Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Why I Don't Write

In 'Six Memos for the Next Millenium,' Italo Calvino articulates a lot of the reasons why I haven't felt like writing creatively (not in English anyway) or creatively in the past (at least) half year:

Overambitious projects may be objectionable in many fields, but not in literature. Literature remains alive only if we set ourselves immeasurable goals, far beyond all hope of achievement. Only if pets and writers set themselves tasks that noone else dares imagine wil literature continue to have a function. Since science has begun to distrust general explanations and solutions that are not sectorial and specialized, the grand challenge for literature is to be capable of weaving together the various branches of knowledge, the various "codes" into a manifold and multifaceted vision of the world.


With teaching, working with kids, and living in a foreign country, it's difficult to achieve a breadth of vision (especially in working with kids), and to liberate the imagination, what with all the daily annoyances: parents who spoil their kids, frequent cat-calls on the street, a mind-bogglingly unnecessary amount of noise, this seems like a time to live intensely and will hopefully precede a period of writing intensively.

This quote from Raymond Queneau provides an excellent excuse for not wanting to blog recently:

Another very wrong idea that is also doing the rounds at the moment is the equivalence that has been established between inspiration, exploration of the subconscious and liberation, between chance automtism and freedom. Now this sort of inspiration, which consists in blindly obeying every impulse, is in fact slavery. The classical author who wrote his tragedy observing a certain number of known rules is freer than the poet who writes down whatever comes to his head and is slave to other rules of which he knows nothing.

2 comments:

Nick said...

I completely understand, Kevin. You're in my thoughts. I look forward to the day when we can meet and share our surreal experiences in that great kingdom in which life unfolds daily in a way and magnitude that is unfathomable to those who haven't been there. How much longer do you think you'll be there for?

M.E Ellis said...

Hope you're well, friend!

:o)