I’ve been fairly disaffected by writing
lately, all the usual frustrations about the medium and the boredom of endless reading and rewriting, and what better way to complain than in writing. Honestly, all I want is to be like my hero Balzac. I want to get away with sloppiness, prolixity and all the other problems that both create the need for editors and which afflicts them with ulcers. And I’m starting to think the only way to do that effectively is in fiction, in first person fiction to be precise. To bang off stories that entertain me alone, not because I don’t heed the reader from habit, or because nothing should be so dumbed down that everyone is clear about my meaning, but because I like stories with ideas that are expressed through ideas, which retain reader brains. Because I love tangents and complex ideas cut with unique phraseology. I’d like to have some kind of regular audience feeling, some kind of strong affirmation which holds my hand like a Nick Drake song and builds my faith in dialogue, the dialogue of faith, the communicative goal of writing and literature at large and the truest basis for helpful criticism, growth.
I can’t think of a lonelier sport than writing. The image of Joyce in his room at night, laughing maniacally. Some anonymous collaboration with the future, for him. And for all those lessers without same genius or perversity, a bitter relation with silence, distance and punning. Every writer is pushed into jeremiad-mode eventually. All have to push and confront their own expectation and secret demands of it. The real dialogue of writing is with the self and has to be exposed to be explored.