Wednesday, December 02, 2009

perec on "why"...


"i have never felt at ease in talking about my work in theoretical or abstract terms. even if what i produce seems to stem from a long-worked-out program, from a long-standing-plan, i believe far more that i find my direction by following my nose. from the books i have written, in the order i have written them, i get the sometimes reassuring and sometimes uneasy feeling (uneasy because it is always suspended on a "projected" work, on an incompletion pointing to the unsayable, the desperate object of writing's desire) that they map a path, mark out a space, signpost a fumbling route, describe the specific staging posts of a search which has no why but only a how: i feel confusedly that the books i have written are inscribed and find their meaning in the overall image that i have of literature, but it seems to me that i shall never quite grasp that image entirely, that it belongs for me to a region beyond writing, to the question of "why i write", which i can never answer except by writing, and thus deferring forever the very moment when, by ceasing to write, that image would visibly cohere, like a jigsaw puzzle inexorably brought to its completion."

georges perec, 1978, re-printed in review of contemporary fiction, spring 2009.
image: a series of chess moves that perec used towards the writing of "life: a user's manual".

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Blogger ArtSparker said...

I'm thinking, as I have before here, of Albert Pinkham Ryder's description of the caterpillar at he end of the leaf.

9:33 AM  

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