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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Little Bits of Bluets

I am reading Maggie Nelson's Bluets and I am astonished. Here are a few of the excerpts about writing (which is only one of the themes of this gorgeous book).

183. Goethe also worries over the destructive effects of writing. In particuar, he worries over how to "keep the essential quality [of the thing] still living before us, and not to kill it with the word." I must admit, I no longer worry much about such things. For better or worse, I do not think that writing changes things very much, if at all. For the most part, I think it leaves everything as it is. What does your poetry do?--I guess it gives a kind of blue rinse to the language (John Ashbery).

184. Writing is, in fact, an astonishing equalizer. I could have written half of these propositions drunk or high, for instance, and half sober; I could have written half in agnoinzed tears, and half in a state of clinical detachment. But now that they have been shuffled around countless times--now that they have been made to appear, at long last, running forward as one river--how could either of us tell the difference?

185. Perhaps this is why writing all day, even when the work feels arduous, never feels to me like "a hard day's work." Often if feels more like balancing two sides of an equation--occasionally quite satisyfing, but essentially a hard and passing rain. It, too, kills the time.

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