Life apart from the page has become difficult – this, I know to be the result of self-consciousness, which in my case is a flinching from the assault of consciousness on a sensibility insufficiently armed against its painful disclosures. I’m sure this is true for many other sensitive people; I’m just one who has happened to make self-consciousness a subject of fiction.
and another bit:
To say that I am a writer and am interested in stories is not the tautology it might appear. At least for one who was once suspicious of stories. I came of age when language was foregrounded and stories were mere plots and to be despised. Even before language was preeminent, characterization was everything; the psychological work of fiction, this was the ideal to which a young writer with very little experience of world literature – with no experience at all of anti-naturalistic forms – aspired. My mistrust of stories may have been a misunderstanding of what fiction is; even psychological fiction tells stories – yes? I may have confused story with plot, or perhaps not. Do we not seem to prefer “fiction” and “narrative” to “story” in our description of what we do? In our minds don’t we make a distinction between literary fiction and mere stories, which are what general readers seek in the best-sellers we disdain? (Perhaps writers younger than I are today suspicious even of the literary.)
Come celebrate the launch of new Ellipsis Press titles. I’ll be hosting a reading with Norman Lock, Joanna Ruocco, and special guest–Gary Lutz.
A hypnotic tale of artistic obsession, Norman Lock’s SHADOWPLAY tells the story of a Javanese shadow-puppet master. “Wise up and get all you can of Lock,” says Gordon Lish, “His writing was written by a writer exquisite in the singularity (read for this “genius”) of his utterance.” Joanna Ruocco’s THE MOTHERING COVEN is a “work of wonder” says Carole Maso, a singular act of prose daring. Also reading will be short story master Gary Lutz.
Bryce stops outside the little room beneath the stairs. She slips a pixie stix beneath the door. Something furry slides out.
“A Rattenkönig,” gasps Bryce. She looks around to see if anyone could have heard her. How could she think it was a Rattenkönig? It is a sheet of fake mustaches. Bryce thinks of all the hair she’s swept into the dustbin in her lifetime and feels ill.
“They are beautiful,” says Bryce. She recognizes one of the mustaches. The young man from the pinochle deck. Of course.
“More slings and arrows,” sighs Bryce. She sticks the mustache to her palm, where her heart line used to be. It tickles.
Believing in nothing firmly and therefore accepting as equally valid, in principle (which is as far as they go), all opinions, and considering that a theory is worth only as much as the theorist, an emotion as much as the emotion’s expresser, I could never take seriously the literary dogma that consists in the use of a personality. Personality is a form of belief and, like all belief, impossible for the reasoner.
It’s a short step from believing in outer truth to believing in inner truth, from accepting a concept of the world as true to accepting a concept of our self as true. I don’t affirm that everything is fluid, since that would be an affirmation, but to our understanding everything is indeed fluid, and the truth, unfolding for us into various truths, disappears, since it cannot be multiple.
How often, in the age-old trajectory of the worlds, a stray comet must have brought an Earth to its end! A catastrophe so utterly material will determine the fate of countless mental and spiritual projects. Death spies on us, like a sister of the spirit, and Destiny . . . . . .
Death is our being subject to something outside us, and we, at each moment of our lives, are but reflections and a consequence of what surrounds us.
Death lurks in our every living act. Dead we’re born, dead we live, and already dead we enter death. Composed of cells living off their disintegration, we’re made of death.