Talking like touching
Writing like punching somebody.
Writing like punching somebody.
I’m now writing out of rage — and I feel a kind of Nietzschean elation. It’s tonic. I roar with laughter. I want to denounce everybody, tell everybody off. I go to my typewriter as I might go to my machine gun. But I’m safe. I don’t have to face the consequences of ‘real’ aggressivity. I’m sending out colis piégés [‘booby-trapped packages‘] to the world.
The only story that seems worth writing is a cry, a shot, a scream. A story should break the reader’s heart… The story must strike a nerve — in me. My heart should start pounding when I hear the first line in my head. I start trembling at the risk.
.Not only must I summon the courage to be a bad writer — I must dare to be truly unhappy. Desperate. And not save myself, short-circuit the despair.
By refusing to be as unhappy as I truly am, I deprive myself of subjects. I’ve nothing to write about. Every topic burns.
There is a great deal that either has to be given up or be taken away from you if you are going to succeed in writing a body of work.
One can never be alone enough to write. To see better.
Looking for self-transcendence (or metamorphosis) — the cloud of unknowing that allows perfect expressiveness
To write one must wear blinkers. I’ve lost my blinkers.
Don’t be afraid to be concise!
Writing is a little door. Some fantasies, like big pieces of furniture, won’t come through
The solution to a problem — a story that you are unable to finish — is the problem. It isn’t as if the problem is one thing and the solution something else. The problem, properly understood = the solution. Instead of trying to hide or efface what limits the story, capitalize on that very limitation. State it, rail against it….
My library is an archive of longings.
Language as a found object.
I think I am ready to learn how to write. Think with words, not with ideas.
‘Idea’ as method of instant transport away from direct experience, carrying a tiny suitcase.
‘Idea’ as a means of miniaturizing experience, rendering it portable. Someone who regularly has ideas is — by definition — homeless.
Intellectual is a refugee from experience. In Diaspora.
What’s wrong with direct experience? Why would one ever want to flee it, by transforming it — into a brick?
Words have their own firmness. The word on the page may not reveal (may conceal) the flabbiness of the mind that conceived it. > All thoughts are upgrades — get more clarity, definition, authority, by being in print — that is, detached from the person who thinks them. A potential fraud – at least potential – in all writing.
Making lists of words, to thicken my active vocabulary. To have puny, not just little, hoax, not just trick, mortifying, not just embarrassing, bogus, not just fake.
I could make a story out of puny, hoax, mortifying, bogus. They are a story..
I have a wider range as a human being than as a writer.... Only me is available to be turned into art.
The function of writing is to explode one’s subject — transform it into something else. (Writing is a series of transformations.)Writing means converting one’s liabilities (limitations) into advantages. For example, I don’t love what I’m writing. Okay, then — that’s also a way to write, a way that can produce interesting results.
Ordinary language is an accretion of lies. The language of literature must be, therefore, the language of transgression, a rupture of individual systems, a shattering of psychic oppression. The only function of literature lies in the uncovering of the self in history.
In ‘life,’ I don’t want to be reduced to my work. In ‘work,’ I don’t want to be reduced to my life. My work is too austere. My life is a brutal anecdote.
If only I could feel about sex as I do about writing! That I’m the vehicle, the medium, the instrument of some force beyond myself.
Two kinds of writers. Those who think this life is all there is, and want to describe everything: the fall, the battle, the accouchement, the horse-race. That is, Tolstoy. And those who think this life is a kind of testing-ground (for what we don’t know — to see how much pleasure + pain we can bear or what pleasure + pain are?) and want to describe only the essentials. That is, Dostoyevsky. The two alternatives. How can one write like T. after D.? The task is to be as good as D. — as serious spiritually, + then go on from there…
Great poetry has ideas….
Only thing that counts are ideas. Behind ideas are [moral] principles. Either one is serious or one is not. Must be prepared to make sacrifices. I’m not a liberal.
A writer, like an athlete, must ‘train’ every day. What did I do today to keep in ‘form’?
Imagination: — having many voices in one’s head. The freedom for that.
When there is no censorship the writer has no importance.
So it’s not so simple to be against censorship.
A failure of nerve. About writing. (And about my life — but never mind.) I must write myself out of it.
If I am not able to write because I’m afraid of being a bad writer, then I must be a bad writer. At least I’ll be writing.
Then something else will happen. It always does.
I must write every day. Anything. Everything. Carry a notebook with me at all times, etc.
I read my bad reviews. I want to go to the bottom of it — this failure of nerve.