September 22, 2005

A Discussion Concerning Moinous’ Tongues

--hey do you know that I speak tongues --
--yes I know -- you told me before -- don’t you remember -- you even spoke tongues to me --
--that’s right -- but do you know what I’m doing now with my tongues --
--swallowing them –
--no – seriously – I’m recording them – every time I start talking tongues I record what I’m saying –
--what are you going to do with these recorded tongues -- nobody will understand them –
--perhaps not in our time – but in the future someone will find my recordings and decipher my tongues –
--you’re full of delusions – tongues cannot be deciphered – they are private – they belong solely to the person who speaks them – only that person could decipher them-- but that’s not possible because the one who speaks tongues himself does not understand what he is saying --
--how do you know that –
--it’s well known that a speaker of tongues doesn’t understand what he says –
--that’s the beauty of tongues -- their incomprehensibility -- their mysterious nonsense –
--so why record them –
--because I am convinced that in the far future -- let’s say in the 28th century -- someone is going to find my recordings and decipher my tongues and in so doing give them meaning –
--and how will that genius do that – with the help of some logorobot – but I don’t think he will succeed -- even with high-tech gizmos –
--no – the deciphering will not be done with high-tech stuff – that guy in the future will do it with his own imagination and perseverance –
--could you explain how he will do that –
--simple -- first he will listen to the tapes -- then he will learn by heart the tongues I recorded on those tapes –
--and he won’t understand a fucking thing –
--at first he just listens -- doesn’t matter if he understands or not --- he simply learns the sounds of those tongues -- he gets those sounds inside of him –
--that might give him an upset stomach – the guy might start defecating your sounds –
--stop joking – listen -- I have the whole thing worked out –
--okay go ahead explain -- I am all ears to the sounds of your tongues –
--once the guy has learned by heart all the tongues recorded on the cassettes he starts speaking them slowly sound by sound – and each time he speaks a sound – in his own language of course -- a language unknown to us --- we cannot assume that all future languages will be the same as ours – this is not a Hollywood story -- just as some languages die others are born – so as he speaks the sounds he has learned from the cassettes he gives each of them a name and in so doing also a meaning –
--what a tedious boring activity it will be for that poor guy to name all these sounds – if he has to name each one as he speaks it it’ll take him a lifetime to assign a name to all the sounds he now has in him – the guy might die before he’s finished speaking all the cassettes -- by the way how many of these cassettes have you recorded so far –
--336 – all of them 120 minute tapes – by the way the guy won’t die before he finishes because by the 28th century humanity would have developed an anti-death cure --
--wow -- 336 already – and I assume there will be more – I’m not going to say anything about your anti-death cure -- we can discuss that another time --
--yes, of course, I’ll keep on recording my tongues until I can speak them no more or until something mortal happens to me – whichever happens first --
--so imagine the poor guy sitting there -- on whatever planet he may be -- we cannot assume -- of course -- that the genius guy who will find the Jule cassettes will be from this planet --
--certainly not -- he will be from somewhere in the universe – perhaps some other galaxy – while traveling in space he lands on the dead planet earth and there finds the Jule cassettes buried in the ground in some metallic box --
--how dramatic -- but okay let’s imagine him having in front of him thousands of Jule cassettes – listening to each one and memorizing each sound of these tongues and then speaking them and then assigning a meaning to each syllable – Jule I think it’ll take several generations of obsessed guys like this to finish such a task – but to what purpose – that is the question –
--to what purpose – first to try and understand what Jule was saying when he spoke tongues -- and second to have a new and much richer language to speak since tongues as such are always plural --
--okay so the guy has now named all the sounds of Jule’s tongues – that does not mean he understands what Jule was saying -- he understands only the sense he has given to these sounds -- he’s the only one who understands what he is saying – or thinks he understand that new language – but what good does it do him if no one else understands what he is saying – he is trapped in incomprehensibility --
--oh he is not alone for long because he starts teaching that new language to his family his friends his co-workers – to the entire population of the planet where he lives – it becomes his mission -- he devotes his entire energy – he spends the rest of his immortality teaching that new tongue to all the people on his planet -- and gradually they forget their own tongue and speak only what they now call juletongue.
--hey – it’s genial the story of your tongues – a new language called juletongue –
--maybe I was destined to be the origin of that new language – I was chosen as the recipient and the dispatcher --
--chosen by whom –
--by the inventor of the universe – but that’s another story – in a way as a recipient and dispatcher of tongues I am just a short story within a immense story – the story of the universe --
--fantastic jule – you amaze me – and you know what -- I think all languages happen like that -- by a mere recycling of old tongues by some logo-fanatic – in fact the tongue you and I are speaking right now may have come from some previous incomprehensible tongues –
--exactly what I was trying to tell you – but in a fictitious fashion –
--you amaze – you know -- this story of your tongues would make a great sci-fi movie --

[Note: See COMMENTS for full transcriptions of The World's 2nd LIVE CHAT with Federman. Thanks to all who participated in this hysterical event. Er, historical event.]

