected in deep space, could maybe be an example of when the excessive invades our presumed whole at the same time as this presumed whole also becomes excessive.

— Ludwig Schmitz

5,500 galaxies: Conference organizer Devin Beecher submitted the image below, of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. Almost every speck of light here is a galaxy, and some we see as they were 13.2 billion years ago (that’s just half a billion years after the Big Bang). For the full story on this image, again check out the Hubble website; or, for the comic-strip version, see this Opus cartoon.

Hubble Ultra Deep Field



20120531105228_janis_avotins_untitled_0001[Jānis Avotiņš, Untitled (2011), Oil on canvas, 102 x 58cm]

Gasping for visibility in a field of annihilation, the gossamer shudder of a spectral figure convulses between worlds in a blurred paroxysm; each spasm of light an irruption of the textual void it throbs against, populating the image with alienation, appearing only in the possibility of disappearing. Habituations of the line render the disarticulated silhouette of a feminine torso in the figure’s hovering disruption of the yawning canvas: the aperture of the corporeal glitch opens the image like a lipless mouth, threatening to be swallowed-down – totally consumed – by its formless prostration across the surface. But the body too reaches out in prostration, haunting its movements in excess of its formal contortions, refusing effacement. At once the shutter eats-up what spits out. At once we see something and nothing at all. This is enigma of seeing excess.

(Image source: Saatchi Gallery. Image and text contributed by Zachary Baker, upcoming excess conference panelist.)

Excess of identities

“…in order to be effective, mimicry must continually produce its slippage, its excess, its difference.”

—Homi Bhabha,  “Of Mimicry and Man: The Ambivalence of Colonial Discourse”

Ji Eun Lee (UCLA English), in her reading of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, will discuss how the excess of identities emerging in the state of mimicry creates a sense of loss.

The image above is a pivotal scene from the 2010 film version of Never Let Me Go.