Advertisements

About writing

Most of the times it’s like making a deal with the devil. Or, maybe even worse, becoming a devil yourself, miming the act of creation which has already been done majestically by more brighter gods. And your work is never good, your inner editor keeps saying that. It’s like the words you use are never there, never at the center of the problem. Never the body itself, but an outline of the body, never life itself but the margins of that life. That’s where you need a deal with the devil, to help you cope with that, to help you cope with the inherent imperfection which occurs every time you give life to something through the medium of language. It’s like a devil’s doll made out of mud, it will work only for a few hours then fall back into the silence of lifeless bodies. And then there’s the urge to cut everything, to delete the life that has commenced with the first word you’ve written down. And then there’s the fight between you and the world that – once switched on – will claim it’s rightful place into existence. But the truth is, it’s not so much about using the right words, but rather about using all the wrong words, the more marginal vocabulary, the vilest and most obscure emotions, things which would make others throw up and, most importantly, think, see things, smell things, and face that life which so many things try to suppress it, eat it, digest it, making it more beautiful for the sake of the children. A man might deal more successfully with erectile dysfunctions in fiction than in reality. And it’s not about growing disgustingly long beards, and writing in the middle of the night when your neighbors are having the time of their lives while the children are sleeping, or masturbating, or throwing up while writing just because masturbating and throwing up might just add a pinch of surrealism to your writing, and, I think, it’s not about having sexual intercourse with as many ladies of the night as you can, as often as you can. Because, in writing, the effort is only yours, and everything else is just a procrastination of an ailment which sleeps undisturbed into your flesh. Writing is the indirect expression of that ailment, just like a pile of unwashed dishes is the indirect expression of a condition, namely that of (1) having to clean after doing something which is physically pleasurable, and (2) having to think about the benefits of an automatic dish washer, or of finding a partner that might just wash the dishes unconditionally. Writing is never pure body. Writing is always synthetic body and synthetic smell. That which you need in order to know that what you are is not just inert matter, but matter capable of creating desire and suffering when that desire is not satisfied.

A. S. Byatt and the Elemental Storyteller

Stories or narratives – as they are frequently called – have been shared in every culture and in each land as a means of amusement, cultural edification, continuation of civilization and last but not least to instil moral principles. As long as humanity has had language as a means of communication storytelling has existed. Oral storytelling was used as a way of passing on culture, knowledge and wisdom from a generation to the other, to educate the younger members of the society, to entertain and to explain more or less the world around them. Consequently, most of the stories were allegories of the human kind and their struggle for continuation, their adventures and findings, in other words their metaphorical travel between cradle and grave. Each of these stories inculcated in the younger members of the society a sort of respect for the positive aspects of the world, for their origins, for their way of living and for their customs. In fact, human beings have always had the tendency to construct narratives for themselves and that is the thread we follow from one day to the other. People who crumble as personalities are those individuals who lost that string. Man is without doubt a storyteller. His continuous search for a purpose in life, a cause, an ideal, is the struggle in finding a plot and an outline in the progress of his existence, his life story, a story which is without pattern and meaning.

However, as time passed, the evolution of technology has changed the apparatuses available to storytellers, and stories gained a more aesthetic value as partially different from the ethical value. With the dawns of writing, the use of symbols to represent language stories started to be transcribed…read more.

Qualia, othering, and Daphne Marlatt

Subjectivity has often been defined as a judgment which is based on individual and personal impressions rather than external facts. Despite the fact that it is terminologically difficult if not impossible to make a clear cut distinction between what we call subjective and objective one is bound to characterize such matters like scientific evidence, statistics and modes of measurement as being apriorically purged of any emotional, impressionistic influence. Hence, in the situation in which an apple falls down from a tree one is objective if (s)he shall take into consideration the speed with which it fell down, the size of the apple, color and maybe the effects of the impact. Contrariwise, if one says the apple fell beautifully such annotations are considered subjective. It was mainly phenomenology…read more.

Michael Ondaatje and the Aesthetics of Violence

Jim Morrison, an American poet and singer, once said that human beings fear violence less than their own feelings because ‘personal, private, solitary pain is more terrifying than what anyone else can inflict’. If we are to dig deeper into this matter, I believe Morrison brought to the fore a really persuasive argument concerning the nature of violence. From a terminological point of view, violence has often been defined as an act of aggression which usually occurs in the presence of resistance, in the context of trespassing predetermined rules or laws. Still, bearing in mind Morrison’s words, there is something which escapes this definition of violence. Phenomenologically, violence is related to the phenomenon of suddenness, its boundaries are always confined to a delimited span of time and space. Its occurrence is acute but short, and that is why ‘solitary pain’ is much stronger than the one inflicted by somebody else, because private pain extends the limits of violence, it makes it unpredictable, with no end in sight. However, from the point of view of a literary aestheticism…read more.
%d bloggers like this: