The audience is given a round, home-made sweet wrapped in cellophane by an attendant as they enter the lecture theatre. Each person also receives the instruction, “you will be told when to unwrap it and when to eat it.” A woman is waiting on stage, and when the door is closed, she steps up to the podium and starts to read.
The text consists of fragments from different sources, the boundaries between which are dissolved through repeated editing. Now, they form something new and fluent that brings together quotation, the passing down and consumption of knowledge, and eating a sweet.
The speaker proclaims the authority of the words to the audience, and they open their sweets and eat them together. The artist’s intentions enter their bodies as text and sweetness.
I have the honour of making this address today, and I have been asked to begin by stating that I did not choose these words, or compose this text.
“A writer’s genius”, it says, “is as much evident in what they select as in what they originate.”
The author read somewhere of a scarcely imaginable scheme, in which the word of a professor is disseminated to their students by way of a rolled-up theorem. This is then swallowed, and the ball of digested information is driven by the student’s own pulse around their body, absorbing and expanding until it encircles them entirely.
These sweets were made for this address. A sticky one could resist, taking shape too exactly and fixing to my teeth. A sharp one, on the other hand, might scratch, leaving a serious blemish on the side of my mouth. One can’t ever be sure, with the unconscious bringing unwelcome and unvoiced associations to light. The basic parts of this author’s ‘sweet-word’ are tempered to a state of hard crack.
Unwrap the sweet now.