Thursday, May 10, 2007

Speaking of Writing . . .

“To write is certainly not to impose a form (of expression) on the matter of lived experience. . . . Writing is a question of becoming, always incomplete, always in the midst of being formed, and goes beyond the matter of any livable or lived experience. It is a process, that is, a passage of Life that traverses both the livable and the lived.”

“To write is not to recount one’s memories and travels, one’s loves and griefs, one’s dreams and fantasies. It is the same thing to sin through an excess of reality as through an excess of the imagination.”

“We do not write with our neuroses. Neuroses and psychoses are not passages of life, but states into which we fall when the process is interrupted, blocked, or plugged up. . . . Moreover, the writer as such is not a patient but rather a physician, the physician of himself and of the world. The world is the set of symptoms whose illness merges with man.”

“Health as literature, as writing, consists in inventing a people who are missing. It is a task of the fabulating function to invent a people. We do not write with memories, unless it is to make them the origin and collective destination of a people to come still ensconced in betrayals and repudiations. . . . The ultimate aim of literature is to set free, in the delirium, this creation of health or this invention of a people, that is, a possibility of life. To write for this people who are missing . . .”

“We can see more clearly the effect of literature on language. As Proust says, it opens up a kind of foreign language within language, which is neither another language nor a rediscovered patois, but a becoming-other of language, a minorization of this major language, a delirium that carries it off, a witch’s line that escapes the dominant system. . . . Language seems to be seized by a delirium, which forces it out of its usual furrows. . . . a foreign language cannot be hollowed out in one language without language as a whole being toppled or pushed to a limit, to an outside or reverse side that consists of Visions and Auditions that no longer belong to any language. These visions are not fantasies, but veritable Ideas that the writer sees and hears in the interstices of language, in its intervals. They are not interruptions of the process, but breaks that form a part of it, like an eternity that can only be revealed in a becoming, or a landscape that only appears in movement. They are not outside language, but the outside of language. The writer as seer and hearer, the aim of literature: it is the passage of life within language that constitutes Ideas.”

“To write is also to become something other than a writer. To those who ask what literature is, Virginia Woolf responds: To whom are you speaking of writing? The writer does not speak about it, but is concerned with something else.”

(Gilles Deleuze, "Literature and Life." Trans. Daniel W. Smith and Michael A. Greco)

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