Monday, June 13, 2016

Pause for the Cause of Writing Something that is Greater than What Your Ego Imagines


Imitating pretentious writers makes you, in turn, pretentious. The added negative quality is that you sound like a ranting fool. That was the case today when I happened across a post on Medium from a fellow who insisted that , more or less, that one must emulate the habits of Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady and never stop!  This would-be Beat is one of those scribblers who has the idea that one can create (and sustain) beauty with speed, sheer acceleration. Below is my response to him, less an effort to change his mind than it is an effort to allow air into the room. All that rapid perception can make things funky. This scribe, I should note, responded to a lengthy   anti- Kerouac diatribe I posted. Diatribe it was, but I made an actual argument against the turning of JK into a paragon of anything concerning real literature. Our fellow here responded with this non-response "u mad bro?" So yes, I was a little irritated. 



Well, you have to stop sometimes so you can appreciate what the senses have given you as you go your way through the world . You have to stop in order to write about the need to pursue the seductive logic of never stopping . But you have to stop before you go forward, as the brain absorbs only so much ; you stop , you breathe, you think, you connect what has happened recently with the narrative of a life already recorded.

This engages you with the world, truly, this is where the poetry comes from, not gushing hot lava adjectives and verbs while writing that the world is made more real by moving forward, with out apology, without pause or reflection, following the string where ever it leads. But this is not poetry and it is not lyricism. 

The writer in those times they stop agitating the gravel and take pause to reflect, meditate, consider the thingness of the world they’ve blazed through a little too quickly, there arises the sense that one forgets that they are a writer, the self-appointed priest of making things happen on the fly; the writing becomes about the world , the people, the places, the things that occupy the same space as you, the same patch of land your visiting.

 It becomes less about the writer, the seeker of knowledge attempting to gain knowledge through velocity , the impatient explorer more concerned with inflaming their senses rather than being genuinely curious about and teachable within the world. You have to stop , take a breath, create a language, a poetry, a prose style that convinces the reader that they’ve actually encountered something extraordinary in their travels through hill and dale, river and inlet, village and burg, that they’ve actually learned something they didn’t know before. Otherwise , I believe, nothing is revealed because nothing was learned and, despite all manner of ranting and such protests defending one’s unique view, that view is forgotten and another opportunity is lost to move a reader in ways you might not have expected.

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