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Friday, March 16, 2007

The old impulse to write ...

Lyn Hejinian at wrote about writing some time back. I enjoyed her quotes from other creative people and I'd like to share them with you:

(Quote) Thus Roland Barthes writes: "The word transports me because of the notion that I am going to do something with it: it is the thrill of a future praxis, something like an appetite. This desire makes the entire motionless chart of language vibrate." Eugène Delacroix: "The very sight of my palette, freshly set out with the colours in their contrasts is enough to fire my enthusiasm." Paul Valéry: "I go into an office on some business or other. As this includes writing I am handed a pen, ink, paper all perfectly assorted, and I scribble some quite trivial phrase. I enjoy the act of writing to the point of wishing to go on writing. I go out, walk down the street, taking with me an urge to write, to hit on something to write about." (Unquote)

The Haiku poets of the Japanese tradition always counted their calligraphy as part of their art, and in China to this day, calligraphy is a highly praised art in itself. In fact, calligraphy is one among the many disciplines young Chinese art students learn. And handwriting here is of a standard that would shame 99% of Australian students.

My tools for writing are a Benq laptop and Windows XP. I can't sit down to sharpen twelve of them before I start, or dip my nib in the inkwell to refresh my mind ... Sometimes I walk out and scribble a note in a notebook (my sister has never followed behind me and taken notes ) but it is a rare thing, and most times the jotted words are edited out early in the piece. I do often sleep with pad and pen beside me, but it has only worked once to give birth to a new poem, a nightmare at that. Occasional class notes have appeared, however, through this method - and teaching does pay the bills. I enjoy the act of writing, as Lyn H says ... but must sleep now or tomorrow the words will all be sleeping in little divans at the base of my cerebral cortex.


Anonymous said...

Keep on posting such stories. I love to read stories like that. Just add more pics :)

Andrew said...

Thanks for the comment. Pics are so easy to filch from other sites that being a lazy bugger that what I do too often. I'll dust off the camera and giv e it a nother go ... Keep watching >g<

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