“I am someone who tries to write, who right now more and more seems to need to write, daily; and who hopes less that the products of that need are lucrative or even liked than simply received, read, seen…why I’m starting to think most people who somehow must write must write. The need to indite, inscribe – be its fulfillment exhilerating or palliative or, as is more usual, neither – springs from the doubly-bound panic felt by most persons who spend a lot of time up in their own personal heads. On one side – the side a philosopher’d call ‘radically skeptical’ or ‘solipsistic’ – there’s the feeling that one’s head is, in some sense, the whole world, when the imagination becomes not just a more congenial but a realer environment than the big Exterior of life on earth…The need to get words & voices not only out – outside the sixteen-inch diameter of bone that both births & imprisons them – but also down, trusting them neither to the insusbstantial country of the mind nor to the transient venue of cords & air & ear – a necessary affirmation of an outside, some Exterior one’s written record can not only communicate with but inhabit…the textual urge, the emotional urgency of text as both sign and thing. The other side of the prenominate 2-bind – … – is why people who write need to do so as a mode of communication. It’s what an abstractor like Laing calls ‘ontological insecurity’ – why we sign our stuff, impose it on friends, mail it out in brown manila trying to get it printed. “I EXIST” is the signal that throbs under most voluntary writing – & all good writing…
what must the world be like if language is even to be possible?”
got it, David. Thank you.
12 thoughts on “Some Reasons…for Some of Us”
Seems to me, the difficult thing about being a writer is that one creates in the same medium as they think–language. A painter doen not think in paint or even in color, these images probably occur, but they occur alongside language–the word red or amber or violet. I have often wondered if this is part of the reason why writers seem to suffer more from depression and anxiety than any other type of artist. Just a thought.
it is true that there is such a fundamental conundrum involved with investigating or exploring or evincing something always only using itself. curious observation – the medium itself an internal spiral. thanks
I enrolled in a creative writing course at a distant learning university in RSA. They start one off with poetry of all things. I always presumed it is something one grows into over a period of time. I’ve had to think, and think well (someone once said thinking is an art form in itself – Buddha?, Bob Dylan?) … anyway … and found some deeper stirrings in the inner workings of my creative pool. I commented earlier that I’ve been grumpy about using words as a creative tool. I think the deeper stirrings is upsetting me … resisting change. As a painter I find sheer analysis of a colour an intellectual process, however, to put this process into words seems a chore. And I do think in colour.
Wallace continues to shed light on writing for me by talking about it in such a way that I think, “Ah, now that makes sense.”
thanks for joining the conversation – i’ve heard that often – thinking in form, thinking in colour, thinking in sound… my hunch is that that’s the truth of it – we think into (or with) mediums and it also shapes our thinking…
you and me both…
”… think into mediums … ” Jacques Derrida does that well. Took his The Truth in Painting off the shelf and dusted it off.
This comment may come off as juvenile and off topic but I’m utterly in love with the way you use language. Reading your posts has this mesmerizing effect on me. Thank you for always trying to explain the inexplicable and for doing so, so well.
wow! thanks! that is very encouraging for me…i suppose i do set out into language hoping to get closer to things i can’t explain…but truly often feel i just spiral or divert further from them. Thank you for saying so.
we just got that out again Sunday! sheesh