Words will not back down, against typography


“Typography speaks louder than words.”

Unless (self-)proclaimed writers of the world start to work their butts off and keep on breathing the fogs and investigating the widespread squalor around them and then weave words into fragments and fragments into stories then stories into stimulations, these indictment most probably from the typography camp is surely to ring with veracity.

No one can dispute against the visuality of the age but not too many have consistently and strong-mindedly lashed back against the postmodern celebrations of superficiality and (feigned) facility.  It appears like everyone is kowtowing to the visual predominance, where as we shall have observed, the multimedia image is the queen. And in this hodge-podge, no illusion of equality can be preserved; for the written word is flinching at the margins, displaced by the audio-visual and even in its own terrain (the print/written), it is now being harassed by the looming stalwart in the typography.

True, I get the idea. A certain posture, a certain tincture of color, a certain shape or bend size can make words speak more than they stand, letter after letter. The connotations though are not that rich: huge size can easily mean dominance, a striking color can mean solid emphasis and so on. This is not to downplay typography. It is a welcome development, arguably an early success in venturing within the thriving of the visual. Plain words are bland and mostly disengaging if they come right by themselves. And with the physical contortions they have introduced, typography really is on the right path if one of its aims is to enliven the dull written word. But at this point, the written word should not just recoil. No thanks to the elitism and commercialism of the publishing “industry” in general and all its consequences on what comes out of the written world, the written word finds it harder to launch a spirited resurgence amidst this current trend.

The individual writer must recognize these overall contexts outside her that can certainly set the parameters for the upshot and probably the potential impact of her works.  Will they gain the nod of publishers and make a way into the mainstream streets? Will they be appreciated by the general public and to what extent? To the extent only of a passing success or up to the extent of future recognition and more writing ventures? The writers must strive harder; keep hitting their heads against the rock-solid parapets against creative written outputs and keep at pace with the visuals. We bow to this: the power of the word now accepts the immense help from the visual manipulation, but that should not hold us back from infusing more and more inventiveness less on the visual aspect and more on the word itself.

Motion, then creation


Hanging by the bridge, we lost the caricature that we thought is everything to have in our time. Then times are smooth and we dedicate poetries to people; the times are turbulent and then we throw away our verses. In the fringe of companionless, stormy nights and repeating anxieties, poetry, wonder, creation can rise like bullets emerge from a truculent strafing. To be back on track, we must walk a step. Poetry is travel. When one weeps in the corner over the known contiguity of rats, there is no chance for poetry.

Summer in La Union and little boats and the hard bites of real reality
Summer in La Union and little boats and the hard bites of real reality

On intellectuals*


I think intellectuals and everything they spew only become problematic when they cannot concretely point out the real-life use and relevance of their entire enterprise. Also, when they fail miserably in recognizing, explicitly or not, the origination of their “intellectualizations” from existing social facts and conditions. In other words, when they compartmentalize thought, when they cloak its ever-going dialectical bond with action, with practice, as if they had not lived or breathed in muds or in mansions before coming up with their thoughts now encased in hardbounds.

The Thinker
The Thinker

*after a quite impassioned exchange with my girlfriend on the value of intellectuals and their writings