02 ENVOIS V min copy
Image courtesy Sharon Kivland, ‘ENVOIS V’, MAP Magazine, 30 March 2022

An imagined correspondence? An emblematic case of language entrapment?1 A text (a postcard, a letter) purloined, purring, seductively, with desire? Desire, derange? When, deranged by desire, a life and a text merge, converge, stick together—unceremoniously and more profoundly than what might be rationally comprehended—any safety nets of understanding are torn. We are left in the singular shaken voided then overflowing vibratory exhilarating self-effacing self-aggrandising time of reading: that, and no guarantees. Seductively purloined. Purloined means purposed to this writer’s longing, inaugurating a method of magnetic attractions and convergences undetected in the eyes of theory, which make perfect sense in reading: vibratory, exhilarating, and so on. Everything that rises to the reading eyes must converge into these words. Searching for a passage into the thickness of an otherwise voided reading-writing morning, reminding myself that in matters of desire everything may be permitted and, in this specific case, purloined, my eyes fall onto these postcards, written by the one they were allegedly written for, in a perverse circularity where nothing could be at once more intimate and more exposed, crowding a space which might be read (depending on who reads) as critical, criminal, or cri-de-cœur-ish.

Reader and writer, reader in writers, Sharon Kivland re(ad)writes Lacan, in postcards and letters, and indeed purloins, purrs. Is this the ghost or the shade of a romantic novel, read with the ironic tone and the watchful eye of someone who, exhausted by longing, has realised the only possible way to stay with that longing is to re(ad)write, feed the exhaustion that consumes and intermittently consoles and sometimes, frenzied, laughs? Postcards and letters mark the limit of a flow, hold a correspondence one-sided and many-tentacled, made of abandon, intimacy, exposure. A voice, another, and another, offbeat, filtered, poisonous, devout, sober, mordant, to the point when it is no longer safe, sure, and it no longer matters, who wrote what, who read, who heard. It is no longer a question of source, but of force, forcing wild desire in critical criminal cri-de-cœur-ish readings.

A correspondence does not always imply evenness: it may be in fact unbalanced, in the palpable yet elusive form of a torn together. This correspondence is imagined into the real of reading that finds meaning in everything. In the echoes of neurosis and psychosis I hear the beginning of sisterhood: practiced in other forms of correspondence, in publishing, in sites of reading together and talking together, inciting refrain not reference, and never, ever, reverence.


Daniela Cascella is the editor of A Year of Carte Blanche and Other Chimeras at MAP. Her books articulate tensions and points of contact between the literary and the sonic: Nothing As We Need It (Punctum Books / Risking Education, forthcoming 2022), Chimeras: A Deranged Essay, An Imaginary Conversation, A Transcelation (Sublunary Editions, forthcoming 2022), Singed. Muted Voice-Transmissions, After The Fire (Equus Press, 2017), F.M.R.L. Footnotes, Mirages, Refrains and Leftovers of Writing Sound (Zer0 Books, 2015), En Abîme: Listening, Reading, Writing. An Archival Fiction (Zer0 Books, 2012).


1 Sharon Kivland, ‘Envois VII. Letters from JL to SK, 1955–1956’, in New Matter: No Matter Commissions, Manchester: No Matter Press, 2021 https://nomatterpoetry.files.wordpress.com/2021/10/no-matter-commissions-final-pages-4.pdf