waves

I actually think I’m about to figure out something about the form of the book, too bad it takes so long to log into this stupid thing it really bothers me though I guess that’s the price of virtually simultaneous production and dissemination,

so the process of writing the book via collage produces a potential flatness– b/c if ideas are produced associatively and arranged along lines that are not based in cause/effect for the building of an argument (I’m not saying this quite right I’m just plunking it down to see what I’ve got– I really am in a phase where I loathe argument as a paradigm– I used to argue for argument via accumulation but now I am just against it but I don’t want to think through or try to articulate why or how right this second)– anyhow what’s happening at this level of revision is that I’ll come to a high emotional place, a place of synthesis– b/c emotional highs are still created in this book by a confluence of images, ideas, and actions that have accumulated meaning along the way– that is how a high point or breath of feeling/meaning happens in fiction, I don’t know another way for it to happen– I don’t think it really does for me as a reader, honestly– so I’ll come to a place like that and my impulse in revision is to think that I need to close off that line of thinking– that it is resolved, and so if your story isn’t also done, it means you move onto the concerns that remain (and in practice, cut the lines that refer, in a way that is unresolved, to that thing you ‘resolved’). What I am coming to find in the shape of this book, is that there are these moments of synthesis, but they do not mean that the issues within them subside entirely or cease to be issues or questions– they are still in there, but at a lower register, in the service or tangled up in /other/ issues that become prominent. That’s a truly wave-like structure– b/c waves aren’t uniform or distinct from one another and they don’t end– but they still have meaning and they change in tone and they crash, and you interact with them in ways that do things to you– anyhow it’s been so long since I read The Waves– and it was so important to me but not in a way that I ever codified for myself– I wonder if this is part of the way she was thinking about that book–

My point here is that as I am revising, my first impulse was to find the high point, articulate what had been resolved, and then try to make sure I wasn’t then re-complicating those matters after those moments– but when I tried to do that it seemed impossible– so now I’m thinking no– of course– just b/c there’s a feeling of resolution doesn’t mean anything goes away– it just occupies a different role in the text b/c of that experience– it feeds other things– it doesn’t go away — and doesn’t lose its mystery– not really– just for the moment when it shows its face or something– it shows its face, you feel a sense of recognition, it dives away and continues to have a life that does and does not include you–

Making stories for so long for me has been about embracing for its own sake the artifice of completion– in the sense of taking a limited set of components and working them through in relation to each other with thoroughness, dignity, and complexity, in order to get the feeling of something like one fantastic bite of an endless meal– actually more like or one fantastic meal in a life of eating stuff. The fantasy of completion– the momentary existence of it–  is the delight of form. That is still at play for me– I will not be able to finish this book until I am convinced I have accomplished this– but I think this sense of how this relationship between synthesis — thinking through narrative elements with integrity– and an overall sensibility that is truly about not solving things– not curing, not understanding, not even finding new questions to replace old ones that felt put to rest— they only rest for a minute– and the goal really is to draw the texture of life when this is the truth of it. It doesn’t say “there are no answers!” it says things are more and less true and this is how the truth is in motion– (?)

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