Since each of us was several, there was quite a crowd. Here we have made use of everything that came within range, what was closest as well as fartherest away. (Deleuze & Guattari, in the introduction to A Thousand Plateaus, 3)

Friday, May 7, 2010

So Be It

This morning I opened Robert Dessaix's book, Arabesques, (at random) and came across this quote on page 255:
...I've made up my mind to write at random. It's not an easy undertaking because the pen (it's a fountain pen) lags behind my thoughts. Now, it's vital not to foresee what one is about to say, that's true. But there is always a bit of play-acting in it..If I feel like contradicting myself, I shall without a qualm. I won't strive for 'coherence'. But I won't affect incoherence either. Hidden away beyond logic is a way of thinking that is more important to me at this point...I aim to amuse myself here...Perhaps at this age it's permissible to let oneself go a bit. Amen. (Which means, I believe: so be it!)
Andre Gide, on the first page of his last book,
So Be It or The Chips are Down. 
Siri Hustvedt explored this process in detail in her recent book, The Shaking Woman (she doesn't mention Andre Gide!) and I've come across it described by other writers too. I've tried it myself and it's not easy, my internal critic interrupts me again and again (I can only attempt it if I tell myself it's writing not to be read by anyone else, illogical but that's how it is).
I sense this process at work when I read Thousand Plateaus. perhaps I could call it in Deleuze & Guatarri's terminology: 'nomadic writing' (or perhaps 'haptic writing' but personally I like 'nomadic' better). And perhaps also when I read Helene Cixous --writing I love best to listen to.
Maybe it's the kind of writing that sits somewhere - in a space - between prose (what I keep trying to call writing-writing) and poetry. Mark Tredinnick calls a poem (in a recent essay on Robert Gray), "...a sculpture of meaningful sound. It's an architecture of voice".

Images: Top 'Haptic Writing #1 ' (SET 2010) 21x30cm handmade book with plant-dyed paper,
       Bottom 'Haptic Writing #2'

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