Pataphysics: A Moon Voyage

Niamh Jackman and Liam Gough

Niamh was originally inspired by the poet and philosopher Paul Valery as an imaginary collaborator in ‘Pataphysics:
Niamh elaborates:
I first came across Valery in that line, “God made the world out of nothing, but the nothingness shows through.” I thought this a striking statement. It seems to both affirm and disavow the idea of a god. It evokes an image full of pathos, as though she or he were a bit of a bungler, a character to be pitied, consoled. The statement is not interesting to me because it suggests anything about the notion of a god but because of what it suggests about the character and imagination of Paul Valery. Since meeting this line i’ve wanted to know
A Collaboration
– a series of questions and imagined, gleaned or suggested answers.
“That which has always been accepted by everyone, everywhere, is almost certain to be false.” [Valery]
more of Valery.
Paul Valery was a writer, thinker, poet and philosopher. He was born in 1871 in Sete, that exotic penninsula town in southern France, he died in Paris in 1945.
…it seems that Valery is my companion in this ‘”construction” (his word). Every day after i wander around, and think, and make, i come back to Valery and he voices the questions that have been foggily, half forming in my head. Everything that exists can meet, they have “secret affinities”.
on reading Valery ‘The Method of Leonardo’ 4th july ‘017
the following, in particular, gave me licence to embark on a completely impossible notion and to realise the necessity of undertaking a highly impractical and entirely imaginary journey….”all phenomena being thus regarded with a sort of equal repulsion and rejected successively by an identical gesture, appears to be, in a certain sense, equivalent to each other…..our own attention should suffice to put our most intimate feelings on the same plane as exterior objects and events.”
[Valery, selected writings, page 92]
“One had to be a Newton to see that the Moon was falling, when everyone sees that it doesn’t fall.” [Valery]