everythingness

 

 

How to not write about something

It's not that I find it difficult to begin, I am always beginning, and sometimes I get to the middle, but I don't want to write a different version of the first book. Another story written in the first person about a quirky guy who loves his cat and his girlfriend, who does something unusual, which is difficult, and after a few setbacks on the way of course he triumphs, but in a humble quirky way, with some good jokes in it and a few potentially profound questions about what it means to be a human being.

I was writing about something and didn't want to write 'about' something. To write 'about' something is to go around it. To write 'about' is to imagine a character, a setting and to tell a story with a carefully wrought narrative arc. But what would become possible if you wrote directly, in the moment, as determined by the passage of time and the passage of the 'i' through time and space. What kind of openings appear? There is a door. Is it locked? Do you have the key? Is there a wormhole? A passage to the Real? An interstitial space? Could you crawl into it? Could it swallow you up whole? Could you become nothing through the text?

I want to make a text which creates an opening, This is essentially an idea of Michel Foucault (1926–1984) which he called ecriture. one into which I, the capital I 'i', this thing that calls itself 'i', could disappear and continue to disappear.

Could you find what you're looking for without looking for it — without knowing what it is you're looking for? Could you find what you're longing for without knowing what it is you're longing for?

So the problem with a book is not the beginning, it's the ending. The diary form solves that problem rather neatly. It simply ends when the writer's life ends, or when they are incapacitated in some way and can no longer write. Not being able to write would be worse than death, but there are worse things than death, like life.

 


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