1 The constraints: 1) No more than
one hour. 2) No more than 20 lines.
The result ? Genius or Not.

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19th August 2010

By Cassandra Moss | 2010 August 19

Isolation is fine in and of itself: hours by yourself, the relief of solitude compared to the pressure of company, that's okay, but when that time is spent writing you're going to be held accountable for those hours alone. And what if you're not sure that you have any faith in the end result any more? All the thought that went into character, events, language – it has gone into things that are rendered meaningless by the effort devoted to them. Why should you write? To express, to communicate, to control, to create, to extract and examine the structures within yourself... to rationalise the feeling of powerlessness you have. Perhaps. But none of that satisfies. None of that is a real justification for those hours when it is questioned and doubted. When you read a piece you have written it sobers up your drunken desire to articulate exactly what it is like to think, feel and be because you realise there is an insurmountable gulf between thinking, feeling and being and what you have put down on the page. Within this gulf lies expression that is out of reach, shapes that your mind may bump against and begin to outline, but never manage to fill in and solidify. To go even further, though, it could be that it is impossible to even know anything of what it is like to think, feel and be: the gulf is not between subject and page but between abstract subject and expositional subject. The latter is the dominant being, the one who claims existence and manacles it to its own conventions. There are endless plots, forms, perspectives, voices that vie to make sense and explain and this is what you end up writing about: stuff that approximates what it is like, stuff that might read well but is lacking. Still, you try nonetheless. You try to ignore the doubt you have and when that doesn't work you try to incorporate that doubt into your writing so that it is authentic. As if there is actual authenticity. There must be something. But...?

Writing, Doubt, Frustration

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