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CROSS TALK

Edward Williams

Month

September 2010

Storm Clouds, He Said

——He always responds to the question that threatens to render his occupation not just useless in general, but absurd in his own case especially..  Heroically, he claims that it is important to have an audience, and to engage this audience, to have fervent readers, for, he roundly asserts, his books are addressed to these readers, and their very lives at are stake. Well!  Not their lives, but the content of their lives, that he intends to and will influence. Their future, etc.– that is just obvious. I feel, he says, if they don’t know about me, I mean have access to my flexible language, and my storied opinions, my images!, they are sorely deprived, and will lead different lives, etc., etc.. Well, yes!  Somebody is always asking–so, he says, I have this stock response, like to defend the whole enterprise.
——But let’s be honest, really what he thinks is, I just want to keep at bay any negative energy, stand bravely, parry any doubts circulating among others, nip in the bud and fend off any accusations, like that the enterprise is impractical or worthless, etc.–because really, what I am always working to achieve is a position where no one is watching me at all. I am trying to get free, he says, free of your attention. That would be a way to put it.  Always trying to get free of clinging life itself in order to describe it, objectify it, study it and render it for nobody at all, but because it is there, the task. When no one is watching I and can then and therefore sneak away, back to the work of adding to my monumentally obscure and fundamentally unseen, comprehensive testament which, for all I know, is addressed to no human reader at all, and never was. From the authors royal point of view, this whole discussion of the value and purpose of his work, well, it starts on a defensive note–and who knows what the aim of the person who asked the question was! As much as there are any honest issues involved, and despite the fact that I always know where exactly to stand and can form opinions, seemingly on the spot, or halfway into a battle of phrases, ultimately I only want to keep focus on writing from that source I have which, no matter what I do, keeps gathering more material for me to sort out, like storm clouds, he said.

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Invisible Chessboard

——The pressure of self-consciousness is such that it shatters any attempt to organize what one is even seeing, much less remembering–from life, which seems when I face it like some opportunity, standing there untried. I think, I am guiltless, empty, I am quietly searching for the language where there is no hint of recrimination. I want to get through this emotion, unscathed, so I can start. Start what! Start to enact my real personality . . . Everybody is like this, at the high school graduation picnic, and throughout the years on the invisible chessboard beyond.

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