The Soundtrack of Writing

It’s dangerous to reflect once it’s finally going the way you hope. Writing seems like a delicate balance of happiness, frustration and a sense of urgency. Is it me, did something change, or I am I just (finally!) ready to write my PhD, after two-and-a-half years of reading and preparing?

Building momentum, struggling through meters of books, reading complete oeuvres and random books that happen to exist. Reading systematically and hap-snap, but most importantly: taking notes. My notebooks don’t only provide the background that help me now, but will also be the most valuable archive of my own thinking, my development. Future-me will laugh at them, recognising turns in my thinking due to Agamben, Wittgenstein, Badiou, Blanchot.

Working at the library, early, the first to arrive...
Working at the library, Staatsbibliothek Berlin, early, the first to arrive…

An interesting aspect of writing is rhythm. Everything is music (sorry, Jim, not sound). The importance of a rhythm to propel one’s writing forward, music without words, music that is more than background, more than closing off the world around. It’s a beat that moves, the lets the words flow. It keeps out the superego, that would refuse every single word as none reflect the truth that is to be said. That cannot be said. Which is precisely why one needs to go on, either in first person singular, or in the formal we/they.

The present-me is happy. Is only concerned with this moment, one word at the time. Reaching the end of this project, already thinking and constructing the next. Always continuing, faithful only to the illusion of the philosopher-me.

Language. Always language. Something that I don’t understand, which is always beyond understanding, always framing us. Which makes me want to re-read Benjamin. Again. Always already again. While I spend my days here, speaking German and English, writing in English, thinking in Dutch/English/German, reading French/Dutch/German/English.

But always dreaming of the beyond.

NaNoWriMo 2013

So, I’ve decided to use this online-offline community of writers as a mechanism to start producing this play I’ve been developing over the last year. After some interesting breakthroughs during the rehearsal process of the play I’ve been involved in as an actress (The Lady from Dubuque by Edward Albee, performed at Vrijdagtheater, Nijmegen), it’s going rather well. So far.

So, I’ve joined this NaNoWriMo thing (National Novel Writing Month). Although I’m not writing a novel, and I’m not interested of reaching 50.000 words by the end of November 2013. I am purely interested in a finished product. Which I can then perhaps produce the coming season.

The project of this play [working title: Antigone] involves some of my obsessions that I seem unable to un-think. Existentialism (my old friend Sartre, always on my mind), feminism and authoritarianism (Judith Butler), self-reflection (Plato), the role of the author (yes, Barthes is in there), the question of becoming (Badiou, Deleuze), and the power of the word and revelation (Banjamin, my friend). Looks like it is going to be too philosophical to be ever understood by anyone but me, but well, at least then I’m the right person to write it.

If you’re interested in following my progress…

English: Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvo...
Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir at Balzac Memorial (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Little Bird…

I’ve started a new phase in my life, as you might already know. So I decided to start with another try of the poem-a-day… the idea is to write a poem every day, very simple. I’ll stick to the 4×4 scheme this time, to spend less time thinking about form, and more on sound and interpunction… It is a nice way for myself to see how the things I read influence my use of words and my thoughts – so if you recognise Walter Benjamin, I’m not sorry…

A little bird told me
Nothing – language-less
As it was me listening
Naming the created

I am inextricably
Related, confined, bidden
To my self, my desire – for you
You impossible, unfindable self

I can tell myself everything
Including lies about you
And I do, constantly,
You amazing, wonderful self

A little bird told me
Everything – in a song
And as I listened
You became real

~ Nobyeni