Thursday, April 13, 2017

Anne Tardos, The Enigma of Being Jewish

Good Morning #1, image by Anne Tardos 

The Enigma of Being Jewish


One throws one’s trembling body forward.

Using gestures, one inscribes what one is saying.

Gender neutral, one is free to speak the unspeakable.

One doesn’t speak.

Secretly, deep down inside, one musters up confidence, plunging into the
arena of contradiction, where pleasure and reality embrace.

One assumes that one’s therapist can unveil which sort of neurosis one is
related to.

After that, one joins the fight against injustice and poverty—as one must.


We count as far as we can count, yearning for infinity, eternity.

We deliver the mail, grow orchids, grow weary, grow old, keep track of
history, consider space-time to be a substance rather than a

We contemplate time-reversal invariants, such as the shattered glass
            cinematically reassembling itself, landing on the table intact—the
            impossibility of which is somehow related to thermodynamics.

We find things to say, we clarify, codify and spotify, we establish a
discourse, we break up, we destroy, we foresee the unforeseeable, 
we come to our senses.

We are amazed, we search for knowledge, we prolong, we hang on to
pleasures, we are afraid, we feel strange desires stirring inside us, 
we make trouble.

We produce texts. Think about what to write. We implement and follow
diversity policies.

What more can I say?

We are moved by childlike innocence.


Never mind the titles. They can be anything you like.

Bernadette once offered a long, witty list of possible titles.

A list.

A title.

A sheet of paper.

Clarice said that living doesn’t take courage, but knowing that one is
living, does.

I wonder how this is true.


I am standing in front of the closed doors of the future.

I am the outsider. 

Forever forbidden.

The future is spreading through my limbs.

I overflow.

I am ashamed. I am afraid.

I tremble, I redden, I bleed.

The more I am afraid, the more I am hunted.

I’d be crazy not to go crazy.


Making small gestures, leaving traces.

Thrown into language, the Algerian Jew discovers that writing takes
physical effort.

Could be Derrida, could be Cixous.

Not interchangeable, but like-minded.

Not substitutable, but compatible.

Not alike, but attuned.

The sunshine of Oran.

The French context.

The German family.

Displaced dispersed exiled.

—Anne Tardos

New York, 2016-2017