20090415

016.

I write a lot about writers, and I write a lot about myself, but I've never done much writing about myself as a writer. I'll start by posting the first paragraph of my essay on Virginia Woolf. Here, I'm attempting to critique how she negotiates fragmented reality and the death of subjective idealism in her novel-length essay, "A Room of One's Own":

The brain desires an organization to match that of the body – each bloody pound throbbing with such indisputable purpose until it tires. The very idea of negotiating one’s fragmented reality – the death of subjective idealism – seems to stand testament to this incalculable endeavor. In the case of Virginia Woolf, we find a mind enamored with the ambiguity of its own strange eagerness to scheme. Perhaps Woolf’s mind is unfettered by negotiation, because the very act of negotiating is negotiable. The mind wanders, and as it flexes, sometimes towards and sometimes away from the idealism it seems driven to pin down, it throbs with a purpose less routine, but with purpose nonetheless. A thought in exchange for another thought, to Woolf, is a fine trade. Of course, Woolf’s meandering mind is not entirely aimless, for there is a definable niche for her conscious voice. In Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own”, this voice is a suggestive utterance humming busily above the static hum of male voices, droning and monotone, almost somber in its tenacious conservatism. Woolf, as a writer, as a negotiator, as a mind, is haunted by the perceived economic potential of the female body. Her motivation, it seems, lines up in direct opposition to the patriarchal traditions upheld by the post-WWI society of the upper-middle class.

And now, here it is. My understanding of myself as a writer. But I should think up a prompt, shouldn't I? Yeah, yeah. Prompt ... prompt ... prompt. Okay, well first I should perhaps list a few basic themes and dichotomies:

A very pronounced anxiety towards capitalist hierarchies, consumerism, and colonialism, perhaps even the very notion of a "civilized society". Heredity pitted against environmentalism. Mysticism, occultism, animism. Native tradition as a very significant facet of human history. A sense of misplaced identity, wanting, searching. Politicized virginity. A skepticism towards Christian divinity. The hypocrisies of "God". The idiotic patriot, the pig-faced nationalist. Social pathology and psychological illness, the credibility (or lack thereof) of psychiatry. Corrupt intellectuals, the art of manipulation, how this methods of manipulation are dispersed. Scientific myth, or science as poetic genre. The artist's orientation in the context of all human history. A distaste towards artistic "masterpieces". Marxist sentiments / acknowledging the pitfalls of such idealism / a curious affection towards the idea of anarchy. Selfish love, the dangers of superficiality, sexuality as a problematic means to justify one's selfhood. The myth of the resolved. The myth of racial superiority. Roleplay and satire involving popular figures in Western mythology / adopting the role of a "virtuous" character and intentionally defaming the self in order to debunk the very convention of "virtue". Outdated myth and moral codes. The tactile: smell, sight, touch, taste, hear. Bodily function, filth and shame. Vulnerability and self-doubt. The definition of "crime", the fallacy of "justice". Private devotion, private observation, private consultation. The promise of a posthumous future, the insistence of history, the inevitability of time. Sincerity. Beauty that exists between, and not inside. The loves of my life.

But I still need a prompt, or a thesis, in order to criticize my own literary disposition in essay format ... I need to make a soup! Boil broth, add assorted eatables. Or, for the patriot, a hotdog. Put the dog to the bun, add fixin's, consume. Oh, nevermind. I prefer lists. I'll probably never graduate college anyway - why exert any amount of effort trying to pin down some clever amalgamation? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatta trip! I'm on academic probation for flunking a course on contemporary art history. Oh, I just gush personality. Oh, oh, oh. Oh, no.

I love it. I love it. It was fun, and I love it. Tender feelings. Feeling tender. And all that muck and mush, blood and guts, all that life and love and space. A lotta space. So much space. And literal shapes. Whoa. Back up, reverse, rewind, eject.

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