June 14, 2007
I am amused by my own mild angst. I find it nice that I still have it in me; I take comfort in its presence in friends, after all, as a sign of persisting youth. One such friend recently prompted me to devise an analogy, that angst is the intellectual equivalent of being tickled. The mind takes both for pain, by mistake; by recognizing that one is under no real threat, one can overcome and even enjoy the sensation. My life is racked between happiness and discontent, where I've always done my best work. It's a minor hitch that by now I am cynical of the old act, the whole singing-bird-in-a-clipped-wing-world routine. But art is art, and the mind can be made new. Writing is unusual in that it is one of the few occupations where a disturbed mental state is vital. More than of other artists, I think, it is demanded that the writer be functionally, fundamentally mad. After all, written language is but a hair's breadth away from plain thought. I'd venture that painters' and musicians' thoughts are less structurally affected by their arts, separated by extra layers of abstraction (this is to say nothing of their eyes and ears). But language is language, and writing is almost. The writer, in writing, toys with the circuitry of their thoughts. Unreal things are experienced and articulated there, in detail. These worked-over thoughts may then be excised onto the pages, but what happens to the structure of the writer's mind? What pieces are left that have not been commissioned to the madness that is imagination, expanded out over the long and solitary days of creation, and ultimately given away? Few. To write is to turn inward, to rebuild the castle of language in one's own mind; to order legions out from there, then have them return to depose you.
Posted by delire at June 14, 2007 03:48 PM