Category Archives: Frenet

Nothing to say

I write to say the same thing over and over, as on a palimpsest. I write to confirm that I have nothing to say, or rather that all I have to say is nothing – that it’s nothing compared to the everyday. The everyday that this journal keeps me from and flirts with. The everyday that’s hidden in the ordinary, somewhere within or beyond ordinary life. Which trumps all. Which has no opinion of me.

— Frenet, Journal


To return to what is here

To return to what was here in the beginning, to what’s always been here, patient, indifferent, waiting. That’s what I seek in this journal. To end this journal, so I can begin to live. No: so that life can begin in me. But is this not living? No. This journal was a failure from the beginning, from before it began, it’s enmeshed in failure like a fish thrashing in a net. It should seek its own invisibility, its own never-having-been, as though it were being written in disappearing ink. To return to what was here, to what is here – impossible dream.

– Frenet, Journal

The last man on earth

Strange to see the contents of my head strewn about here, as if they’d been dropped from a pocket and lay unnoticed, like obsolete objects. As if I myself were obsolete… If I were the last man on earth, if no one were ever to see these notes, would I go on writing them? But that’s precisely how one should write, as if one were the last person on earth, as if one were obsolete. What makes a wolf howl? What makes him stretch his neck and send his cry through the freezing air? Would he still howl if he were the last wolf on earth?

— Frenet, Journal

Writing itself

The dream of writing without rewriting, of writing itself (of not thinking but being thought)… Years of treading water in language, far from any shore, have taught me better. But the dream remains, to be one with the words that flow through you, through which you flow…

— Frenet, Journal


False, false, false. False even to ask where our real faces are behind our masks… A sudden plunge of anxiety, of emptiness… My life! What have I done to it, how can I repair it?

But a voice says it’s good as it is, your very survival makes it so.

— Frenet, Journal

So I say

What I couldn’t have achieved if I hadn’t been hindered by this double who follows me around like a bad twin, who squints at me, smirks at me, leaps on my back, light as a ghost, so I can carry him through my life! I’d have slipped into the world, wouldn’t I? Straight from childhood into adulthood. I’d have been like those people who can talk and sleep in public. So I say, he says.

— Frenet, Journal

To confess!

To confess! To God — to the absence of God. To be absolved, absented from my past. To be emptied out and yet to live: what else do I seek with these words? To be given life. Words without me — or me without words.

— Frenet, Journal

Moments of undoing

Not stories, rather those moments of undoing when you’re stopped in your path and something lies before you like a challenge, demanding that you bear witness to it and let it do its work on you. I always admired people who can let themselves be absorbed in stories, let stories take them in from beginning to end, in the same way I admire people who can sleep in public. I’m always on the outside of every story, except when I’m pulled in by a passage that seems to step outside the story, revealing its meaning and thereby its meaninglessness; that at once illuminates and undoes the story to which it belongs. Often I’ve dreamed of writing a book consisting only of such passages. But I’ll never write a book.

— Frenet, Journal

Perhaps the only true thoughts

Perhaps the only true thoughts are those that have been obvious all along, that have been lying in wait for you only to show you how the way you shield yourself from them has prevented them from being revealed to you.

— Frenet, Journal

An invulnerable experiment

When I was young I daydreamed about sending a version of myself out into the world who could act without pain, follow his desires without fear, be caught up in life without being crushed by it: a self who could live in my stead as an invulnerable experiment.

— Frenet, Journal