The trick is to keep the brain a safe distance from the tongue while watching the tongue speak. Agitate the tongue so it will pounce on the hard palate.

Federman: Champion tongue wrestler.

Administrator's Note: Read from the bottom up. That's the flow. Talk to you soon.


fed: you guys go on without me and Ill read everything later

fed: I can't stay too much longer - work to do --


*L*: I got that, Nancer :-)

nancer99: not that lunch isn't important

nancer99: i mean me too about loving don, not lunch.

nancer99: me, too.

*L*: Lunch -- I just had my dinner...

*L*: Raymond - are you ready for another question?

secretagentman: my lunch is served. today, it is fish in parchment. i am so happy to have been here. thanks federman. i toast you with my humble wine. goodbye for now

*L*: It will indeed. To me, it was love at first page when I sat down and read DON..I'll never forget that feeling.

nancer99: i think federman would be a great match for readers there

nancer99: when someone has a true voice, like federman, it will reverberate in your ears for years

*L*: I think we mentioned it in passing over a year ago. My offer is this: I'll do it for free. It will be an honour. And I mean that.

nancer99: federman, have you spken to L about translation?

*L*: Time for another question -- or should I email the intimate version? :-)

The Administrator: I see you lurking over there. Yes, you! Tut tut! Speak up!

*L*: None what so ever...

nancer99: oh, that would be great. are there no translations?

*L*: I should maybe translate his works for them...

*L*: Absolutely, Nancer - maybe I shall start a mission here in Denmark; spread the word. Many of my friends are keen on reading his stuff that I speak of so fondly. But they do not all speak English.

nancer99: i think i need to brush up on my french. that last message looks tantalizing

fed: OH FORGOT TO MENTION - -i READ sam either in english or in french doesn't matter to me nor to him

nancer99: come back, mick!

fed: Ce n’était pas une femme pratique. J’aurais preféré il me semble un orifice moins sec et moins large, cela m’aurait donné une plus haute idée de l’amour je crois

secretagentman: federman is a vanguard hero

Mi©κ³: I just became invisible! GO FOR IT

nancer99: i agree, L. i have a feeling federman's audience will spread steadily for a long time.

*L*: :-)

nancer99: mick, are you still here?

The Administrator Again: who's lurking out there?

*L*: But remember that for us lot in here [I presume I am speaking for everyone], your work has made a real difference that will not vanish quickly; or ever...

nancer99: i can do that.

nancer99: ha! a double flirt!



secretagentman: a better answer i could not conceive. thank you, mr. federman.


nancer99: really, you read beckett every night? that's amazing.

*L*: That's happened to me too, Raymond. Takes a while getting used to the tagboard :-) Maybe we can ask still questions now and you can answer later if that's easier?

nancer99: oh, no...that has happened to me. then you have to start completely over. it does not forgive that mistake.


secretagentman: i wish to know what federman reads before sleeping.

secretagentman: i await with baited breath my answer please

*L*: Raymond??? Please, don't leave us.....I have more questions...

*L*: So do you ;-)

nancer99: wher are you federman? there are two questions on the table! don't leave the table yet!

nancer99: you should have mail, L

*L*: -- ok?

*L*: First bit: lrpedersen@

*L*: Shit, that didn't work

*L*: Nancer:

nancer99: warmed over?

nancer99: special guest! i'm ready L for the email

Also On The Table: i would like to know who federman reads today. what he enjoys to read before bed.

secretagentman: i hope federman is still here. just like with psychiatrist, i'm just getting warmed over after an hour


*L*: Nancer - you got pen and paper for my email, or do you want to give me yours?

The Administrator: breaking news: i have just received word that a special guest may be dropping in. not that you're not all special guests. son of a bitch.

*L*: Raymond - are you still [t]here?

The Invisible Man: yes, the tongues piece has already run on this blog

*L*: I have another question....when you're ready...let me know

*L*: LOL @ Mr Invisible

*L*: [Flipping typo - pertinent, even]

Mi©κ³: I just became invisible! GO FOR IT

*L*: Good [and pertient] question, agentman!

secretagentman: i would like to know who federman reads today. what he enjoys to read before bed.

