Architectures of Possibility

“Writing is a manner of reading.  It is a mode of engaging with other texts in the world, which itself is a kind of text.  And reading is a manner of writing, interpretation, meaning-making.  Which is to say that writing and reading are variants of the same activity.  Existence comes to us in bright, disconnected splinters of experience.  We narrativize those splinters so our lives feel as if they make sense – as if they possess things like beginnings, muddles, ends, and reasons.  The word narrative is ultimately derived, through the Latin narrare, from the Proto-Indo-European root gno-, which comes into our language as the verb to know.  At some profoundly deep stratum, we conceptualize narrative as a means of understanding, of creating cosmos out of chaos.”

“Yet in many cultural loci these days we are asked to read and write easier, more naively, less rigorously.  We are asked to understand by not taking the time and energy to understand.  One difference between art and entertainment has to do with the speed of perception.  Art deliberately slows and complicates reading, hearing, and/or viewing so that we are challenged to re-think and re-feel form and experience.  Entertainment deliberately accelerates and simplifies them so we don’t have to think about or feel very much of anything at all except, maybe, the adrenalin rush before spectacle.”

-Lance Olsen-

“Literature is the question minus the answer.”

-Roland Barthes-