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Wednesday, January 3, 2018


I live more in my head than my body. Consequently I write abstractly, and feel guilty about it, hearing echoes of Ezra Pound's "Go in fear of abstractions" as I write. All those writers preaching, be aware of the body, be concrete, versus me scribbling my ingrown thoughts, hunched over, ignoring my own bad posture.

Then recently I read this from K C Cole (from Sympathetic Vibrations, Reflection on Physics as a Way of Life): “Abstractions seem magical because they can exist independent of matter—and also because they can do things that matter itself cannot do.”

How much better I felt. How much less alone.

Oh, I know concrete writing has power. But abstractions are not without their own mojo, despite the bad press.


Ian Cochrane said...

It seems that more "abstractions" is what we need these days, invoking the imagination to make things better.

Jessica Goodfellow said...

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Ian. I agree that we could use a lot more imagination to deal with what's going on these days.