*L*: Yeah, the tongue one was an earlier entry, wasn't it? [or maybe it's my crap memory]

nancer99: haha

nancer99: is that the tongues below? i read the whole blog. i love that.


*L*: Yeah, the latest entry is really good :-) I liked that one too.

fed: nancy like to hear me talk - do you know that I speak tongues -- rally I'll send mick the piece I wrote about my tongues so you guys can read it

nancer99: i am talking to you, federman. i noticed that nobody was talking to you. i think there is a question from lilly on the table.

*L*: Raymond, did you see my question before? If not, I can type it again. This thing is a bit funny. It keeps jumping up and down on my screen....

Mi©κ³: I just became invisible! GO FOR IT

nancer99: i love yesterday's essay about what you read. that's the kind of stuff you did in class.

Mi©κ³: oh, nancer, you're telling me! that's why we call it the ghetto chat room.

*L*: You're not a fool, Mick :-) No hurry...just wondering. Ok, Nancer. Drop me a line at [are you ready for my mail address?]...

fed: why is everybody talking to mick and not to me directly

Mi©κ³: BRAVO!--> "Alan: Mick, I apologise for Lilly, she's got more names than Apollo Creed!"

nancer99: federman, i can't think of any worthy questions. i just want to hear you talk.

*L*: I wonder if RF's refreshing - with all respect, it takes a wee while getting use to the flow of this thingy..

nancer99: i want your paper, lilly.

Mi©κ³: Not yet, *L*. pardon me for not acknowledging the blunder. blundering fool I am. believe me, i will read it. looks great.

Mi©κ³: laffter that laffs at the laffter

*L*: Yep, DON's the business, man! Did you read my paper, Mick?

Alan: Mick, I apologise for Lilly, she's got more names than Apollo Creed!

Mi©κ³: DON, a classic alright. My favorite one too. Laughter on every page. Typographical laughter, as Ihab Hassan called it.

*L*: Mick, I am both Lilly and Lisbeth, btw -- just to avoid any confusion :-)

*L*: Hiya Raymond :-) I was wondering how you feel about the fame you've recently received in France? [Alan says thanks for the reply before]

Mi©κ³: what's your Q, Lis?

nancer99: ha! another double agent. they abound among federman readers.

Mi©κ³: cheers *Lisbeth* nice question(s) by the way. let's hear a funny fed story while we wait. buffalo...

*L*: Fooking insane, indeed! And that's why we love it!

fed: hi lilly - well what's your question

secretagentman: i have to go with double or nothing, a classic.

*L*: Mick, do you ship your books abroad?

Mi©κ³: this is not an advertisement but i must say his new shit is just as fooking insane

*L*: Cheers, Mick :-)

Mi©κ³: the heartland, eh? that's good enough for me. tell me, which of this guy's books is your favorite??

Mi©κ³: *L* yes, Alan got a fine reply. You'll see it all in the final report. Which I will "cc" to the White House.

federman: I am there - all is well - I am answering questions - but one at a time please

secretagentman: can't reveal my locale. it's in the heartland.

*L*: You recording this, Mick? Did Alan get a reply or am I too slow in here tonight?

nancer99: i second that question, *L*.

Mi©κ³: understood. where are you calling from? washington d.c.?

Mi©κ³: "secretagentman: i am lurking"

secretagentman: i am not a federal agent. that is my sister. i am a secret agent.

*L*: Raymond, how do you feel about the fame you've recently received in France?

Mi©κ³: welcome, federal agent. can I get you some fresh AAA batteries?

*L*: Oh, Mick, you really are making use of the non-censor [what's it called] function tonight ;-) Fucking hell!

nancer99: federman is stuck in cyberspace!

Mi©κ³: or ask a question. maybe i'll send it to him by email. we will get this shit through. son of a bitch.

*L*: Awww, Raymond -- come back...don't leave....remember: quality is better than quantity :-)

fed: when the hollow coast because a comic strip it losesits power - simon will be missed greatly by those who survived

Mi©κ³: have you a question, *L*? please tell a funny story about rock star Ray.

nancer99: don't go! i'm finally relaxing enough to ask questions!

Mi©κ³: federman just emailed me, he thinks nobody is here. his computer must be balled up. moinous!

nancer99: are you still there, federman?

