Sunday, October 10, 2010

Problems of Literature

My problem with the idea of writing is perhaps not necessarily an issue of craft, of literary craft - whether we are able to write at all, or not, for it's become evident that somehow I'm able to write, it's more like perhaps I don't quite want to hear what I'm in need of writing, it frightens me so often to hear myself. If it were an issue as simple as that of evoking the imagination, of surrendering the provocation of the invention, the repository of fantasy, then it could be easily overcome, but the repository of the memory is a lot more demanding, it's not simply an issue of aesthetics, but the fact that it's impossible to avoid the memoryhouse of experience. I'm equally unable to write or read too much, I swallow bits of the world with much paucity and care, trying not to miss anything, because the openness required for sincerity of writing is not that of simply trying to sketch a travel log of worldtime, but rather to depart from the repository of the strictly personal - experiences, acquired tastes, stories that might be of our interest or might not, stories that we have heard from other people or that we believe we have heard, in order to create a sense of the story (be it a critical or philosophical essay, a poem, a short story, a journalistic article) that appeals universally to the demands of the reader, of the people, of the world, how do you transform the raw material into something universally readable? Authors often tend to think it has to do with themselves and that's why confession it's always such a stumbling block to depart from in the making of literature. You're not so important after all and the possibility to tell a story in which you're not the most important part, even if it's a story about yourself, it is in this possibility that lies the loyalty to poetics and to creativity. It shouldn't be a deadly enterprise to write neither the good will to curb a suicide attempt on the part of the writer; insofar as this is supposed to be an art, there must be in it more enjoyment than pure salvation, because in the end, art is necessarily powerless before life and the act of transcending that is enabled by the production of literature is not based upon an avoidance of life on the one hand, or the plain excruciating literality on the other, both literatures, those of avoidance and of literality, however interesting, lack in every single way the power to evoke and are therefore false. You must be able to take a step back, to withdraw, to position yourself beyond and prior to attachment, both at the same time. That there's "something" to tell, it is a fact of life, part of the recognition that we find on other people and that we call friendship and love, stems from the fact that we share in this language of lips and hands, and why should one story be of superior quality to another doesn't necessarily procede from the content but from the ability of the writer to enable the reader to take part even if it is at the price of forgetting that the story isn't his own. Because there's an aesthetic appeal to which we resort, whenever we're ought to think about art at all, the categories that we use, to think of this "art" are always somewhat abstract and in that sense it's not only that they fail to engage the audience but also that we fail to be engaged ourselves. There's no position more dangerous in literary production than the idea of considering the reader infinitely inferior or dumb, in which case, the worldliness of the work of art becomes a great fallacy, and does it happen ever that we write only for ourselves? I doubt it, even in the most precarious cases, sometimes we write for the silent eye of God, or for an anynonymous recipient or for sometimes who can't read us for one reason or another, but I don't think we ever write only for ourselves. Some people have the ability to reflect upon their experiences within the traditional voices of narrative, time after time, sometimes even as the events are taking place, defying all concepts of time and space, whereas for me, differently enough, it takes years to consider the effect of the simplest passages, or the loneliest alleys or of very harmless yet beautiful, moments of the day.

Saturday, October 09, 2010


I sweat like an animal even though I can't feel the smell but deep inside me the turbulent waters come afloat and wrap my body in their motions of vertail lines falling from my head, it is not a summer day, it is a very different kind of sweat, I'm overcome by shame, by the lies of my body that speaks in signals that I would never want to hear, there's so little time, so they say, the lines of expression in my forehead and the newborn tiredness of my eyes, if I'm unable to write now, I shall never be able to do it. The imprisonment takes a toll on me, I keep dreaming but the waves of the clouds that trace my daydreaming seem to come from too far away, from a place where I never requested anything, not even a passing moment. The body is so often tired, especially one of the eyes, and yet, it could perfectly have been a summer day, the beautiful rays of sun which I hadn't seen for such a long time, the unwillingness to settle down for one place alone and the tender breezes of the grass, the joyful motions of the passers and the jokes, the pleasures of friendship, the painless thoroughway by the side of the cement buildings sprang forth as a river from which I obtained yet one moment more of life.

It's not normal, one should say to himself, that he's ought to ask permission to live, as if it were to no avail to try on one's own, to tell the real story, so uninteresting in itself and more than anything, so painful, not from the bruises and the wounds caused by father but more the bruises caused by the total dearth of knowledge, the little deaths when certain conversations take place, the unsuccessful attempts to run away with their periods of injustice, hunger and especially sleeplessness, the idea that danger looms too close, the exposition to the perils of the street and the mercilessness of the stranger in whose eyes one's looking for a little bit of comfort, nowhere to be found. Nowhere, other than in oneself and there it's no longer comfort and consolation, it's become already vital energy once it's found.

The guilt is unavoidable, the sterile guilt of having done something wrong or of not having done anything at all, suffocated by the sweat, the reminder of this sin, the impossible language without lips and without arms, it's an army of events that all the more disjointed make the world collapse into his eyes, he's no longer there, he's already parted to the far away land.