This semester, I’ve been studying American Indian Survivance Discourse. I’ve been studying code-switching and the importance of diversity in voice through minority writing. I’ve been studying transgender literature. Fairy tale literature. LGBQ literature. It’s beautiful.
Most recently, I’ve been studying the poet Adrienne Rich. While all the subjects I put in my head this semester has had an impact on me, to varying degrees, Rich never ceases to explode my thought. Boom. And the kicker is, I studied her seven years ago with similar effect. Her insights are mind-curling, deep and twisting and nearly self-aware. And she made sense, on Thursday, in a way that fit something I’ve been thinking about for a while.
She said that for her to be a truly independent woman writer, she had to stop using men’s sensibilities and styles while writing.
Warmest winter day ever.
Spring break is almost over! Yaaay (boo)! I still don’t have all my homework done. Exactly what I expected to happen this break, despite spending over 15 hours on courses already.
Between paper research that may or may not include multiple watchings of Idiocracy and This Film is Not Yet Rated, I’ve also been tackling professional representation/improvement on my writing work. My journey with this, the greatest failure and success of a novel, is a long and sordid one: one I wish to talk about for others in a similar field.
I mean, it is. I know lots of people with day jobs as picture framers and teachers and professors at universities who go home, write about their experiences, and only write in that bubble. Separate from the writing world at large. People do that. Lots of people do that.
The act of touching keyboard or pen is definitely a solo endeavor. And if that’s all you want out of it, that’s all you need.
But even Malcolm X, in prison, didn’t write alone. He wrote in a group. The idea of an incarcerated man, sitting in a cell with a pencil and legal pad and a few books, plugging away at some idea, lost in a vacuum of solitary, and not solidarity, probably sits in a lot of people’s heads. There’s a stigma attached to writing. Google “writer,” look at the images. It’ll show you this stigma. One person. Alone in a room. With birds or some sparkly pixie dust floating out of his hipster typewriter. Usually male. Usually white. Usually synonymous with the idea of reading; casual, inspired, brilliant, freeing.
All the way bs.
My head’s so big even photoshopped hats don’t fit. Note: This is intended to be humorous. A friend took my LinkedIn pic and photoshopped a political hat on it. This is not intended to be seen as a political commentary. Only self-deprecating humor.
Either you’re living in a vacuum, or you’ve seen political discourse the past few days. And unless you’re writing a novel on political intrigue or something historical, or are directly involved with behind-the-scenes politics, it’s a generally accepted idea to keep your political views, and affiliations, out of your novel.
But why? Shouldn’t we be able to run our mouths and vent? Given all the outspoken social justice warriors and armchair politics, surely the politics bug has hit one of your characters. I mean, even if you’re living in a fantasy land (or at least writing about it), isn’t politics and intrigue important?
My brother gave me this tree of Collatz Conjecture, where no matter what number you start with, you will eventually end up at one. (if n is even, n=n/2, if n is odd, n=3n+1) It hasn’t been proven, is mind-bindingly complex when you look down deep, and is a great parallel to what I’m referring to via this post: all texts (I discuss) began with Homer.
If you’ve been reading my blog lately you know I’m eyeballs deep in a parallel reading between Homer’s Odyssey and James Joyce’s Ulysses. I’ve scraped together a few previous posts concerning mythology and how certain books play off of others. I am not happy with the result of such a scrape, so I will continue to mold my thoughts around this idea of a secondary historical dialogue.
It seems, back when this book was published, the literature field was very different. So before I go into what inspired the Odyssey by Homer and was inspired by The Odyssey, I must first give a quick, short history of literature from 1920’s to now. Continue reading
No pic this time: all business.
I might have to take a step back and clarify a little about what I wrote in the article Joyce and Modernism: Why is it Important? I’ll try and iron a little of this out while also explaining a little more in-depth what’s going on with what I’ll refer to as the Living Body of Work. Or, to be more specific, the texts one studies while learning about literature, writing, and the human condition that constantly changes due to visualizing through other lenses. Examples of lenses could include structuralist focus, mythic method, cultural upbringing, fresh input or opinions on specific topics, or life experiences such as war or death of a loved one. I see it as a kind of time-stamped sociographic pattern. Reading texts in parallel that are written with previous texts in mind, creates an alternative narration for both.
This week marks the first time I actively took a break from my 8-630 job to pursue writing. And, as expected, I spent most of that time putzing around, re-reading old works to get caught up to where I COULD write, and essentially removing myself from the world to continue doing what I do worst. Continue reading