*L*: So, let me stop talking shite for a wee minute.

secretagentman: i am lurking

*L*: Mick's right -- maybe all this talking shite [which I'm good at] has scared potential question-askers....

Mi©κ³: han=g in there moinous, there's no telling how many people are here. some could be lurking. isn't that right? hello?

*L*: Are you refreshing the screen, Raymond? We *are* here...

nancer99: sorry for my delays. i am pushing one baby in a stroller and i can only type when i circle around the house once, past bush on tv and past the door where the love bugs want to come in

*L*: Hey Fed! Do stay here :-) Hiya Mick and Nancer -- no helmet today!

Mi©κ³: very damn interesting. by the way, I've disabled the censoring code so profanity *is* allowed, if anybody cares to swear like a proverbial sailor. son of a bitch.

fed: I must have scared everybody away - I am leaving in 10 minutes if not body shows up

Alan: I'm from Scotland, staying in Denmark with Lisbeth.

Alan: Thanks. Now, over to Lisbeth, who is drinking red wine as we speak....

Mi©κ³: for the record, Alan, where are you calling from?

nancer99: nice to meet you alan.

Mi©κ³: of course! Lisbeth. where IS *L*? and my follow-up question: Is she wearing a helmet?

Mi©κ³: just a note: blogspot has been quirky lately. if you are experiencing technical difficulties, it is not necessarily your operating system.

Alan: Thanks. Sorry for not introducing myself. You may know my better half, Lisbeth.

Mi©κ³: fantastic. nan. cer99.

Mi©κ³: welcome, Alan.

nancer99: mick, i have to fix myself up and take a good picture.

nancer99: that was a good, real question.

Mi©κ³: yes nancer99, you win the Federman's Blog Reader of the Day Award. Do we need to consult a sketch artist or do you have a picture (jpeg preferred)?

nancer99: that's good. a question FROM federman. an icebreaker. do you still smoke, federman?

Alan: Hello Mr Federman, Lilly will be here soon. In the meantime, what do feel about the passing of Simon Wiesenthal? Do think that this will have an effect on how the Holocaust is viewed now?

Mi©κ³: i read somewhere that you used to have French cigarettes burning in ashtrays all over your flat--simultaneously

Mi©κ³: federman starts off with a question!!

nancer99: you are too kind! i couldn't stop staring at you either b/c of the wonderous stories that left you...even when you said you didn't have any.

Mi©κ³: you must have been smoking a lot of, uh, smoke

fed: ah go ahead dont be shy just one little question

fed: hi nancy are you still as beautiful as you were when I couldn't stop staring at you

nancer99: i'm afraid to ask questions b/c i don't think fereman likes them very much

Mi©κ³: ok. ray: what the HELL were you thinking when you were typing DON (Double or Nothing, 1972). We'll get to your new books soon enough.

fed: well! where is everybody --

Mi©κ³: anything you want to ask federman? after all these years? he's all ears. probably either lurking or clipping his toenails.

nancer99: so, mick, kick us iff with a question. and pass a cube. nice to see you, federman!

Mi©κ³: the love bugs, she sez.
nancer99: no. the ups man might come by tho. and the love bugs are here.

Mi©ê³: I see

Mi©ê³: very good. port st. lucie. any snakes at your door today?

Mi©ê³: interruptions are impossible

nancer99: port st. lucie, florida usa. i moved.

Mi©ê³: for the record, nancer, where in Florida are you? nancer is a former student of federman's. well, current as well.

nancer99: sorry to interrupt.

Mi©ê³: hi nancer99, alright. i just dropped an opium cube in my italian coffee.

Mi©ê³: visitors, plz state where you are calling from. city, state, country.

nancer99: hi mick! how are you?

fed: I only have one hour -so let's get going - one at the tme

Mi©ê³: about 3 minutes to finish your cigars.

Mi©ê³: ok...

Mi©ê³: headphones are acceptable. we want your mind, not your ears.

Mi©ê³: please turn off all cell phones and crank some good music

m.i.c.k.: nine minutes...

Norman Mailer: Where's the bathroom in this place?

m.i.c.k.: Hi Norm.

Norman Mailer: It is possible that consciously or unconsciously Beckett is restating the moral and sexual basis of Christianity which was lost with Christ. ...

m.i.c.k.: 14 by my clock. hi n.

nancer99: twenty minutes to blast-off

m.i.c.k.: Steve, see Federman.

stephen spender: Beckett is an incomparable spellbinder. He writes with a rhetoric and music that makes a poet green with envy.

m.i.c.k.: alas!

m.i.c.k.: 30 minutes to blast off

check...: jump joyfully

check...: into the mess

check...: head first

check...: check

mick: soon....

mick: it is ON ladies and gentlemen

mick: it's on...

nancer99: thanks *L* - that federman - he inspires me. you, too, right? how are things in your part of the world?

