Chronicels of Infection • • • Written Futility [02March2011]


One should be able to write despite everything.

What is everything?

Dreadful, mind-numbing fatigue, poverty, an absence of a computer and a keyboard [think stylo and notepad], poverty, the ability to remember what one was writing on earlier and did not finish and still wants to finish, extreme dread [of writing or staying up much longer in general], the prospect of thermonuclear annihilation. Understood? Despite all these possible adverse circumstances one should remain of a steadfast mind to write or at least try to.

So then the second question follows even more urgently. Who is this “one”? The serious writer, the person who thinks that her/his happiness and position in life stands and falls [a lethal spill I must add] with writing. That no effort in life, not even winning a best actor Oscar for a mediocre movie or winning the best album Grammy for a tedious, generic album, that none of these popularly exulted achievements could compare in any possible way to the attempt and completion of writing a book. Which if one thinks about it for a bit longer seems subjectively, humanly true anyway.

[A third query could be added: what type of a book? Again, the answer is quite obvious: a fiction novel (not, by god, historical fiction)].

And here my efforts fall dreadfully short. No book, just a few disjointed, disconsolate short stories and some articles. Nothing to disturb one’s eyeballs over. I must try harder, I must change my life. Easier written than done. And a fellow anxiety comes gallhumping along too, namely that ultimately I might not really care. That the terminal fact of death annihilates or vanquishes or worse even, annuls all our efforts this side of eternity. So no matter how many short stories and articles and novels I write, no matter if I become a literary operator of Rothian proportions, in the end it will all come to naught. I will no longer be there, an apocalyptic solar-flare will wipe clean every last harddisk of this planet and, inevitably, in five billion years [this is a scientific fact] the sun will expand to become a red giant and scorch our already abused blue, petty planet to a burnt, black nub. No, absorb it even.


And if that is not enough, I have another obstacle that stands in the way of my spectral, capricious, unsteady writerly ambitions. The definitive feeling that sooner or later I will completely loose interest in both reading and writing[1]. Both of them, what horror! What loss! First the stories will reduce themselves to scenes, then those in turn will deteriorate into paragraphs, from which it is not a long way to the sheer simplicity of a sentence. This other guy, I forget his name, says the writer should only reside within the sentence; while this approach does work well for editing, on the macro-perspective it is pure madness. The atomic anomy that marks madness. You can see where this schizoid mind-stroll is heading though: to meaningless black ciphers on a white page, signifying nothing. I will only see the words and wonder how I ever had been able to attach worlds to them. It will seem like an impossible and useless semantico-cosmic conjuring act, favorably replaced by such activities as: going out for a run, going outside for a bike ride, playing badminton with Sipho&Selim, buying a Wii or PS3 and actually sitting down and playing those accursed games, watching yet more DVDs, going for extended walks in town that make me feel…wise, learned, at-peace, etc., learning how to brew my own beer [which promises both fun and an almost unbearable sense of hipsterism, even if not quite as bad as those seriously shitty backpacks with the little, curled, red fox-logos on them] and so forth.


So anyway, I’ve achieved my ineluctable, enigmatic daily quota and written a few words. Written despite everything.


Buona noche & sweet dreams my comrades; may you always have a big pile of entertaining, intelligent, beautiful books by your side!


[1] Bolano’s Savage Detectives is somehow giving me less pleasure by the day [so arbitrary episodic and discombobulated], despite the sporadic moments of blinding enlightenment. Latour’s Pandora’s Hope has unsatisfyingly strayed from its promising premisse. And even Bellow [Humboldt’s Gift] is beginning to wear me down with his tediously exuberant brand of poet-king exceptionalism a l’Americaine. It really are “Broom of the System” [with its zinging dialogue] and “Surface Detail” [with unrivalled plotting&imagination] that keep me afloat. I can’t deny the definitive feeling that the unjustly maligned Stephen King [e.g. The Stand] would give me a much needed jolt of faith in the art of writing. And what kind of whinging is this anyway? That of somebody foolish enough to hitch his happiness to the wagon of words.

 


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About tmabona

writer, reader [bolano, DW, bellow, deLillo], runner, badmintoneer
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