“Noon” is a hot interval between day and dusk; it is when the sun is at peak of its angular (and supposedly per temperature) degrees with the earth. Travelling at noon perspires the traveller. The cooling off of perspiration or moisture leaves any object-body cooler than before. This is paradoxically the temperate nature of the noon-travel. It is a moment of truth, realisation and epiphany. It is a moment of inertia in this travel. The “Coldnoon” moment is the interval between two journeys undertaken by a traveller who having sat under the temperate shade starts taking stock of the travels that have passed, and those that are to come.
Coldnoon envisions travel not as flux but instead as gaps in travelling itself. “Coldnoon” means a shadowed instant in time when the inertia of motion of images, thoughts and spectacles comes to rest upon a still and cold moment. A sudden break motion leads to the cooling off of a particle and this temperate moment is essential to the rapid merging of visions and an involuntary expression of this kaleidoscope. Our travels are not of trade or imagining communities, they are towards the reporting of purposeless and unselfconscious narratives the human mind experiences when left in a vacuum between terminals of travel.
WHAT IS TRAVELOGY?
The object of Coldnoon is to study the forms and formations of literary texts, through travelogy. The travelogy of a travel act, or literature depicting a travel act, is its political difference from, inertness to, or defiance of, a tradition of travel that has preceded it. Like capital, travel also accumulates and creates a tradition, and a system of its own. Every traveller is in de facto opposition to the accumulation of travel, like any labour force is in de facto opposition to accumulation of capital. The market and the globe are self-regulators of utility and travelogy, respectively. In present times of globalisation the role of the state in determining travel accumulation keeps diminishing. Any book that travels across national borders, via online book stores – any letter, an email itself – carries potential threat to a previously established and hegemonic travelogy. In this sense any written word that talks of motion or itself moves via means of transport is travelogical and political.
Coldnoon aims to construct a theoretical paradigm, and an archive, to study travel literature and literature itself. So far travel has been studied with the concepts of “aggression”, “usurpation”, “desire”, “reconnaissance” and from within the confines of postcolonial theory. In short, travel has been looked upon as something that is colonial from its inception. However, travel is only as outwardly a colonizing force as it can be inwardly, or spiritually decolonizing. It begins with a loss of personal identity in the other’s culture, instead of the latter being usurped. The possibility of usurpation comes only in situ, when the traveller has been able to trace back its parochial network and seek agency from its land of nativity or commission. This is a corruption of – or modification of the erstwhile – subjective travelogy which now begins to approximate colonial ideology. But, without the stoppage of travel, that is, within the paradigm of travel itself, the subjectivity of the traveller is self-effacing. It is, as Deleuze and Guattari have called, a “becoming-animal” or an ideal deterritorialisation from the shackles of time, space, identity, et cetera. In this regard, travel may be of two categories: extensive (global/grand) or intensive (local/small). We (fore)see travel as the latter, that is, a state of ‘voyage immobile’ or local, proximate journeys that are far more frequently part of our everyday.
Coldnoon conceives travel as not just trans-national or trans-continental travel but deconstructs it to the very basic level of electronic motion within orbits, and the motion of light that creates the universe each day anew. Anything is therefore motional. With this view it seeks to build an oeuvre of literature and literary theory for posterity that is beyond formalism, postcolonialism, ideology and politics – a theoretical framework that focuses right at the basics of creation and destruction owing to travel and its stoppage.
Coldnoon was started online on September 23, 2011. Presently it is published four times a year online, and twice a year in print. We publish poetry, non fiction and criticism on travel.