Hard Core: Min(e/d)

BROSNAN Forming Trust

Chains, now, there’s a topic for a prolonged conversation…

Yes, I’m into chains – more mental ones than real – and you are wrong to think that writing fiction does not enslave, does not shackle. It most certainly does, in no less a pleasurable/excruciating way. The one freedom it accords us is the liberty not to set our thoughts within the comparative contexts of other thinkers/scholars with a view to elaborating an argument. Writing fiction is my ‘self-inflicted pleasure’. You know of the risk/rupture/latent stress entailed in the move from one developmental stage to another, and echoed in the notion of growing pains. I find this risk, this danger, this pain, exhilarating, and yes, erotic, so that I must return to it again and again. It is a form of bondage…

I cannot tell you how hard it is to write the things I write. The battle as I wrench myself from my old developmental level; from received social, sexual, linguistic codes, propounding, instead, forging, instead, a new order; the move to Level 2. (…) but I shall have to ruminate further about the nature and purpose of the chains involved in both my writing activities. Right now, I’m just putting my nose to the idea. The few pages which comprise Papermate , for example, exacted as much discipline from me as any chapter in my doctoral thesis, that much is sure. My fiction is crafted, and crafts must bow to rules of harmony, stability; they should delight with a surprise, with insight, taking you further, as much as any (good) scientific paper. The melody, however, is another.
(…)
No idea of a title yet, but something will come to me. Now the fun and turmoil starts. I can already feel the clay under my nails, the spattered thoughts which must be tamed and brought into unison. I can feel this thing growing in me, compelling my thoughts back to it, and I anticipate with relish the ecstatic pain that is the price I must pay for daring to bring something beautiful to life.

 

(from my private correspondence with one of the few men who have had a brief impact on me. Illustration: Forming Trust, reproduced with the kind permission of Naomi Brosnan )

 

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