I am trying to realize something, at least in so many words that I am about to write. The idea that what a writer does is “write the truth” and that this comes from some clean act of observing the world and recording it with artistic accuracy (I am still wed to the way E. Pound said, not uncomplicatedly, something like, if I remember correctly, “fundamental accuracy of statement is the one sole morality of writing”) and if they get it “right” it will be good, and that then a critic/reader comes along and reads the work and does an analysis or senses something or whatever, and if the critic/reader is good and if the work stands up then it’s a good work– all of that supposes that things are right, good, or true in the world, there for a writer to see artistically. The trouble is words like right, true, and good. Also the word world, what a lot of people seem to mean by it. So that you turn into a critic and make up some words to try to say things accurately. Or you redoff your dumb writer hat and return to making a sensory record of concrete things work for you. Unless what we mean by artistic is, etc. But I think what I took from S. Sontag is that it’s all in the etcetera. If not the I.
I am still interested in honesty, or I’d erase this post out of embarassment. It’s true that I am still bothered by and confused by these things and every once in a while I try again for a second before I gross myself out.
God I just worry that the whole book is horrifying constipation with passages that break through cloudcover and that may just be the way I see things, and the way I see things might just make an awful book. Not long ago I think I concluded that life is not stasis with interruptions, it’s flux, crisis, upheaval, tension, exhaustion, pretension, and occasional moments or passages of peace.
It’s just hard. I read through the sixty pages I have written and that have been keeping me so happy for these last few months, and suddenly they were not what they had seemed before to be.