“”I write.”  This statement is the one and only real “datum” a writer can start from.  “At this moment I am writing.”  Which is also the same as saying: “You who are reading are obliged to believe only one thing: that what you are reading is something that at some previous time someone has written; what you are reading takes place in one particular world, that of the written word.  It may be that likenesses can be established between the world of the written word and other worlds of experience, and that you will be called upon to judge upon these likenesses, but your judgment would in any case be wrong if while reading you hoped to enter into a direct relationship with the experience of worlds other than that of the written word.”  I have spoken of “worlds of experience,’ not of “levels of reality,” because within the world of the written word one can discern many levels of reality, as in any other world of experience.”

-Italo Calvino-


“A work of literature might be defined as an operation carried out in the written language and involving several layers of reality at the same time”

“The preliminary condition of any work of literature is that the person who is writing has to invent that first character, who is the author of the work”

(further Calvino’s)

Affinities : Possessing the Wordless

The following quotations are from “Putting Down Marks (my life as a draftsman)” by Jim Dine.  Where he uses “draw” or “drawing” substitute “write” or “writing” and I find a remarkable similarity with my own experience making things…I find his work and thought quite inspiring to my own and wanted to share with you many writers/artists/thinkers…


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“I’ve always had a wish to put down  marks”

“My mind was going and so was my hand”

“I love building up, erasing, losing it, bringing it back, taking it away.  I trust my method of not trusting”

“He’s always so frightened of failure and of finishing, and that moves me” (of Giacometti)

“But what is really the optimal situation for me is to get my brain around what I’m trying to do.  That’s all.”

“I have a total connection between my hand and my eye – it’s just that I can’t see sometimes”

“Drawing is not an exercise.  Exercise is sitting on a stationary bicycle and going nowhere.  Drawing is being on a bicycle and taking a journey.  For me to succeed in drawing, I must go fast and arrive somewhere.  The quest is to keep the thing alive – “

“I’m interested in making a vehicle within which it is possible to feel certain things…And these emotions don’t have words.  They really don’t”

“I want to get my drawing out of my heart the way photography accesses my marginal thoughts and images”

“The state of wanting to draw something, for me, is a way to capture it and that’s a primary emotion for me.”

“I want to possess them and what better way of possessing them than to draw them.  The reason I wanted to possess them is they reminded me of other things that are wordless”

“Drawing is the medium which has been the blood of my life”