*L*: Hiya Nancer :-) I *love* what you wrote by the way [the essay-entry]

nancer99: me too. reading the latest blog entry ...

*L*: is staying tuned

mick: yep...just checked with MOINOUS. he will be here LIVE on thursday, 9am, Pacific Standard Time. announcement coming soon. stay tuned.

mick: ok...looks like thursday we'll be meeting here

mick: theory of relativity--it will get you every time.

*L*: How the hell did it get that late? Last time I checked it was like 9pm....

*L*: Shit! It's half past one in the morning...I just realised....good night guys.

*L*: It's here too...

moinous: ok it's here


blog tech: //////


This anomaly of the popularity of an art which openly and defiantly denounces what makes it live, of an art that bites the hand that feeds it, is not only evident in literature, but in much of the visual arts too, and of course in the new Rock Music, in Rap, in MTV, which conists of non-sequential, rapid fire profusions of disjointed bits of images and information thrown in the face of the capitalistic system.

--Raymond Federman
Thanks Mike.


*L*: [still here but talking on phone...]

nancer99: a pass by the computer is another thought. if anyone is around to respond, the nnext pass is the next thought

nancer99: that is the trick with these chats. they must be incorporated into your beginning, no end, really

*L*: [I am lurking while on the phone ....sorry]

nancer99: federman, i would love to write again. you know, a spanish translater of federman shouldn't be hard to find in miami

fed: eerything federman does is disjointed - so it goes

*L*: [Jesus! My dad is on the phone now -- he is off to Spain on monday, working...! Weird!]

*L*: spanish I cannot do -- unfortunately...

*L*: Danish pastry ;-) Haha, I no longer work at the bakery but I am sure I can sort something out -- be well :-)

fed: my novels have been translated into 15 languages - even chinese and japanese - but never in spanish - it;s not fair

*L*: Is Mick recording it? Take care, Raymodn -- thanks for chatting with us today :-)

fed: natasha write me another beautiful letter

fed: I would love to be translated into danish pastry

nancer99: thank you, thank you federman...tho the chat was disjointed. i love to talk to you


The original creative act, as we all know, always proceeds in the DARK--in the dark, in ignornace, and in error. Though the act of translating (and especially self-translating) is also a creative act, nevertheless it is performed in the LIGHT (in the light of the original text), it is performed in KNOWLEDGE (in the knowledge of the existing text), and therefore it is performed without error, at least at the start.

*L*: I'm off the phone now -- anyone still there?

nancer99: maybe it's like death. you don't just sign kind of fade out

nancer99: wandering

m.i.c.k.: loved the Danish.

*L*: HEY!!!! Did you get my mail?

nancer99: i'm still around :)

*L*: We have 3 more letters to have fun with than you guys æ/Æ, ø/Ø, and å/Å!

*L*: Hey Mick -- glad you liked my Danish :-)

m.i.c.k.: whew. it's tough work being invisible.

*L*: Federman? Nancer? Mike?

Lo que quiero es leer Federman en "Escargot." Pero yo no se donde se encuentra "Escargot." Ni en Miami, ni en La Habana. Lastima!

secretagentman: i would like to know who federman reads today. what he enjoys to read before bed.
I am drunk--I made an arse out of myself [again]....[shit]...I had a laugh though, cheers guys :-)


*L*: Good point, Mick -- you should maybe set your clock accordign to the time here in Vikingland....

nancer99: thanks agin mick. my i.q. plummeted this a.m. too. i feel like i have a fog in my head. you're the best, mick. another fun chat.

nancer99: i'm still around :)

m.i.c.k.: not if I go back to bed

*L*: That's a wee bit worrying seeing as itøs still early in the day over there ;-P

m.i.c.k.: IQ seems to be dropping considerably. and it wasn't too high to begin with this morning.

m.i.c.k.: son of a (you guessed it) bitch.

m.i.c.k.: that's why we call it (you guessed it) the ghetto chat room. this shit is stone age.

*L*: My lasst post never showed up...hrmpf!

*L*: Really? Good to hear. Danish pastries are better than Danish language though...

m.i.c.k.: nice work.

m.i.c.k.: loved the Danish.

*L*: HEY!!!! Did you get my mail?

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