Chronicles of DisInfection [2011_lateMay]


… I’ve been shunted away from writing, I’ve been unwilling to write as a matter of putting it into insufficient words. Is this a new anti-literary virus making the round among the obscure outcasts of the guild? No, not that I know of or anybody else I don’t know. Is this a variation of writer’s block? I have my personal reasons to doubt it. It seems to me to be a matter of consideration: I evaluate a number of different personal parameters and arrive at the conclusion that I had better not write. Don’t write Themba, sit still. It’s too late anyway, don’t burn your midnight’s oil again. Just read instead [which there is always too much material for anyway] or, sure, sit there and think about what you/I might write if I/you would write, in other words, better or worse: what could be worth the effort of writing[1]???

What could be worth the effort? My standard elbow-jerk responses are: A) nothing B) a single conscientious reader C) a bleeding-heart stand against oblivion, which of course in the end will vanquish us all. And perhaps D) the attempt/joy of trying to whip one’s thoughts/imagination/emotions into a more coherent, tragically linear [despite parentheses and footnotes and sequential legerdemains] structure.

The best approach to writing is not to think of how much effort [time, energy, thought, heart, black magick] it requires at all. Just write. Follow the impulse. Let fingers be fingers. And do all the teeth-gnashing, hand-wringing, brain-fuming work that is required, a posteriori, when the first draft has already splashed out onto the page.

There is a second source of my writerly abulia. What is more important: A) attempts to plumb the existential fathoms of hyper-subjectivity [who am I, what, where and when under which conditions?], C) narrative blasts of sheer imagination [e.g. episodes on a phantasmagoric archipelago or in a city which is destroyed every night and then reconstructed for the new day] or B) comico-critical analysis of current, global events to which any reader might relate almost effortlessly [e.g. the smug conservatism behind CH’s latest batch of minimalist advertisements (posters)].

A blog seems to call for the genre B but the truth of the matter is that I have been rapidly loosing interest in “the world”, meaning the cosmos as examined by mass-media other than as an intellectually curious monument to utter futility.

I am trending towards the notion of existential ultra-subjectivity: what happens to me, why, how, what it might mean in the depths of it all. Planet Themzini. The problem with this approach is that it might feel ego-centric or self-obsessed in a pathological kind of way. The barrier of conceiving of the self only in terms of material conditions and personal history must be brought crashing down, that is not easy. It takes time, maybe time that is better spent not writing or at least not typing.

Be that as it may, I smell breakthrough.

[1] [It occurs to me just now, as I listen to the sound of my fingers against the keyboard, a sound I am unable to find an adequate simile for, it occurs to me or becomes clear rather why sometimes the verb “to type” is used in lieu of “to write”. When one knows well in advance what will come out it is “typing”; or even when it flows automatically, thoughts to words with very little in the way of critical analysis. Type first, write later.]


About tmabona

writer, reader [bolano, DW, bellow, deLillo], runner, badmintoneer
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One Response to Chronicles of DisInfection [2011_lateMay]

  1. Studies have shown that the word “I” (as in, “me”) is becoming more and more prevalent in pop songs. The surprising conclusion they made was that pop singers and society as a whole is becoming, you guessed it, more narcissistic. I think it’s the other way around…for some of us, anyway. The further out we venture, the harder the system ping pongs us back at our selves again where we are forced to swallow a mouthfuk (I mean mouthful) of our own “I” babble. We keep venturing out, though, until the system misses the ball. Or we choose to stay inside, do nothing and thereby refuse to accept the game’s silly premises. I think my metaphor is quickly reaching a limit here…good writing anyway.

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